Blackpool 2-1 Fleetwood Town: Nathan Delfouneso's injury-time winner seals dramatic victory for Seasiders

Jay Spearing gives Blackpool the lead from the penalty spot
Jay Spearing gives Blackpool the lead from the penalty spot
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Nathan Delfouneso’s stoppage-time winner saw Blackpool claim the Fylde coast spoils against 10 men Fleetwood Town.

The forward came off the bench to bundle home from close range in the 94th minute, producing late drama in this fixture for the second season running.

Blackpool had earlier taken the lead from the penalty spot in the first half, Jay Spearing converting from 12 yards, only for Joey Barton's men to level matters through Ched Evans.

Fleetwood were reduced to 10 men after 72 minutes when Nathan Sheron was shown a straight red for an awful challenge on Matty Virtue.

Pool had struggled to break the visitors down but they got one chance at the death and they took it, Delfouneso the man to seal the three points for Terry McPhillips’ men.

It is just Pool’s second win in 11 home matches and their first at Bloomfield Road since the boycotting fans have returned.

It takes the Seasiders to 62 points, surpassing last season’s tally of 60.

Blackpool made two changes to their line up from Good Friday’s stalemate at Scunthorpe United, a game in which Ollie Turton suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury.

He was replaced at right back by Michael Nottingham, while Chris Long came in to face his former club in place of Antony Evans who dropped down to the bench.

There was a first senior start for Fleetwood’s 17-year-old James Hill in the centre of defence, as Joey Barton made two changes to his side from the last-gasp 1-1 draw against Peterborough United.

Hill and Ash Hunter came into Fleetwood’s starting line-up, Harrison Biggins and Ashley Nadesan dropping down to the bench.

The game kicked off with hundreds of Blackpool fans still queuing to get in, as the turnstiles struggled to deal with the Easter Monday bumper crowd, referee Darren Bond turning down a request to delay kick-off by five minutes.

On the pitch, Fleetwood almost got their noses in front inside the opening two minutes, Wes Burns flashing a low shot past the post after Blackpool had failed to clear their lines from a free kick.

After a slow start, Pool saw their first sight of goal on the 10-minute mark when Armand Gnanduillet brought a flying save out of Alex Cairns after outmuscling his marker.

The two sides continued to exchange openings, Chris Long almost getting on the end of Curtis Tilt’s flick-on before Ched Evans fired a shot into the side netting for the visitors.

The Seasiders were given a huge opportunity to break the deadlock on the half-hour mark when they were awarded a penalty after Nya Kirby was brought down by James Husband.

Jay Spearing was the man with the responsibility from 12 yards and the Pool skipper made no mistake, sending it down the middle for his sixth goal of the season.

The lead only lasted six minutes though, as Fleetwood equalised soon after through Ched Evans, sending a towering header beyond Mafoumbi after getting on the end of Ash Hunter’s floated cross.

Pool wasted a two-on-one chance five minutes before the interval when Gnanduillet took too long to make a decision when he should have slipped in his forward partner Long.

Fleetwood, just as they had done in the first half, made a bright start to the second period, with Paddy Madden heading just over from Lewie Coyle’s right-wing cross.

On 51 minutes, Madden did find the target when he sent an acrobatic scissor kick towards goal but Mafoumbi was there to make a flying save to keep the scores level.

At the other end, there was a chance for Kirby to restore Pool’s lead when the ball fell to him at the back post but he fluffed his lines and his effort deflected up into the grateful arms of Cairns.

The Seasiders had the ball in the back of the net just before the hour mark when Long prodded home from Tilt’s flick-on, only to turn around and see the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

The away side were deservedly reduced to 10 men with 20 minutes remaining when Nathan Sheron was shown a straight red for a late and cynical challenge on Matty Virtue.

The tackle, which was well over the ball, left Virtue in a heap on the floor, with the midfielder eventually being forced to come off, where he was replaced by Harry Pritchard.

Pool looked to immediately capitalise on their one-man advantage, Pritchard getting straight into the thick of the action crossing from the left only for James Hill to make a last-ditch intervention before the Seasiders could capitalise.

Fleetwood, understandably, looked to run the clock down as they aimed to preserve their point in the dying stages of the game.

They did, however, have a huge chance to take the lead on 83 minutes when Hill’s long throw caused havoc in the Blackpool box, with Mafoumbi opting to stay on his line.

It saw the ball reach Evans in space at the back post, his effort somehow being turned away from the goalline.

Fleetwood again came close as the clock ticked to 90 minutes, Hill heading narrowly over the bar from a deep free kick.

Despite having a man advantage, McPhillips’ men could just get it going - but somehow they snatched the three points in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

It came via a long punt forward that Gnanduillet lobbed onto the post, substitute Nathan Delfouneso following it up by bundling home.

The dramatic late goal saw a small number of Blackpool fans invade the pitch to goad the Fleetwood supporters.


Blackpool: Mafoumbi, Nottingham, Heneghan, Tilt, Bola, Spearing, Virtue (Pritchard), Kirby (Evans), Thompson (Delfouneso), Long, Gnanduillet

Subs not used: Boney, Anderton, Feeney, Dodoo

Fleetwood: Cairns, Coyle, Eastham, Hill, Husband, Sheron, Burns, Wallace (Sowerby), Hunter (Nadesan), Madden (Biggins), Evans

Subs not used: Jones, Southam-Hales, Rydel, Baggley

Referee: Darren Bond

Attendance: 11,713 (1,386 Fleetwood)