Blackpool relegated after yet another sorry defeat
Blackpool have been relegated to League Two, after yet another terrible defeat on the final day at Peterbrough.
Fleetwood’s 2-0 win at home to Crewe means the Seasiders will be playing in the Football League’s bottom tier for the first time since 2001.
It comes at the end of a shocking season for Neil McDonald and his side, with the Blackpool boss now clinging onto his job at Bloomfield Road after watching his side collapse yet again.
Things briefly looked positive for Pool when Jacob Blyth headed them into the lead on 16 minutes, but goals for Fleetwood soon ended their hopes.
By the time Marcus Maddison drew Peterborough level it hardly mattered, Blackpool were down.
And the typical Pool collapse came with 15 minutes to go, as substitute Jon Taylor’s hattrick was added to as Shaquile Colthirst rubbed salt into their wounds.
At the start of the day, with Mark Cullen injured many expected for a more attacking looking side for the Seasiders, but that wasn’t really to be the case.
He was one of two changes to the side which lost to Wigan a week earlier, with the other seeing Liam Smith replaced by David Norris, Jacob Blyth came into the attack.
In the end McDonald opted for a diamond-style midfield, with Jack Redshaw sitting just behind a front pairing of Blyth and Philliskirk.
It was a roasting afternoon down in Peterborough, adding to the heat already on McDonald and his men.
Pool started clearly on the front foot, getting plenty of men forward in the opening exchanges, and managed the game’s first effort on goal in the fifth minute.
Good build-up play saw the ball set-up for Philliskirk who’s powerful drive flew into the arms of Mark Tyler in the Posh goal.
It was a positive start which Blackpool so desperately needed.
What Pool didn’t didn’t do is make the most of some very free-kick’s in decent areas, with the delivery letting the Seasiders down.
That was until the 16th minute, when they took what most would tell you is a well deserved lead.
Luke Higham picked up the ball on the left and his long-raking cross was met by Blyth at the back post who guided a header into the corner.
It was a top class finish from the Pool striker, a goal which no doubt had rung around Fleetwood and Highbury Stadium.
The goal gave Pool a huge boost, and at this point it only looked like one team wanted to win it.
At this point Blackpool were just a Crewe goal away from the most unlikely of survivals, but it wouldn’t last for long.
News filtered through of two quick goals at Fleetwood, and you got the feeling Pool’s players knew it.
The life and hope looked to drain out of Blackpool’s players.
And with the Fleetwood goals came life for Peterborough, with Colin Doyle being forced into a huge save on 26 minutes when Marcus Maddison tried his luck from range.
Pool’s players at least stuck at it despite being all but down, with Brad Potts taking some pretty heavy punishment from the Peterborough players.
Every time the midfield man seemed to have the ball he was clattered, it was as if the home side had picked him out for some heavy treatment.
As the half went on Pool seemed to run out of steam a little, and only a superb goal line clearance by McAlister stopped Peterborough draw level.
Maddison was allowed weave his way into the box before shooting goal wards, McAlister showed great awareness to clear off the line.
In Blackpool’s credit they stuck at it, and four minutes before the break Redshaw did well to break into the box and drive a very decent effort just over the bar.
The half-time talk by McDonald must have been his most difficult of the season with Fleetwood’s result almost certainly common knowledge in the dressing room.
And if that news took the sting out of Pool it looked like it, as Peterborough were level just three minutes into the second half.
A clumsy tackle by Clark Robertson handed the home side a penalty, and the impressive Maddison stepped-up to send Doyle the wrong way.
If Blackpool’s hopes weren’t dead at half-time, they unquestionably were now.
As the game went on you got the feeling everyone in tangerine wished they were anywhere else in the world, it certainly was the case for us in the press box.
And in style typical of their season, there was still time for a total Blackpool collapse.
First substitute Jon Taylor turned a fired a 22 yard thundering effort in off the post, before Shaquile Coulthirst was allowed to breeze into the box and make it three soon after.
It was all too easy for Taylor who made a total mockery of Blackpool’s defence to fire a fourth and a fifth as Blackpool sank without trace. They’d become a shambles.
For Blackpool, the post mortem starts now.