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Report: Two late goals deny Town famous win at Blackpool

Cod Army fail to hang on after Burns' opener

14 April 2018

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Two late goals from Blackpool ensured it was late heartbreak for Fleetwood Town, as they lost 2-1 at Bloomfield Road.

After an even first half, it was substitute Wes Burns who gave Fleetwood the lead with 15 minutes to go, but two late goals from Viv Solomon-Otobor and Armand Gnanduillet give the Seasiders all three points.

Gnanduillet’s strike was in the third minute of injury time, sending the 1,300+ Town fans back up the coast defeated.

John Sheridan made three changes to the side that picked up all three points on Tuesday night at Oxford United, with Cian Bolger missing out through injury, and Bobby Grant and Jordy Hiwula dropping to the bench. Nathan Pond, Conor McAleny and Paddy Madden came in.

The atmosphere inside Bloomfield Road was electric from start to finish with the Cod Army making all the noise in the away end.

And it was a bright start to the match for Town as McAleny picked up the ball outside the Blackpool 18-yard-box, he worked the ball onto his favoured right foot, had a strike at goal but Joe Lumley was there to parry the ball away from danger.

Seasiders midfielder Jay Spearing had the home side’s first attempt at goal, he picked up the ball in a deep position, the defenders didn’t get close to him as he saw an opportunity to shoot. The low driven shot beat Alex Cairns, but not the woodwork. A good chance for Blackpool.

Gary Bowyer’s side looked on the up after that and managed to cause some uncertainty in the Town back line. Ex-Fleetwood man Jimmy Ryan delivered a peach of a ball into the box, but to his frustration, no teammate gambled to knock the ball home.

The Cod Army nearly took the lead just before the break. After a quick free-kick, McAleny ran at the Pool defence, he found Madden on the edge of the box who then flicked the ball to Hunter. The 23-year-old took one touch to get the ball out of his feet, his second was a strike at goal but it was blocked by Clark Robertson.

The second half was lively too, and it wasn’t long before Sheridan made his first change. Burns was brought on to add something different to the match, and within 60 seconds, he was played through by Pond. The goalkeeper had a moment to forget as he rushed out, didn’t win the ball but as Burns went to shoot, the defender came across to the rescue and blocked his effort.

The game started to open up even more and this saw Town’s head coach make another change. Hiwula and Grant were introduced to the match and this saw the Huddersfield Town loanee make his 50th appearance for the club in all competitions.

The striker didn’t leave it long to get involved after a long ball over the top found the lone man, he knocked it down to Hunter who again took one touch, cut across the ball on his strike and made Lumley pull off a fantastic save to his right hand post.

Town took the lead half way through Burns in the 74th minute. After a mistake at the back from Tilt, Hiwula was one on one with Lumley, after going around the goalkeeper, his effort hit the near post. The ball came back to Burns whose shot on goal took a deflection over Tilt’s head on the line into the back of the net.

The travelling fans continued to make plenty of noise and it was only minutes after the opening goal when Burns went through after Diagouraga played him in, but he opened his right foot too much and it went wide and out for a goal kick. A key moment in the match.

Blackpool got level two minutes from time after Solomon-Otobor took advantage of a loose ball in the air, his volley nestled in the top corner to give the home side a boost.

As the fourth official signalled four minutes of added on time, there was one last chance for Blackpool and they took it when it came. In the 93rd minute, substitute Gnanduillet headed home from close range.

Blackpool XI – Lumley (GK), Robertson, Vassell (Cullen 78’), Ryan ©, Longstaff (Gnanduillet 78’), Tilt, Solomon-Otabor, Turton, Daniel, Delfouneso (Menga 80’), Spearing.

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Aimson, Agyei, Cooke

Fleetwood XI – Cairns (GK), Coyle, Eastham, Pond, Dempsey, McAleny (Grant 65’), Diagouraga, Madden (Hiwula 65’), Jones, Hunter, Sowerby (Burns 71’).

Subs not used: Neal, Glendon, Biggins, Sheron.

Attendance: 7,371

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