The Blackpool view

Sep 24, 2017 | News

Following yesterday’s 3-1 defeat to Rovers, Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer has this to say:

“We’re really disappointed. We’d made a great start and scored a wonderful goal, but just before they scored we stopped doing what we’d been doing well all season and at the start of the half.

We spoke about the second-half and coming out brighter and stronger. It was a little bit hit and miss, the game, and we’re just disappointed with the way it’s panned out. The second goal, especially, is poor from us.

We’ve got to make sure that we address that because we’ve got to go again on Tuesday and go again on Saturday. We haven’t got the biggest of numbers, we know that, so to freshen it up is something we might need to do for Tuesday”.

In a piece of analysis that is mainly of interest to Blackpool supporters the Gazette do say:

There was no doubt that Bodin was the difference between the two sides yesterday. A goal and an assist highlighted a lively afternoon’s work from the wide man and showed what Pool have lacked since Bright Osayi-Samuel’s move to QPR. Fast, direct, willing to get crosses in and have shots at goal; no, not Osayi-Samuel but Bodin as he gave Colin Daniel a difficult afternoon.

One thing Rovers showed the Seasiders yesterday was the value of perseverance. On countless occasions, Bodin got into good positions but saw his crosses come to nothing until Sweeney put Rovers ahead late on. Nowhere, though, was that attitude better exemplified than in the performance of Rovers’ striker Ellis Harrison. Criticised early on for a perceived lack of aerial effort, he also missed a golden opportunity seconds before the break. Not that it worried him; he kept plugging away and was rewarded with the goal which wrapped up Rovers’ victory.

Here is The Blackpool Gazette’s match report:

Blackpool’s unbeaten run came to an emphatic end with defeat at the Memorial Stadium. Despite taking an early lead through Kyle Vassell, the Seasiders surrendered the initiative to their hosts, who were full value for their win. Billy Bodin levelled five minutes with half-time five minutes away before late goals from Ryan Sweeney and Ellis Harrison condemned Gary Bowyer’s players to their first league loss since the opening day. Bowyer had named an unchanged starting XI and bench after making it seven games unbeaten with victory over Oxford United seven days earlier. It meant that four of that line-up faced a reunion with former Seasiders’ keeper Sam Slocombe, who started for the home side. Though it was the Seasiders who began on the front foot, they could have gone behind inside the first seven minutes. A timely Colin Daniel header thwarted Harrison, who also volleyed over from Lee Brown’s corner when unmarked. He was made to pay on 12 minutes when Vassell gave Blackpool the lead, controlling a long pass on his chest before firing in off Slocombe’s right-hand post.

Callum Cooke had a shot deflected behind before the home side belatedly began to get into the game. Bodin twisted and turned before firing over while Byron Moore also lashed over after being played in behind Oliver Turton. Viv Solomon-Otabor saw a shot blocked and Vassell’s free-kick went under the wall on its way through to Slocombe before Rovers got back on level terms with half-time five minutes away. Chris Lines was allowed space to run at the Blackpool defence before slipping the ball for Bodin to finish clinically.

Turton got in the way of Tom Nichols’ shot before the half ended with the home side thinking they had a penalty when Moore went down – only for him to receive a yellow card for diving instead. That was Moore’s last involvement as he and team-mate Joe Partington, who had also been cautioned, were both replaced at the break. More bookings would follow in the second half as referee Gavin Ward began to infuriate the home camp with a series of debatable decisions. However, it was Rovers who opened the second period in the ascendancy with Blackpool keeper Ryan Allsop having to claw away Nichols’ header. At the other end, Blackpool’s much fabled shooting from distance was not living up to its billing as Daniel and Jimmy Ryan both sent free-kicks into the wall from favourable positions.

Bodin always looked the man most likely to be the difference between the two sides and he made another significant contribution with six minutes left. Having sent over a number of dangerous crosses that had gone unrewarded, his patience paid off when yet another ball in was converted by Sweeney – though he was one of three players queuing up to score. Then, with Blackpool on the attack in stoppage time, Rovers won possession and went upfield where Harrison raced into the area, switched the ball onto his left foot and fired home.