MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 3-1 Morecambe

Cullen gives Pool the lead.
Cullen gives Pool the lead.
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Brad Potts inspired Blackpool to their first league win at Bloomfield Road since November as they saw off Morecambe 3-1.

The midfielder bagged a goal and an assist to earn the Seasiders just their second win in their last 11 games.

Potts produced a superb cross to assist Mark Cullen, who headed home on his first start since New Year’s Eve, before doubling the lead himself in the second half.

The win, which sees Gary Bowyer’s men return to the top half of the League Two table, was rounded off when Ryan Edwards scored an own goal, although Antony Evans reduced arrears for Morecambe in the dying minutes.

Morecambe, cheered on by a boisterous away following, made a bright start to the game and were clearly brimming with confidence given their recent form - which had seen them lose just one of their last 11 games.

But chances in the opening period were few and far between, with both defences on top.

In fact the first opportunity of the game brought a goal, with Mark Cullen marking his first start since New Year’s Eve by giving the Seasiders the lead.

The striker’s fourth goal of the season came courtesy of a clever glancing header after beating his man to get on the end of Brad Potts’ superb cross.

Potts, who had made a bright start to the game, then came close to adding a second but Morecambe ‘keeper Barry Roache got a strong palm to his effort from the edge of the box.

Morecambe were forced to withstand a spell of pressure from the hosts following the early goal, but they had chances of their own on the break - with Will Aimson producing a superb last-ditch block to deny Kevin Ellison who was threatening to get in behind Pool’s backline.

The Shrimps were struggling to get to grips with Potts and the midfielder almost made it two with a superb bit of solo skill - which saw him drill narrowly wide of the far post after showing great composure to bring a long ball down.

The away side grew into the game as the first half wore on and should have got back on level terms through Paul Mullin, but the striker couldn’t get enough on his shot but Dean Lyness was still forced into making a save down to his right.

Clark Robertson then produced a vital block to deny Alex Whitmore at the back post following the rebound.

Blackpool were forced to withstand a spell of pressure at the start of the second period, but they weathered it well and came out of it two goals to the good - although it came in controversial circumstances.

Morecambe thought they should have been given a free kick deep in Pool’s half, but the referee waved the appeals away which allowed the Seasiders to immediately break - with Potts taking advantage by drilling home after being set free by Kelvin Mellor.

Two then should have become three when Jordan Flores was sent through on goal but the on-loan Wigan midfielder produced a weak shot that Roache easily saved.

The miss seemed to spur the Shrimps into action as they took confidence from the miss, as they nearly took advantage of some pinball in the Pool box.

The game was virtually put to bed when, with just 10 minutes remaining, Pool added a third courtesy of a Ryan Edwards own goal - who deflected Bright Osayi-Samuel’s cross into the far corner of the net.

The three-goal lead didn’t last for long though, as substitute Antony Evans fired his side back into it with an effort from close range with his first action since coming on.

Morecambe pressed to get back in the game but the men in tangerine held on for a long-overdue win on home turf.

Blackpool: Lyness, Mellor, Aimson, Aldred, Robertson, Daniel, Payne (Black), Flores (Osayi-Samuel), Potts, Delfouneso, Cullen (Gnanduillet)

Subs: Boney, Nolan, Odelusi, Correia

Morecambe: Roache, Wakefield (Turner), Edwards, Mullin, Murphy, Molyneux, Ellison, Wildig (Evans), Whitmore, Fleming (McGowan), Duckworth

Subs: Nizic, Winnard, Conlan, Jordan

Referee: Tony Harrington

Attendance: 3,453 (763 Morecambe)