Blackpool 1-0 Brackley: Five things we learned

Saturday's game was played in front of a sparse crowd at Bloomfield RoadSaturday's game was played in front of a sparse crowd at Bloomfield Road
Saturday's game was played in front of a sparse crowd at Bloomfield Road
Blackpool FC writer Matt Scrafton takes a look at the key talking points from the Seasiders' narrow 1-0 FA Cup second round win against Brackley Town.

Blackpool are through and that's all that matters

Blackpool were really poor on Saturday. They never really got going and they only had one clear chance, which was the one dispatched by Jamille Matt in the sixth minute of the game. Brackley Town deserve plenty of credit though. They showed plenty of ambition and bravery, unlike their league rivals Kidderminster in the last round, and will consider themselves unlucky not to have at least forced a replay. The visitors were camped in the Blackpool half for much of the second half and the League Two side struggled to deal with Brackley's neat and tidy passing and smart movement. However, that performance will be forgotten as soon as the draw for the FA Cup third round is made. The Seasiders are through, and that's all that matters in this competition.

Osayi-Samuel didn't make the most of his chance

The 18-year-old, who has plenty of plaudits in the last year or so, came into the side for Blackpool's only change to replace fellow winger Colin Daniel, who is likely to be out for the next two or three weeks through a hamstring injury. Osayi-Samuel showed plenty of promise on the ball and we saw glimpses of the skill we know he has. He found himself in promising positions on a couple of occasions, in the first half especially, but failed to take advantage. He has plenty of tricks and can beat a player with ease, but his quality in the final third needs work.

Blackpool need to be careful with players' fitness

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After the game on Saturday, manager Gary Bowyer revealed "five or six" players hadn't trained during the week until Friday. For that reason alone, I'm surprised he opted to only make one change for the game against Brackley. It was refreshing to see Bowyer field a full-strength side, having made four changes for the first round tie against Kidderminster, which shows the Pool boss is taking the competition seriously. But Kyle Vassell was forced off in the second half through injury and Blackpool's sluggish performance, where they never really got going, suggests the rest of the side are playing at far from 100% fit. I expect wholesale changes for Blackpool's Checkatrade Trophy tie against Doncaster on Tuesday, although five must remain from their starting line-up on Saturday, before the Seasiders return to league action against Stevenage on Saturday.

Clean sheet covered the cracks

A clean sheet is always welcome, whoever the opposition, especially when Blackpool have struggled to keep them so far this season. But in reality, the Seasiders didn't have their finest day at the back. And that's not to direct the blame solely on the back four, as they struggled to defend as a unit. Far too often the ball was hoofed hopelessly into the Brackley half and Jamille Matt and Kyle Vassell were forced to feed off scraps. Danny Pugh and Jack Payne were overrun in midfield and had little to no opportunity to start any moves from the centre of midfield. But the defence didn't have their finest day at the office. Clark Robertson was beaten with ease on far too many occasions and Tom Aldred struggled to get to grips with a Brackley frontline that got in behind Pool's back four far too easily. Full backs Andy Taylor and Kelvin Mellor were more solid, but they showed little adventure going forward as the Seasiders were forced to defend attack after attack on their own box.

What happens if Blackpool draw a big club in the third round?

If Blackpool draw a big side in the third round draw, which is made on Monday evening, how many stay-away fans will attend? If Blackpool play Manchester United at Bloomfield Road, will there be just 1,355 in the home end, as there was against Brackley on Saturday? If they are matched with Manchester United away at Old Trafford, will they take 7,000/8,000 - where 45% of the gate receipts will go straight into the pocket of the club's owners? Of course this is all conjecture and Blackpool will probably end up facing an away tie against a fellow League Two side, which will render this discussion pointless. But those boycotting, and there are a lot of them, will face a real headache if the club they used to love draw one of the big boys.