Match report: Blackpool 1 AFC Wimbledon 0

Blackpool defeated AFC Wimbledon at Bloomfield Road
Blackpool defeated AFC Wimbledon at Bloomfield Road
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Sean Longstaff’s fourth of the season gave Blackpool a third consecutive league win at Bloomfield Road.

The midfielder netted in his fourth consecutive match as Gary Bowyer’s side claimed three points but missed a number of late chances to make the victory more comfortable.

That was despite playing against 10 men for almost 40 minutes following Jimmy Abdou’s straight red card seconds after Longstaff’s 52nd minute strike.

The midfielder’s afternoon ended early following a two-footed challenge on Callum Cooke, one which earned the wrath of referee Carl Boyeson.

Bowyer had made one change from the Seasiders’ last league outing against Oldham Athletic seven days earlier.

With Bright Osayi-Samuel’s belated move to QPR finally going through on Friday evening, it meant a start out wide for Nathan Delfouneso.

A couple of incisive runs apart, Delfouneso had a quiet first half, though that went for almost all of the players in a scrappy opening 45 minutes.

The Seasiders failed to hit anywhere approaching the same heights as seven days earlier, though AFC Wimbledon were solid where Oldham had been shambolic.

Kyle Vassell had an early effort blocked and another from 20 yards comfortably held by Dons’ keeper George Long, who also easily held Jimmy Ryan’s deflected free-kick.

Viv Solomon-Otabor fired weakly at Long after cutting in from the left-hand side, though it was the visitors who went closest to scoring before the break.

Callum Kennedy’s cross bounced off Deji Oshilaja when he was well placed, moments before George Francomb shot over from the edge of the Blackpool area.

The best chance came with half-time a minute away as Cody McDonald’s lovely touch took him away from the home defence but Ryan Allsop was out quickly to smother his effort.

Stalemate continued for seven second-half minutes until the game changed irrevocably within the space of 60 seconds.

Longstaff made it four goals in as many matches, racing into the Dons’ area before switching the ball onto his right foot and firing home.

Moments later and the visitors’ task was made even harder by Abdou’s rash challenge.

Despite the man advantage, the Seasiders were unable to put daylight between themselves and their visitors.

Longstaff curled an effort straight at Long from 18 yards as the Dons proved to be obdurate opposition, albeit one which didn’t really test Allsop after the break.

Solomon-Otabor had a shot cleared by the Dons’ defence and Cooke blazed off target when well placed as the Seasiders sought a second goal.

Another Solomon-Otabor effort was deflected just wide of goal before Delfouneso saw a header brilliantly saved by Long with Clark Robertson lashing the rebound wide.

Vassell fired high and wide after the Seasiders messed up a golden chance while, in a frenetic finish, Solomon-Otabor struck the woodwork and Delfouneso was dispossessed with two team-mates unmarked.

There was still time for Vassell to see a free-kick kept out by Long but one goal ultimately proved enough.

Blackpool: Allsop, Turton, Robertson, Tilt, Daniel, Longstaff (D’Almeida 74), Ryan, Cooke, Solomon-Otabor, Vassell, Delfouneso. Subs not used: Williams, Mellor, A Taylor, Clayton, Anderton, Quigley.

AFC Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Kennedy (Forrester 63), Robinson, Oshilaja, Trotter, Abdou, Barcham, Francomb, McDonald, L Taylor (Appiah 68). Subs not used: McDonnell, Nightingale, Parrett, Sibbick, Hartigan.

Referee: Carl Boyeson.

Attendance: 3,457.