MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 0-1 Mansfield

Slocombe was unable to keep out Matt Green's deflected effort.
Slocombe was unable to keep out Matt Green's deflected effort.

Blackpool slumped to their second consecutive defeat on home turf with a 1-0 defeat against Mansfield Town.

Matt Green's deflected first half effort was enough to secure the three points for Steve Evans' men, who secured the double over the Seasiders.

The defeat sees Pool drop down to 10th in the League Two table, with the majority of sides around them winning.

The Seasiders made a bright start to the game which was being played on a bitterly cold afternoon at Bloomfield Road.

Armand Gnanduillet, making his first start in the league in over two months, posed plenty of problems for the Stags in the early stages with his combative hold-up play.

With just six minutes on the clock, Pool won a free kick on the edge of the Mansfield box which Michael Cain fizzed narrowly over the bar.

Sam Slocombe could count himself slightly fortunate to escape a booking after Chris Hamilton beat the Blackpool ‘keeper to a ball over the top and found himself being clattered to the ground.

The hosts continued to take the game to the Stags and almost took the lead when Kelvin Mellor met Danny Pugh’s in-swinging corner perfectly, but his header was blocked on the line by Ben Whiteman.

Steve Evans’ men seemed content to sit back and look for opportunities on the break, but chances were few and far between.

Full back Kelvin Mellor dusted himself off after being floored by his teammate Tom Aldred to have a go from range, fizzing a 30-yard effort just wide of the post.

But it was the Stags who took the lead against the run of play, but it was a goal that was completely avoidable from Pool’s point of view.

Clark Robertson sloppily gave the ball away and Matt Green was there to pounce on his mistake, hitting a shot that was deflected off Danny Pugh and beyond Slocombe.

It was nothing more than a hopeful shot from the edge of the box which happened to wrongfoot the Pool ‘keeper at his near post.

The goal gave Mansfield confidence and they went close to doubling their lead with two shots from distance, with Malvind Benning and Chris Hamilton stinging Slocombe’s palms.

The Seasiders battled to get back on level terms before the half-time break but they struggled to create any opportunities of note, although Gnanduillet flashed a header wide of goal from eight yards out after Brad Potts had swung a cross into the box.

The Stags began the second half in confident mood and seemed first to every loose ball.

Defender Krystian Pearce had the first chance of the half, heading over the bar after being left unmarked inside the Pool box.

Gary Bowyer’s men just weren’t at it in the opening stages of the second period and the Pool boss hauled off the ineffective Danny Philliskirk and Armand Gnanduillet with Bright Osayi-Samuel and Jamille Matt.

The changes saw the Seasiders up the tempo and all of a sudden, they began to win those second balls.

Osayi-Samuel made an instant impact and looked to take on the Mansfield defence, who up to that point had been given an easy afternoon.

Pool’s revival was short lived, however, as a well-drilled Mansfield side left the home side resorting to hopeful crosses into the box, which were easily cleared.

The visitors were more than content with their slender 1-0 lead and began to slow the clock down from the hour mark onwards.

Matt’s first action of the game saw him attempt an ambitious overhead kick after the ball had dropped for him inside the Mansfield box, but it fell harmlessly into Kean’s hands.

Matt then found himself one-on-one with Stags defender Kyle Howkins as he bore down on goal, only to be outmuscled to the ground.

The Pool fans were up in arms appealing for a foul on the edge of the box, which would have surely seen Howkins sent off as last man, but the referee let play continue.

Mansfield then raced down the other end of the pitch and almost doubled their lead, with Matt Green going close to a second with a looping volley that just dropped wide of Slocombe’s far post.

The home huffed and puffed in the final stages but never looked like making a meaningful dent in the Mansfield defence.

With just three minutes left on the clock, the Pool fans were desperately appealing for another penalty as substitute Mark Cullen went down in the box - but again nothing was given.

Pool thought they had that all-important equaliser in the second minute of injury time, only for Mark Cullen's close-range volley to drop the wrong side of the Mansfield goal.

With the gilt-edged chance going begging, the Stags managed to hold on for all three points.

Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor, Potts, Pugh, Cain, Philliskirk (Osayi-Samuel), Vassell (Cullen), Gnanduillet (Matt)

Subs not used: Lyness, Aimson, McAlister, Payne

Mansfield: Kean, Bennett, Howkins, Pearce, Benning, Collins, Byrom (McGuire), Whiteman, Hamilton, Arquin (Rose), Green (Baxendale)

Subs not used: Shearer, Hoban, Clements, Hurst

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 2,948