Match report: Blackpool 2 Oldham Athletic 1

Kyle Vassell celebrates scoring for Blackpool
Kyle Vassell celebrates scoring for Blackpool
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It’s two home wins from two for Gary Bowyer’s Blackpool side - but they were made to work hard for it.

First-half goals from Sean Longstaff and Kyle Vassell had them well in control after a dominant opening 45 minutes.

However, the visitors - as dangerous in the second period as they were awful in the first - piled on the pressure after the break.

Darius Osei set up a nervy final 20 minutes by halving Blackpool’s lead but the Seasiders held on for three points.

Bowyer had made three changes from the starting XI which drew at Doncaster Rovers seven days earlier.

In came Callum Cooke, Viv Solomon-Otabor and Bright Osayi-Samuel for Nick Anderton, Will Aimson and Mark Cullen.

It also meant a change of shape as the Seasiders switched back to the 4-3-3 formation which served them so well against MK Dons.

Bowyer’s selection possibilities highlighted the dearth of options available to his Oldham counterpart, John Sheridan.

Injuries had decimated the Latics’ squad to the extent that the visitors could only name three substitutes.

As the old saying goes, however, a team can only beat what is in front of them and the Seasiders looked like doing that with aplomb.

They set the tone inside a minute, winning the first of a number of corners which came to nothing.

That mattered little as they took a sixth minute lead in emphatic fashion; possession football from back to front ended with Longstaff firing past Ben Wilson from 25 yards.

It wasn’t all plain sailing as Athletic should have levelled seven minutes later but Cameron Dummigan fired wastefully wide when well placed.

That was arguably the key moment as, instead of being pegged back at 1-1, the Seasiders went straight down the other end and doubled their lead.

Vassell got off the mark for the season, making it 2-0 with a shot that squirmed under Ben Wilson.

It may have been fortunate but it was a deserved goal for the striker, who bullied Brian Wilson, Anthony Gerrard and Peter Clarke in the opening half.

It could have been worse for Athletic but Cooke and Clark Robertson sent efforts wide and Osayi-Samuel had one turned behind for a corner.

The winger started the second half in the same fashion, looking lively but unable to test the Oldham keeper.

Then, in complete contrast to their first-half display, the visitors finally began to establish a foothold.

Gerrard had a close-range header deflected behind before the introduction of Kallum Mantack gave them some much needed impetus going forward.

The substitute saw one cross strike Oli Turton and bounce just wide before he dragged a shot across the face of goal and wide.

Vassell was denied a second goal by the top of the crossbar before Oldham’s improved play brought a goal with 20 minutes left.

Ryan Allsop kept out Aaron Amadi-Holloway’s shot but Osei was first to the loose ball and hammered home.

Mantack had another attempt blocked by a home defender but it was the home side who had the better chances on the break as Athletic chased the game.

Osayi-Samuel, Solomon-Otabor, Longstaff and substitute Armand Gnanduillet all failed to test the keeper, while Mason Fawns had the final chance for Oldham but his late effort was high, wide and downright ugly.

Blackpool: Allsop, Turton, Robertson, Tilt, Daniel, Longstaff, Ryan, Cooke (D’Almeida 78), Solomon-Otabor, Vassell (Gnanduillet 85), Osayi-Samuel (Delfouneso 78). Subs not used: Williams, Mellor, Taylor, Quigley.

Oldham Athletic: Ben Wilson, Dummigan, Brian Wilson, Clarke, Gerrard (Mantack 55), Hunt, Fane (Fawns 55), Banks, Gardner, Osei, Amadi-Holloway. Sub not used: Edmundson.

Referee: Peter Bankes.

Attendance: 4,642.