Blackpool half-term report: Player ratings

Blackpool have much to play for in the second half of the campaign.
Blackpool have much to play for in the second half of the campaign.

The first half of the League Two season has come and gone with Blackpool ending the year in eighth place.

With 23 of the 46 league fixtures now completed, the Seasiders are well in the hunt for the play-off spots but a shot at automatic promotion appears out of their reach.

Blackpool players celebrate

Blackpool players celebrate

Blackpool FC reporter Matt Scrafton takes a look at how Gary Bowyer’s squad has performed so far...

Goalkeepers

Sam Slocombe - 7

The former Oxford man has made the number one spot his own after putting in a string of impressive performances. But only six clean sheets have been kept in the league which will be something to work on in the second part of the season.

Dean Lyness - 6

Proven to be a reliable backup ‘keeper after stepping up to the mark in Slocombe’s absence. He did, however, make a costly mistake which led to the winning goal during the 1-0 defeat against Crawley.

Myles Boney - 6

Put in a solid performance on his senior debut after coming off the bench to replace the injured Lyness during the 1-1 draw with Cambridge, and made two further appearances in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Defenders

Andy Taylor - 7

The left-back has proven to be a solid and reliable part of Pool’s backline. He also bagged a crucial equaliser with a sweetly-struck free-kick in the final minute of injury time to rescue a point against Cambridge United back in October.

Clark Robertson - 6

Barring a short spell out through injury, the Scot has enjoyed a consecutive run of games in the side this season. He’s looked shaky at times and has made a few costly mistakes, but his partnership with Aldred continues to be fairly solid.

Tom Aldred - 7

He’s been a rock in the heart of the defence for the majority of the season but his performances have slipped of late. He’s also acknowledged himself he ought to have more goals to his name.

Kelvin Mellor - 7

The former Crewe defender has been an ever present at right back and has rarely put a foot wrong all season. He’s now beginning to add goals to his game, with four so far this season.

Will Aimson - 6

Appears to have fallen out of favour despite playing well during the 3-1 win against Portsmouth in September. He’s only made four league appearances but has received runouts in the cup competitions.

Eddie Nolan - 6

First league appearance for his new club didn’t come until December, where he filled in for Kelvin Mellor against Luton. He’s not done much wrong on the occasions he’s played in cup competitions, which he’s done on seven occasions this season.

Luke Higham - 6

Rarely put a foot wrong in his three appearances for Blackpool this season, which have all come in the Checkatrade Trophy. Also spent a month on loan with National League North side Nuneaton Town.

Midfielders

Jim McAlister - 6

Struggled to break the Jack Payne-Danny Pugh central midfield partnership, but has showed plenty of endeavour and willingness in the games he has played in. Put in a Man of the Match display on his league return against Hartlepool.

Danny Pugh - 7

Endured a frustrating start to the season after missing a large chunk of games through injury, but has brought steel to the midfield since his return to the side. Deserves to wear the captain’s armband.

Jack Payne - 6

Started his Blackpool career in the worst way possible after being sent off against Plymouth, but has impressed since coming back into the side. Performances have dropped towards the end of the year though.

Brad Potts - 7

Finishes the year as Blackpool’s second highest goalscorer, behind Kyle Vassell, with six league goals to his name. Remains a constant threat in the vast majority of games but needs to produce the goods more consistently.

Colin Daniel - 6.5

Began to impress on a more consistent basis in November before pulling up with a badly-timed injury during the 4-1 win against Newport County. Still plenty more to come.

Danny Philliskirk - 5

Still yet to net his first goal of the season but has had plenty of gilt-edged opportunities. Unlikely to play up front in his preferred position but has looked out of sorts when played out on the right wing.

Mark Yeates - 5

With just four appearances in the league to his name, the Irishman will undoubtedly be one of the most frustrated players in Gary Bowyer’s squad. The 31-year-old impressed against Crewe but has offered little in the cup competitions.

Bright Osayi-Samuel - 6

Bagged his first professional goal with a sublime finish during the 2-0 win at Stevenage. But he’s another who has failed to nail down regular appearances with his manager demanding more end product from him.

Michael Cain - 6.5

The on-loan midfielder has shown calmness and quality on the ball on the rare occasions he has found himself on the field. As a result, he can consider himself unfortunate not to have forced himself into the side.

Henry Cameron - 6

The youngster has only made three appearances this season, all in cup competitions. The 19-year-old will have been boosted, however, by earning another cap for New Zealand.

Strikers

Jamille Matt - 6.5

Took a while to get going, with his first goal for the club not coming until November, but he’s ended the year strongly and enjoyed a spell that brought four goals in six games. Appears to have struck up a strong partnership with Kyle Vassell.

Kyle Vassell - 8

Undoubtedly the star man of the season to date, Vassell has 11 goals in all competitions to his name and has bullied opposition defences with a whole host of dominant performances.

Mark Cullen - 6

Only two goals to his name probably tells you all you need to know about Cullen’s frustrating campaign to date. He’s worked hard and showed plenty of endeavour but has missed several chances in front of goal, but has ended the year strongly.

Armand Gnanduillet - 6.5

Enjoyed a number of starts at the start of the season, which saw him score three in as many games in September. The Frenchman has since found himself on the bench with Gary Bowyer preferring Kyle Vassell and Jamille Matt as his frontmen.

Jack Redshaw - 6

Only just returning to the fold after spending months out on the sidelines through shin splints. Made his long-awaited comeback against Doncaster in the Checkatrade Trophy and now seems to be involved in the squad.