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Report: Town and Blackpool play out a score draw in their derby

1 November 2023

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Fleetwood Town played out a 3-3 draw in their Fylde Coast Derby against Blackpool on Wednesday evening at Highbury Stadium.

First-half goals from Promise Omochere and Jack Marriott had Town in the lead, before a second-half brace from Sonny Carey and a Shayne Lavery strike completed a turnaround, only for Jack Marriott to draw the game level with a moment of magic.

Both sides came out flying in true derby day fashion, as first Jordan Rhodes struck a curling effort onto the crossbar before Shaun Rooney forced Blackpool keeper Dan Grimshaw to make a low save from close range.

But it wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken, as when Omochere found space on the edge of the area, he curled a beautiful low strike into the far corner and sent the Cod Army into sheer pandemonium.

That feeling would only get better because minutes later, it was two-nil. Omochere struck again from close range, but this time saw his effort parried into the path of Jack Marriott, who fired in the rebound to extend Town’s advantage.

After a blistering start from Fleetwood, it should’ve been three, but Grimshaw produced a brilliant save with his trailing left foot to deny Rooney from point-blank range. At the other end, a heroic block from Ben Heneghan stopped Carey’s low strike from reducing the deficit.

Spirit, togetherness, and defence organisation ensured Lee Johnson’s side was able to limit Blackpool to virtually no other clear-cut chances in the first half, as his side took their well-deserved two-goal lead into half-time.

But two minutes into the second half, Blackpool had a goal back, when Carey’s curling strike took an unfortunate deflection past an unsighted Jay Lynch to reduce the deficit.

From that moment, Blackpool were naturally in the ascendancy and dug out an equaliser three minutes later. Carey fired again from the edge of the area, this time hitting a brilliant low strike past Lynch to level the score.

Just as both sides began to settle down and come to terms with the hectic start to the second half, Blackpool completed the turnaround, as substitute Lavery raced through on goal before squeezing past Lynch at the near post.

Despite falling behind, Fleetwood continued to search for a response, and it came when Jack Marriott produced a moment of magic, hitting a sensational 25-yard strike into the top corner to level the scores again.

With ten minutes of added time signalled, both sides searched for a winner, and some heroic goalkeeping from Lynch and a spectacular goal-line intervention denied Blackpool a winner right at the death, as the spoils were shared.

Town XI: Lynch (GK), Wiredu, Lawal, Vela (C) (Graydon 88’), Mayor, Marriott, Heneghan, Omochere (Teale 53’), Rooney (Broom 88’), Earl, Patterson (Tshimanga 53’).

Subs not used: McMullan (GK), Robertson, Simons.

Blackpool XI: Grimshaw (GK), Husband (C), Pennington, Dale (Morgan 81’), Carey, Douglas, Rhodes (Connolly 81’), Ekpiteta, Hamilton, Kouassi (Dembele 46’), Oakley-Boothe (Lavery 46’).

Subs not used: O’Donnell (GK), Weir, Thompson.

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