Blackpool 1 Doncaster Rovers 2 - It’s rock on Tommy as Rowe ends seaside hoodoo

Tommy Rowe
Tommy Rowe
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Tommy Rowe rocked at the seaside to ensure Rovers finally had an enjoyable outing in Blackpool.

The midfielder struck twice to help Rovers to only their second win in seven at Bloomfield Road and help banish any lingering worries of a relegation fight.

Blackpool had levelled the game up through Colin Daniel as they took advantage of a sloppy start to the second period.

But Rovers rallied and Rowe struck from a wonderfully worked free kick in a memorable Good Friday moment.

The game began at a rapid tempo with Blackpool looking to send long, diagonal balls into the channels which brought them success.

Rovers also looked to get forward quickly, working the ball down the flanks and looking to get crosses into the box quickly. Both sides however, struggled to craft good chances.

After a rather frenetic opening 15 minutes, Rovers dominated the ball for the remainder of the first half but struggled to break through a congested midfield.

Whenever they had the ball, one of the two Blackpool strikers would drop deep to closely mark Luke McCullough in attempt to cut off a creative route for Rovers.

And it meant the attack-minded Sean Longstaff was pushed deeper alongside his fellow midfielders, ensuring there was very little space in which Rovers could operate.

But they continued to push forward, without finding real chances.

The breakthrough finally came two minutes before the break - and was delivered with an element of fortune.

Rovers broke quickly from half way with the ball played in low to Alfie Beestin – in for the ill Alex Kiwomya – with his back to goal. He laid off superbly to the on-rushing Rowe who smashed a first time shot which looped up off the out-stretched leg of Clark Robertson and beyond keeper Lumley.

Blackpool sent on former Rovers triallist Danny Philliskirk at half time and his introduction brought the hosts into the game.

Given license to operate behind now lone forward Armand Gnanduillet, he popped up in space left, right and centre with Rovers struggling to track him.

Gnanduillet drew a stunning save from Marko Marosi early in the half when he met a Philliskirk cross with a powerful header, with the Rovers keeper tipping over acrobatically.

By 55 minutes, the hosts were level.

Failing to heed the warnings of the opening minutes of the game, Rovers left Daniel in acres of space on the left when he brought down a superb raking ball from Jay Spearing and drilled in low at the near post with Marosi slow to get across.

It all became a little frantic for Rovers in the aftermath of the goal as they struggled to track Philliskirk and handle the considerably upped pace of the hosts.

Ollie Turton should have put Blackpool ahead when meeting a Philliskirk cross but scuffed wide.

As the tempo dropped again, Rovers struck to go back in front.

Coppinger looked set to go for goal from a free kick with Rowe and John Marquis ahead of him with backs to goal. But Marquis flicked the ball square and Rowe spun before lashing a low free kick into the bottom corner.

Blackpool struggled to lift themselves again and were ripe for the picking on the counterattack.

McCullough almost caught out Lumley with a curling effort from 25 yards but the Blackpool keeper got down well.

And Rovers saw out the game in relative comfort to claim consecutive league victories for only the third time this season.

BLACKPOOL: Lumley; Aimson (Solomon-Otabor 79), Robertson, Tilt; Turton, Spearing, Longstaff (Menga 79), Ryan, Daniel; Delfouneso (Philliskirk 46), Gnanduillet. Subs not used: Mafoumbi, D’Almeida, Agyei, Cooke.

ROVERS: Marosi; Blair, Wright, Baudry, Mason; McCullough; Houghton, Rowe; Coppinger; Beestin, Marquis. Subs not used: Lawlor, Boyle, Whiteman, Kongolo, Ben Khemis, May, Williams.

Referee: Ollie Yates (Staffordshire)