Southend United 2 Blackpool 1: Five things we learned

Blackpool's Jimmy Ryan misses his late penalty
Blackpool's Jimmy Ryan misses his late penalty
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A third league away loss of the season for Blackpool saw them beaten at Roots Hall on Saturday.

Goals from Anthony Wordsworth and Simon Cox gave Southend United victory despite Kyle Vassell pulling one back as Jimmy Ryan missed a penalty.

So, after a disappointing outcome from the trip to Roots Hall, what else was learned?

Sod’s Law

It was somewhat ironic that the two key performers in the Seasiders’ loss were arguably their most consistent players this season.

Curtis Tilt was punished for two defensive errors, while skipper Ryan missed the penalty which would have earned the latest of points.

Seasiders’ boss Gary Bowyer was, however, avoiding the blame game afterwards and preferred to talk up the duo’s contribution so far this season.

It will be interesting to see if they are given the chance to bounce back when Blackpool travel to Accrington Stanley for Tuesday’s Checkatrade trophy meeting.

Playing catch-up

Yesterday was only the fourth league game this season in which Bowyer’s players had trailed.

Their response to going behind was impressive, particularly in the second half as they caused nerves to set in among a section of the home support.

However, as Bowyer admitted afterwards, they can’t continue to give the opposition a two-goal start and hope to take something from the game.

A repeat show

While the Seasiders have gained plaudits for their long-range goalscoring this season, their last two away trips have brought another route to goal.

As with the defeat at Bristol Rovers seven days earlier, Ryan and Vassell linked up to get the better of the home defence.

Two away games have seen two terrific long passes - rather than long balls - from the skipper collected by Vassell, who has duly found the net.

It’s another weapon in Blackpool’s armoury, though Bowyer could be forgiven for wanting the odd scruffy tap-in from close range every now and then.

Finding his form

Since Mark Cullen picked up his hamstring injury at Doncaster Rovers last month, Vassell has been the main attacking focus for the Seasiders.

That work had only yielded one goal until a fortnight ago, since when his graft has been rewarded.

Four goals in a fortnight against Oxford United (2), Bristol Rovers and Southend have lifted him to the top of the club’s goalscoring charts with five so far.

Blackpool may, in theory, be playing against better defenders following promotion but, so far, Vassell has shown all the attributes to be a success this season.

Time off for good behaviour?

With the Checkatrade Trophy coming up on Tuesday and next Saturday’s league game called off, chances are some players will have to wait a fortnight off for their next competitive action.

It will be interesting to see how that mini-break is managed; will they be given a break after a hectic month or will there be continued hard work on the training ground?

As full-back Colin Daniel admitted afterwards, however, that break would allow them added time to improve on certain areas of their game.

Carrot or stick? It wouldn’t be a surprise if Bowyer manages to find a happy medium between the two.