Blackpool 2-0 Chesterfield FT

Liam O'Neil has his header cleared off the line - Pic By James Williamson
Liam O'Neil has his header cleared off the line - Pic By James Williamson
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Chesterfield managed just one decent shot on target as they succumbed to a goal in each half to a Blackpool side that had all but forgotten how to win.

Mark Cullen opened the scoring early on before Brad Potts turned defence into attack to wrap up the points and plunge Spireites down to 17th in the table.

Dean Saunders had made two changes, one enforced; Gboly Ariyibi was absent having joined up with the USA Olympic Qualifying Squad whilst Drew Talbot dropped down to the bench. That meant Chris Herd returned at right back whilst Ollie Banks came in as an attacking midfielder. Ian Evatt was back at the club he helped win promotion to the Premier League and was received well by a sparse home crowd.

Crisis club Blackpool, before this without a home win since January, made three changes after losing at Shrewsbury last weekend, a match manager Neil McDonald called ‘rock bottom;’ but they took just two minutes to get themselves ahead.

Henry Cameron delivered from the left, the ball bobbled about around the edge of the six but no defender took charge of clearing it; striker Jack Redshaw failed to control but the loose ball fell to Cullen to blast home and register his first goal since the season’s opening day.

That start gave the hosts plenty of confidence and, despite seeing Chesterfield boss first half possession, all of the serious chances before the break were created by players in Tangerine.

Redshaw and Cullen both forced Tommy Lee to save well whilst David Norris completely miscued from a gilt edged far post position.

Far too many balls were played in the air for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and they were meat and drink for big defenders Clark Robertson and Lloyd Jones whilst the midfield gave away the ball with alarming regularity.

Banks headed Spireites best opening 45 chance wide in a half that led to boos from some visiting fans. Armand Gnanduillet came on for the second half for Banks and began to help Chesterfield look more unified. Sam Morsy hit wide and then high before Dan Gardner delivered a corner from the left, Liam O’Neil headed well and the ball was blocked on the line; Evatt hit the second ball goalwards and that was blocked allowing Blackpool to break. Redshaw fed Potts and he found himself in the box to slot the ball beyond Lee.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake hit wide from a great position and, in the 89th minute, he forced Colin Doyle to make his only save of the night.

Blackpool leapfrogged Crewe Alexandra, who host Chesterfield on Saturday in what has become a huge match for Saunders and the team who have now gone five games without a win and are dropping down the table too fast for comfort.

blackpool: Doyle, Boyce, Jones, Robertson, Ferguson, Cameron (Herron 64), Norris, Potts, McAlister, Redshaw (Dunne 90), Cullen (Thomas 73). Subs (not used): Letheren, Cubero, Osayi-Samuel, Paterson.

Chesterfield: Lee, Herd (Talbot 65), Evatt, Hird, Jones, O’Neil, Morsy, O’Shea, Banks (Gnanduillet HT), Gardner (Simons 73), Ebanks-Blake. Subs (not used): Cairns, Humphreys, Raglan, Orrell.

Ref: Scott Duncan (Northumberland)

Booked: Herd (Chesterfield). Redshaw (Blackpool)