Blackpool 4-1 Newport: Five things we learned

Brad Potts celebrates Pool's opener

Brad Potts celebrates Pool's opener

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Blackpool FC writer Matt Scrafton takes a look at the key talking points from Blackpool's 4-1 win at home to Newport County.

Penalty save changed the game

With the score finely balanced at 1-1 in the second half, the referee awarded the visitors a fairly soft penalty after Andy Taylor was adjudged to have brought down Mark Randall in the area. Newport skipper Sean Rigg stepped up but 'keeper Sam Slocombe produced a fine save to dive down to his right to steer it away from the bottom corner for his second penalty save of the season. The save filled Blackpool with confidence and from that point onwards, there was only going to be one winner. Attack after attack followed and when Bowyer's men are in that mood at home, there's little that can stop them.

All-round team performance

With a win of this nature you normally get two or three stand-out performers, but every Blackpool delivered the goods on Saturday. Every player got at least a 7 or an 8 in my player ratings. Sam Slocombe perhaps deserves extra credit for his penalty save, although he may have done better with Newport's goal, and Jamille Matt and Kyle Vassell were superb in attack. Vassell especially continues to be Pool's star man and on Saturday he showed Bowyer exactly what his side had been missing during the midweek defeat at Mansfield. But against Newport his performance was backed up by the other 10 players around him, which will go some way to disputing doubts that the Seasiders are a one-man team.

Home form is key

Blackpool are unbeaten in six league games at Bloomfield Road and have only been beaten once at their home ground - the 1-0 defeat to high-flying Plymouth back in August. If the League Two table was judged solely on home form, Blackpool would be fourth - while if it was judged on away form, they would be 18th. Performances and results at Bloomfield Road are the main reason for the Seasiders' ascent into the play-off spots and they've beaten some good sides on home turf, in Doncaster and Portsmouth. But if Blackpool are going to look any higher, their away form has got to be addressed.

Pool are second half Kings

Blackpool are starting to make a habit of coming out of the blocks at the start of the second half and blitzing their opposition. Nothing could split the two sides in the first half, yet in the second period Newport couldn't deal with the Seasiders' pace and physicality. Pool are turning games on their head in 10-15 minute spells, especially at Bloomfield Road, and sides like Newport are brutally being put to the sword when up to that point, they had done little wrong. In fact they had passed it around well and certainly didn't look like a side rooted to the bottom of the table. In the second half, Blackpool made them look very, very ordinary.

Goal difference speaks volumes

Blackpool are one of only nine sides in League Two to have a positive goal difference, while they are one of five to have one that reaches into double digits. They are the league's third highest top scorers but it's not like they're leaking goals at the back - conceding 22 in their 19 games. Bowyer's men have now recorded four goals in three consecutive league games at Bloomfield Road - the last time four or more were scored in that sequence was 1985. While the league table is still incredibly tight, with only five points separating Blackpool in seventh and Notts County in 19th, it's points that matters but goal difference is a good indicator of where sides are likely to finish come the end of the season.