Match report: Blackpool 0 Plymouth Argyle 1

Mark Cullen could have opened the scoring for Blackpool in the first half
Mark Cullen could have opened the scoring for Blackpool in the first half
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It’s five without a win now for the Seasiders as they were punished for failing to take their chances at Bloomfield Road.

Nauris Bulvitis gave Argyle all three points with a 51st minute header, seconds after Sam Slocombe had brilliantly denied Ryan Donaldson.

Then, just to rub further salt into the home side’s wound, debutant Jack Payne’s debut lasted five minutes before he was sent off for a professional foul.

The home side certainly had enough chances to take something from the game with Armand Gnanduillet and Mark Cullen spurning opportunities.

Pool boss Gary Bowyer had made three changes from the side beaten at Crystal Palace in midweek.

In came Cullen, Andy Taylor and skipper Danny Pugh with Will Aimson, Eddie Nolan and Michael Cain the men to make way.

It was the visitors who began brightly with Graham Carey curling over Sam Slocombe’s bar from an acute angle and Jimmy Spencer narrowly off target from the edge of the area.

However, Bowyer’s players increasingly grew into the game as the half progressed and should have had the lead by the break.

Pilgrims’ keeper Luke McCormick had kept out Kelvin Mellor’s early shot but was called into more serious action midway through the half.

Gnanduillet got away from Sonny Bradley and advanced on goal, only for his shot to be blocked by the onrushing McCormick.

Seconds later and Andy Taylor’s first-time cross from the left-hand side found the unmarked Cullen, whose header went into the ground before striking the frame of the bar.

Brad Potts saw a shot deflected behind before the midfielder’s 70-yard run from a Plymouth corner ended with a cross which Cullen half-volleyed off target.

Argyle began the second half on the front foot and almost came close to opening the scoring on 50 minutes but Slocombe made a superb save to keep out Donaldson’s close-range header.

His efforts were in vain as, moments later, Bulvitis headed home from six yards to hand the visitors the initiative.

Mellor and Potts saw efforts off target at the other end with Carey narrowly wide of Slocombe’s goal with a free kick from 20 yards.

Bowyer made three changes during the course of the second half with one of them, Payne, handed his debut.

His first appearance only lasted five minutes, though, before he was sent off for bringing down Jake Jervis as the last man when Argyle broke from a Seasiders corner.

Clark Robertson headed a corner over for the home side before Gnanduillet came within inches of equalising, only for Gary Miller to head his shot off the line.

Despite five added minutes, Pool could not find an equaliser and now seek an upturn in fortunes in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy tie against Cheltenham Town.