Boxing Day Defeat For Pools
Blackpool scored the only goal in a game of few chances as Pools made it five matches without scoring.
The wind inside the ground was swirling around and the conditions played a big part for both sides, with the ball often taking its own route.
Nicky Featherstone had the first real effort for Pools after a bright start, but sent his strike from distance over the bar.
Josh Laurent, who was impressive in the opening period, pulled a save out of the visiting keeper as he sent a shot in from the edge of the area which was held well by Slocombe.
Laurent then fed Rhys Oates with a decent ball which allowed the forward to push into the box but his low strike also found the arms of Slocombe.
Craig Hignett’s side showed a more battling attitude again this afternoon, chasing back if passes didn’t come off and covering well for eachother.
And in one strong spell of pressure for the hosts, Pools were denied by Tom Aldred who put in a good tackle inside the box to snatch possession away from Alessandra who was waiting to pounce.
Blackpool, whose biggest threat came down the wing from Bright Samuel in the first half, came onto their game gradually and actually finished the first half on top.
Liam Donnelly was called on and responded with a great block to deny Mark Cullen with a strike, while Scott Harrison came out on top in a couple of aerial battles against the powerful Kyle Vassell.
Pools had a great chance to snatch the lead after good work by Lewis Hawkins set up Alessandra running in from the left. He did well to get into the box but saw his shot blocked away.
Blackpool’s best chance came as Danny Pugh sent a corner in from the right which picked out Vassell but the striker sent his header just wide of the far post.
And so, after a fairly even first half, the two sides went in level, though Craig Hignett would have been encouraged by his side’s first-half showing.
Lewis Alessandra got in behind the defender in the first minute after the break and stretched to send a volley towards goal. His effort went just wide but took a touch off the defender on its way out.
From the following corner, Blackpool broke straight upfield to have a go themselves and Pools once again had Trevor Carson to thank as the defender denied Vassell with a headed effort. The Pools keeper kept his eye firmly on the ball as he stuck out his hand to send the effort wide.
Rhys Oates, who was really lively in the second half, burst forward to take the ball to the by-line, cut it back and then around a second defender to send a cross into the box. The ball missed Josh Laurent but fell nicely for the in-running Alessandra who smashed an effort at goal only to see it go just wide.
Pools, who had started to see their way on top of the second half, were hit with a sucker punch on 64 minutes; a long ball over the top caught the home defence out but found Mark Cullen running in on goal. The Blackpool striker took it in his stride and showed a calm head to send a neat strike past Carson to make it 1-0.
While the goal was a real set-back for Pools, they didn’t let their heads drop and continued to plug away.
There looked to be a real lifeline for Pools on 85 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for a handball inside the box.
Lewis Alessandra picked up the ball to take the kick but stepped up and smashed it high over the bar, and with it went any chance of Pools taking a point from this game.
Full Time: Pools 0 Blackpool 1
Attendance: 3767 (276 Blackpool)
Pools: Carson, Donnelly, Bates, Harrison, Carroll, Featherstone, Laurent (Woods 81), Hawkins, Oates, Paynter (Amond 77), Alessandra (Deverdics 86).
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Richards, Nsiala, Walker.
Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Taylor, McAllister, Robertson, Vassell, Potts, Cullen, Aldred, Osayi-Samuel (Philliskirk 79), Pugh.
Subs Not Used: Aimson, Nolan, Matt, Lyness, Payne, Gnanduillet.