MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 4-1 Newport

Jack Payne scored his first goal for the club
Jack Payne scored his first goal for the club
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A dominant second half performance from Blackpool saw off bottom-of-the-table Newport County as the Seasiders ran out comfortable 4-1 winners at Bloomfield Road.

The win takes Blackpool back into the play-off spots as Gary Bowyer’s men got back to winning ways after losing their six-match unbeaten run at Mansfield Town during the week.

With scores tied at 1-1 at half-time, the Seasiders ran in three goals as they produced a rampant performance in the second period,, with goals from Jack Payne, Kyle Vassell and Kelvin Mellor adding to Brad Potts' first-half opener.

Goalkeeper Sam Slocombe also produced a crucial stop to save a second half a penalty while the score was still 1-1.

The three points means Blackpool return to seventh in the League Two table and means they have now scored 12 goals in their last three home games in the league.

Blackpool fans were appealing for a penalty with the first real action of the game when the returning Kyle Vassell went down in the box, only for the referee to give a free-kick the other way.

But just a minute later, the Seasiders were gifted an early lead when Brad Potts capitalised on a howler by the Newport ‘keeper Joe Day.

Potts chased onto a long ball into the channel and beat Day to the ball, before sliding in to tap into an empty net.

The visitors went close in their search for an immediate response, when full-back Jazzi Barnum-Bobb’s effort was deflected narrowly wide of Sam Slocombe’s far post.

The Exiles then had an encouraging spell of possession where they looked very neat and tidy on the ball, but rarely threatened the Pool goal.

Colin Daniel, who had started the game promisingly, gave away a needless free-kick after making a cynical foul, having just handed possession to Newport in Pool’s own half.

The winger, who started the game on the left but soon changed over to the right, was also lucky to get away without a booking.

Fortunately for Pool, Newport’s intricate attempt to work the ball into the box came to nothing.

The visitors got themselves back on level terms with a well-worked and well-taken goal by Rhys Healey.

The forward was given too much space inside the Blackpool box having originally blocked a Kelvin Mellor clearance, but did well to beat Tom Aldred before slotting past Slocombe in the Blackpool goal.

The goal came out of nothing but the visitors were the side looking to take the initiative in the game.

Newport’s Jack Jebb stung the palms of Slocombe after drilling in a low shot from just outside the area.

Healey went close to grabbing his second but was denied by some smart defending by Aldred, who forced him wide of goal after the striker had looked to get in behind the Pool defence.

Brad Potts had a good chance to double his tally with a free-kick on the edge of the box, but his drilled effort was charged down by the Newport wall.

The ball was eventually worked back into the box towards Clark Robertson who saw his weak header easily saved.

The Seasiders were inches, perhaps even centimetres away from retaking the lead when Colin Daniel’s deflected effort looped over the goalkeeper, hit the inside of the post and rolled across the goalline - but somehow stayed out.

That chance spurred the hosts on and Kelvin Mellor then went close after heading just over having met a Jack Payne free-kick.

The half-time whistle came at the wrong time for Blackpool as they continued to take the fight to Newport, who found themselves pinned in their own box.

Pool continued on the front foot at the start of the second period, but it was the Exiles who created the first chance of the half with skipper Sean Rigg seeing his deflected effort fly narrowly over the top of Slocombe’s bar.

Newport were handed a huge opportunity to take the lead when the referee pointed to the spot after Andy Taylor had brought down Mark Randall in the box.

Sean Rigg stepped up only to see his low spot kick saved by Slocombe diving to his right.

Blackpool eventually retook the lead, with midfielder Jack Payne being rewarded for showing sheer grit and determination to get into the box to net his first goal for the club.

He raced onto a lay-off from Jamille Matt, and volleyed into the bottom corner after his initial shot had been blocked - leaving the Newport ‘keeper stranded on the floor.

The Seasiders piled on the pressure as they searched for a third goal, with Daniel going close with a volley from just outside the area that went narrowly over the bar.

Jamille Matt was then only able to stab over the bar after finding himself in behind the Newport backline.

Blackpool’s third came from Kyle Vassell who finished in trademark fashion for his 11th goal of the season. The in-form forward created space for himself in the Newport box before rifling into the bottom corner.

The fourth then followed soon after, with full back Kelvin Mellor rising highest to head home at the near post from Bright Osayi-Samuel’s corner.

Substitute Danny Philliskirk went close to adding a fifth but his back post effort went the wrong side of the post, crashing into the side netting.

Despite being pleased with the win, Gary Bowyer will be concerned with injuries to Colin Daniel and Kelvin Mellor - who were both forced off the pitch in the second half.

Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor, Daniel (Osayi-Samuel), Payne (McAlister), Pugh, Potts, Vassell, Matt (Philliskirk)

Subs not used: Lyness, Nolan, Cullen, Gnanduillet

Newport: Day, Barnum-Bobb (Meite), Butler, Jones, Tozer, Sheehan, Randall (Compton), Healey, Rigg, Jebb, O'Hanlon (Myrie-Williams)

Subs not used: Bittner, Green, Evans, Wood

Referee: Mark Heywood

Attendance: 3,062 (444)