Pools Edged Out At Bloomfield Road
Dave Jones's side lost out 2-1 on an entertaining afternoon as a late Kyle Vassell goal snatched victory for Blackpool.
It was an entertaining game here at Bloomfield Road this afternoon, with the travelling army of over 1600 Pools fans seeing a lively game but unfortunately not the result that they, or the team, deserved.
Lewis Alessandra gave Pools an early lead but the hosts were level just five minutes later and then, in a competitive second half, Kyle Vassell sealed victory for Blackpool.
Joe Fryer made the first save of the game, making a confident stop to deny Mark Cullen with a header early on.
Nathan Delfouneso crossed a decent ball into the box as the hosts enjoyed the early play. His cross picked out Brad Potts but his slight mis-kick was the only invitation Scott Harrison needed to step in and clear the ball.
Potts was next to try his luck on goal as he fired in a freekick from distance but his chance went wide of the far post, signalling the start of Pools enjoying their first spell of pressure.
Padraig Amond and Lewis Alessandra were both in great form and enjoyed themselves more and more against a slightly hesitant Blackpool defence as the game progressed.
And on 18 minutes the pair combined to open the scoring for Pools; Amond battled with the defender for the ball, fighting to win a tough header in the air and this put pressure on the home defence. And Alessandra picked up his lead to follow in and cheekily steal the ball away from Tom Aldred to turn into position and fire past Dean Lyness to make it 1-0.
It was a great start for Pools that sent the already-vociferous away fans into raptures.
But just five minutes later Blackpool were level; Bright Osayi-Samuel found space down the left – too much space – to get into the box and fire a low drive across the area and into the opposite corner of the net.
Blackpool enjoyed a spell of possession following the goal but it was Pools who looked the most likely to add to the goals before half time.
Lewis Hawkins had his shot well-saved by Lyness before Amond had his follow-up held, while Michael Woods also had an effort blocked as Pools pressed inside the box.
Lewis Alessandra, who was in determined mood in this first half, had another great chance as sent a dipping effort at goal late in the half that pulled another good save from Lyness.
It was an entertaining first half, with Pools matching the enthusiasm off the pitch from the 1684 fans with some impressive play on it. And the teams went in all square at half time, with everything to play for after the break.
Lewis Alessandra had a couple of early chances for Pools in the second half, both going wide of target but it was Blackpool’s Mark Cullen who had the first real chance of the half to make it 2-1.
The Blackpool striker broke into the box with only Fryer to beat but he dragged his shot wide when a goal looked on the cards.
The second half proved as entertaining as the first, with the action quickly switching from one end of the pitch to the other.
Joe Fryer punched clear strongly as he faced a freekick from the left, while Nathan Thomas screamed appeals for a penalty after his cross into the box was blocked at the near post.
Osayi-Samuel pushed in from the left again with the ball, with Liam Donnelly doing enough to send the ball wide, with Padraig Amond seeing his shot when through on goal blocked wide by Lyness.
It was a game you couldn’t take your eyes off, with both sides looking lively on the attack.
Brad Potts flung himself at a cross to send a right-footed effort at goal but found only the side netting and Pools had to defend solidly as Blackpool upped their pressure. Scott Harrison put a couple of important blocks in, Nicky Deverdics headed clear from a deep cross and Brad Walker was solid again at the back.
And with Blackpool seeing a bit more of the ball, they took advantage of their possession with a second goal; Kyle Vassell saw his first shot on goal blocked by Fryer at the near post. But the Blackpool forward looped a ball back at goal which sailed over the head of the Pools keeper and dropped in at the far post.
With ten minutes left in the game, Pools needed to work quickly if they were to get a deserved point from this game.
Nathan Thomas got on the end of a good move to curl one in at goal but his shot was saved by Lyness and the winger tried again just after, this time jinking in from the left but again Lyness was there to hold the shot.
But time ran out for Pools who could not find the goal to pick up at least a point from this game to reward the travelling fans and the game finished in defeat.
Full Time: Blackpool 2 Pools 1
Attendance: 5374 (1684 Pools)
Booked: Donnelly (36), Featherstone (45), Thomas (74)
Blackpool: Lyness, Mellor, Robertson, Potts, Cullen (Vassell 72), Aldred, Osayi-Samuel, Daniel, Payne, Delfouneso (Flores 69), Danns (Black 72) .
Subs Not Used: Slocombe, Aimson, Matt, Odelusi, Black.
Pools: Fryer, Donnelly, Harrison, Walker, Deverdics, Featherstone, Woods (Rooney 84), Hawkins, Alessandra, Amond, Thomas.
Subs Not Used: Dudzinski, Richardson, Bates, Hawkes, Oates, Rodney.