A Nathan Pond own goal saw Blackpool end their seven game losing streak as they picked up a 1-0 victory against local rivals Fleetwood Town.
This was a must win game for Neil McDonald and in fairness, his side did exactly that, but the performance was never really that convincing, as shown by Pool’s 0 shots on target and their dependence on an own goal to get three points.
Jack Redshaw earned a recall to the starting 11 and new signing Elliot Lee was on the bench.
Bright Osayi-Samuel had the first chance of the game when he cut in from the left and powered an effort wide of the Fleetwood goal.
Though Fleetwood came extremely close soon after when Joe Davis’ effort was kept out only by a goal line clearance from Hayden White, followed by Dean Lyness tipping a curling effort away from goal.
Hayden White was called into action again soon after, this time making an excellent challenge to deny David Ball a near certain goal in what was a magnificent piece of defending by the Bolton loanee.
Then came Pool’s moment of good fortune, as Brad Potts’ low cross was terribly misjudged by Nathan Pond who put the ball beyond his goalkeeper and into his own net.
Lyness was called into action a couple of times before the end of the half but Pool should have doubled their lead before the break when a defensive mistake from the away side left Jack Redshaw with only the keeper to beat, however all he could do was fire wide.
Elliot Lee came on for his debut at half time in place of Bright Osayi-Samuel.
Fleetwood so nearly equalised in the second half when Henen’s cross shot cannoned back off the crossbar.
The Cod Army were getting closer and Nathan Pond could have poked the ball in from a free kick if it wasn’t for some last ditch defending. The challenge from Pond on Lyness from the free kick produced tension between the players of both teams who became involved in an argument, the referee as a result gave out three yellow cards.
Watching Pond’s challenge back, it’s fair to say he was lucky not to receive red.
Lyness had his best game in a Blackpool shirt so far as he again kept Fleetwood out by palming away Nick Haughton’s powerful strike.
The Seasiders managed to hang on for their first win in seven and they now move up a place to 22nd.
I have to admit, I didn’t think Blackpool would win this one so Neil McDonald has proven me wrong by his side securing a victory.
However, this can hardly be seen as a massive improvement from what we’ve seen in recent games.
Whilst Fleetwood lacked clinical finishing in front of goal, on another day they quite easily could have scored at least one.
Though Pool’s defence must be praised for keeping a clean sheet, certainly many great pieces of defending were responsible for the victory such as White’s last ditch challenge on David Ball.
But the problem still persists that Blackpool simply don’t score enough goals.
Whilst Neil McDonald was pleased with a 1-0, Pool did get lucky with the own goal and when the big chance did come, Redshaw wasted it.
A Blackpool player has not scored now in seven games. This is a statistic that must not be ignored and neither can the fact that Blackpool have scored the least amount of goals in the division.
McDonald may put defending first but if the likes of Redshaw and Cullen don’t start finishing the chances they get then Pool will continue to struggle.
The Tangerines may have won but it was still a sad day for the club as it symbolised how far the Seasiders have fallen.
Blackpool got the win, but major improvements are still required for Pool to compete in this division.