Blackpool 1-1 Doncaster Rovers: Tommy Rowe's stunner denies Seasiders vital win

A long-range stunner from Doncaster Rovers captain Tommy Rowe denied Blackpool a vital win against their League One play-off rivals.

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 5:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 9:48 pm
Michael Nottingham celebrates giving Pool the lead

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A long-range stunner from Doncaster Rovers captain Tommy Rowe denied Blackpool a vital win against their League One play-off rivals.

The Seasiders gave themselves the opportunity to claim a vital win in the race for the top six when substitute Michael Nottingham smashed them in front at the start of the second half.

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But Pool couldn’t hold on, with the visitors earning themselves a point 17 minutes from time courtesy of Rowe’s drive into the top corner.

The result keeps Blackpool three points behind Doncaster, who remain in sixth place, with just nine games left to play.

Pool boss Terry McPhillips opted to shake things up, making three changes from Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Southend United.

Donervon Daniels for Ollie Turton was an enforced chance, with the right back missing out with a hamstring injury he suffered in the weekend draw.

Chris Long was favoured to Nathan Delfouneso in attack while Jordan Thompson started in place of Harry Pritchard on the day he received an international call-up.

Marc Bola was still not fit enough to return, leaving him sidelined alongside Callum Guy, Jimmy Ryan and Max Clayton.

Nya Kirby was given a rare spot on the substitutes bench, but fellow loanee Elias Sorensen missed out for the sixth game running.

Pool, who started the game in a diamond formation, almost saw an early opening as Armand Gnanduillet flicked on into the path of Long, who was just beaten to the ball by onrushing Donny keeper Marko Marosi.

Otherwise it was a fairly uneventful start to proceedings, with the blustery conditions making life difficult for both sides.

Pool were dealt an early blow when, on 19 minutes, Turton’s replacement Donervon Daniels also suffered an injury and was replaced by Michael Nottingham.

They were given a huge let-off a couple of moments later when Ali Crawford blazed over after Danny Andrew’s mishit shot had fallen straight to him just eight yards out.

Crawford then stung the palms of Mark Howard with a fierce long-range drive, which the Pool keeper collected at the second attempt.

The Seasiders’ first opportunity of the game fell to Liam Feeney, who sent a stooping header just past the post from Jordan Thompson’s left-wing cross.

Armand Gnanduillet then did well to slip in Long down the right but his pullback was snatched away from danger by Marosi.

Feeney, a constant danger down the left during the opening 45 minutes, put the ball on a plate for Gnanduillet who somehow managed to miss the target from close range.

Substitute Nottingham had to have his senses about him on the stroke of half time to make a vital headed clearance with Kieran Sadlier ready to pounce behind him.

Blackpool had a couple of half chances to edge in front in first-half stoppage time, Gnanduillet unable to keep down a header from Thompson’s corner before Matty Virtue volleyed wide from the edge of the box.

But the half ended with Crawford failing to find the back of the net with his third attempt of the game for the visitors, Howard again not having to move to save his effort.

The Seasiders dealt another injury blow during the interval, with Curtis Tilt forced to be replaced by Harry Pritchard who filled in at left back to complete a makeshift back four.

It didn’t hinder Blackpool though as they broke the deadlock just four minutes into the second half, Michael Nottingham notching his fourth goal of the season.

It came after Jay Spearing’s corner caused havoc in a crowded Doncaster box, the ball crashing onto the crossbar via a Doncaster defender before rebounding to Nottingham who made no mistake from inside the six-yard box.

The away side initially issued a strong response to going a goal down, Ben Whiteman almost levelling with a curled effort from 20 yards.

After that they struggled to create anything of note, and it appeared the only way they would get back into the game was through a moment of quality.

That’s exactly what happened on 73 minutes, captain Tommy Rowe arrowing one into the top corner of the Blackpool net, giving Howard no chance whatsoever.

Perhaps the Doncaster captain could have been closed down sooner, but there was no stopping Rowe’s effort once it left his foot.

At the other end, Long went close to restoring Pool’s lead but he could only fire into the side netting from the angle after being slipped in by Feeney’s pass.

With two minutes left on the clock, substitute Antony Evans worked some space for himself by dancing through a couple of challenges only to drag his weak effort wide of goal.

Pool were the side pressing in the final stages, but the visitors defended resolutely and in the end both teams were forced to settle for a point.

TEAMS

Blackpool: Howard, Daniels (Nottingham), Heneghan, Tilt (Pritchard), Anderton, Spearing, Virtue (Evans), Thompson, Feeney, Long, Gnanduillet

Subs not used: Boney, Kirby, Delfouneso, Dodoo

Doncaster: Marosi, Blair, Downing, Butler, Andrew, Whiteman (Kane), Rowe, Crawford, Sadlier (Coppinger), May (Smith), Wilks

Subs not used: Jones, Anderson, Beestin, Lewis

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 7,404 (323 Doncaster)