Blackpool secured their third win in a row by beating Port Vale 2-1 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy away from home.
Neil McDonald opted to make 8 changes to his side from Saturday’s win against Swindon even though cup regulations state only a maximum of 6 changes are permitted. Pool had listed four players as injured on their website though we could yet hear more about this issue should the FA decide to pursue it.
There were starts for Martin Paterson, Kwame Thomas, Jarrett Rivers, Jose Cubero, Charles Dunne, Connor Oliver, Bright Osayi-Samuel and a first ever professional start for defender Luke Higham.
The game started quietly but the first real chance came on 14 minutes when Bryan Moore made his way into the box and laid the ball across for Colin Daniel who put his effort wide.
Pool had their own chance to score a couple of minutes later when Jose Cubero’s corner was met by the head of Kwame Thomas but his effort was superbly stopped on the line by Anthony Grant.
There was a lengthy injury stoppage not long after. Vale defender Remie Streete clashed heads with Thomas and spent 10 minutes on the pitch before being stretchered off meaning there was to be 12 minutes of added time at the end of the half.
Soon after the injury stoppage Blackpool took the lead. Thomas showed his pace and skill down the left hand side before playing the ball into the feet of Rivers who found the bottom corner with his left footed effort.
Vale had a good chance after the restart to equalise but Enoch Andoh’s effort flew just wide of Colin Doyle’s post.
Though the home side found their equaliser not long after as Andoh burst into the Blackpool box and was clipped by Clark Robertson, the referee then pointed to the spot.
Grant made no mistake as his penalty sent Doyle the wrong way.
However Vale barely had the time to celebrate their equaliser as the Tangerines went straight up the other end and equalised.
Clark Robertson made up for his defensive error by powering in a looping header from a Cubero free kick. The ball came off the keeper last but Robertson will certainly claim it.
McDonald’s men again held strong for the remainder of the game to keep the opposition out, much like they have done in their last two matches.
The game finished 2-1 to Pool meaning they’ve now won 3 in a row. It’s been a long time since Blackpool have had a good run and whilst there is still a lot of work ahead, it’s nice to see a Pool side that’s performing well.