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Match Reports

Report: Blackpool snatch win after late heartbreak for Cod Army

22 April 2019

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Fleetwood Town were left frustrated on Easter Monday as Blackpool scored a 95th minute winner at Bloomfield Road to seal a 2-1 victory.

Joey Barton’s side thought they’d earned themselves a point, after Ched Evans’ header cancelled out Jay Spearing’s first half penalty.

However, Nathan Delfouneso scored the winner late in injury time after Armand Gnanduillet’s effort hit the post, leaving Fleetwood frustrated.

Nathan Sheron was sent off with around 15 minutes to play for a challenge on Matty Virtue.

Fleetwood started well, with Wes Burns – who has scored against Blackpool twice in two matches – saw the ball fall to his right hand side, maybe off-balance but the full-back saw his shot go narrowly wide.

The home side were looking to attack in the match too, and with Gnanduillet out-muscling James Hill, he managed to get the ball onto his left foot, let one curl into the far corner, but Alex Cairns was there to punch it away from danger. Hill looking composed on his first start for the club.

With twenty minutes on the clock, and the fans from both sides were in fine tune making a cracking atmosphere inside Bloomfield Road, it was Paddy Madden’s turn to find space inside the Seasiders’ penalty area.

Evans did well to knock the ball down to the Irishman, but it was Ben Heneghan who came across to block the shot.

Nya Kirby – on loan from Premier League side Crystal Palace – won his side a penalty on the half-hour mark, and it was up to captain Spearing to convert from the spot, giving the home side the lead in the Fylde Coast derby. A soft goal to concede.

Fleetwood responded with a goal from Evans after a lovely floating cross from Ash Hunter on the left hand side. The captain rose above Tilt and gave the keeper no chance of pulling that out of the goal. Just the goal Town deserved heading into the break.

As play entered the second-half, Barton made a slight change to the formation with Coyle coming out of midfield, Burns going into a more attacking wing position. It nearly paid off within minutes as Madden saw the ball come to him, and with a turn and shuffle, he got his shot off, but saw it denied by Mafoumbi – so close.

The game seemed to settle down in the middle stages of the second-half, with both teams struggling to really get hold of the ball. Madden continued to look lively on the wing, with Hill doing his work against the target man for Blackpool.

With twenty minutes left on the clock, Fleetwood were down to ten men. Sheron saw a straight red after a tackle on Virtue. The midfielder just mistimed his tackle, giving the referee no choice but to show the red.

Ashley Nadesan and Harrison Biggins made their way onto the pitch for Madden and Hunter following the dismissal.

The onus was on Blackpool to attack with Town down to ten men, but it was Fleetwood who looked the most likely to get the winner. Hill rose inside the Pool penalty area and nearly saw him bag the winner on the full EFL debut.

The winner did come late in injury time as Gnanduillet hit the post, leaving it to fall nicely for Delfouneso to tap it in from close range. Heartbreak for Fleetwood to leave with nothing.

Blackpool XI: Mafoumbi (GK), Heneghan, Spearing ©, Nottingham, Thompson (Delfouneso 63’), Tilt, Virtue (Pritchard 74’), Gnanduillet, Kirby (Evans 79’), Bola, Long.

Subs not used: Boney (GK), Anderton, Dodoo, Feeney.

Fleetwood XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Eastham, Burns, Evans ©, Madden (Biggins 74’), Hunter (Nadesan 74’), Wallace (Sowerby 90+2), Husband, Sheron, Hill.

Subs not used: Jones (GK), Southam-Hales, Baggley, Rydel.

Attendance: 11,713 (1,386 away)

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