Scunthorpe 0 Blackpool 1

Blackpool's Brad Potts
Blackpool's Brad Potts
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A first half Brad Potts goal earned Blackpool their first win under Neil McDonald, and their first away from home in 498 days.

The midfielder bundled Henry Cameron’s corner over the line in a game which saw keeper Colin Doyle pull off a number of fine saves for the Seasiders.

It all meant Pool won on the road for the first time since beating Wigan back in April 2014.

The expectation of an easy afternoon clearly spread around the whole stadium, there was no atmosphere around at all as the game began in total silence.

It had the feel of a pre-season game.

The only noise coming from the home supporters were early moans and growns, apparently boss Mark Robins is under pressure already at Glanford Park.

If keeper Doyle was nervous about the strength of his shoulder on his return from injury, he had an early chance to test it.

After just five minutes the much fancied Kevin Van Veen found space at the edge of the box and fired goalwards from 18 yards, Doyle dealt with it with ease.

I’m not sure what he’d have thought of the ‘England’s number one’ chants from the travelling fans behind him, he’s Irish! At least they meant well, I suppose.

Apart from that there was very little to report from the opening 15 minutes, with McDonald’s men giving as good as they got in the middle of the park.

As with the last away game the five-man midfield was competing well in the opening stages.

While it hasn’t quite happened for Brad Potts in a Blackpool shirt as yet, he’s shown glimpses of quality and certainly isn’t scared of trying his luck from range.

And it was he who had Pool’s first effort on goal on Saturday, pulling the trigger from 25 yards although it was always going wide.

It was a half of few chances, although with ten minutes of the half remaining the game burst into life.

First Van Veen went close with a wonderful acrobatic effort from ten yards, before Blackpool went up the other end and took the lead.

It wasn’t the prettiest of efforts, but they all count as Potts bundled home a Henry Cameron corner at the far post.

I’m not sure which part of Potts’ body it came off, and there was confusion whether or not it even crossed the line, but no-one in tangerine was complaining.

It will go down as the midfield man’s first goal for the club.

The growing voices of discontent from the Scunthorpe fans was music to Pool’s ears and an indication the Seasiders were probably good value for their lead.

On the stroke of half-time Doyle had to make a superb save to deny Paddy Madden who rose brilliantly at the far post to head towards goal.

It was a huge save at a vital time for Blackpool and just a minute later he was at it again.

This time denying former Preston man Scott Laird at full stretch just as referee Tony Harrington blew for half-time.

In an attempt to liven things up the home side introduced Hakeeb Adelakun at the break, a much more attacking threat than the departing Scott Wiseman.

And the change certainly gave a look of intent to Scunthorpe who had Blackpool all but pinned in their own box for the opening stages of the second half.

It wouldn’t have bothered Blackpool, who for a change had something to hang onto, and you have to say were doing it quite well.

Only a long range effort from Madden looked like threatening their goal.

On the hour mark McDonald chose to match their hosts with a change of formation, bringing on Clark Robertson and debutant Norris while switching to a 5-3-2 line up.

At this point it was a pretty one-sided affair, something the statistics backed-up, with Pool having just one shot on target to the home side’s seven.

That tally was doubled on 68 minutes and it probably should have put the game to bed when Cullen raced in on goal only to force a save out of Luke Daniels.

Potts capitalised on a mistake in midfield to slide the striker in, he probably should have scored.

From then on in it was backs-to-the-wall stuff for the Seasiders who were dropping deeper and deeper and more than happy to sit with ten men behind the ball.

While Blackpool were defending well, it was a superb display from Doyle which kept the score at 1-0, again coming to the rescue with eleven minutes remaining.

This time a deep cross from substitute Gary McSheffrey found Madden who headed goal wards from all of five yards, only for Doyle to stand strong and beat it away.

In the end it was a gritty and determined display which will delight the manager.

I think all in tangerine owe Doyle a pint!