Blackpool 2 Oldham Athletic 1: Five things we learned
Goals from Sean Longstaff and Kyle Vassell meant Blackpool made it back-to-back home wins with victory over Oldham Athletic yesterday.
Seven points from four matches represents a tidy return to the Seasiders’ opening month back in League One.
However, what else did we learn from Saturday’s win?
A game of two halves
Never was the old cliche better suited to a game than the 90-odd minutes seen at Bloomfield Road.
Gary Bowyer’s players utterly dominated the first half and could have had the game out of sight but for some indifferent finishing.
Ten minutes or so into the second half and it was as if someone flicked the switch on the visiting players as John Sheridan’s men suddenly began to play.
Darius Osei pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining but it was too little too late for the Latics.
Take your chances
Blackpool might have scored two goals but it could - and maybe should - have been more.
A couple of good saves from Oldham keeper Ben Wilson and some wastefulness in front of goal kept the visitors in the game.
That said, the key moment arguably came when Oldham’s Cameron Dummigan missed a clear sight of goal with Blackpool one up.
His miss was punished moments later as the Seasiders went to the other end and Vassell scored; instead of 1-1 it was 2-0 and Blackpool had breathing space.
A test of character
Blackpool backs might have been against the wall in the final half-hour but that allowed Bowyer’s players to show their determination.
Clark Robertson proved a steadying presence in the centre of defence while 30 minutes of pressure will do Curtis Tilt no end of good as he makes the step up to League One.
It may have been more than a bit nervy at times but the home defenders deserve credit for the way they stood up to the challenge.
That will be something to stand them in good stead somewhere down the line this season.
The kids are alright
Some might have raised eyebrows at a selection policy that puts a lot of emphasis on the younger players.
The ‘Class of 92’ was the exception rather than the norm but Bowyer’s faith in his youthful line-up has already paid off.
Longstaff might have hogged centre stage with three excellent goals in as many outings but promise lays elsewhere.
Tilt, Callum Cooke, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Viv Solomon-Otabor and Nick Anderton have all impressed so far, vindicating their selections ahead of more experienced team-mates.
August augurs well
While Bowyer might prefer to be eighth in the table with four games left rather than four gone, the opening month of league matches has offered much to be pleased about.
Facing a team with a point to prove (Bradford City), one aiming to be in and around the top six (MK Dons), another promoted side (Doncaster Rovers) and one with an experienced manager at this level (Oldham) was no easy task.
However, the Seasiders have handled their opening four league outings in an impressive manner, not least with their style of football.
September’s trips to Scunthorpe United, Plymouth Argyle, Bristol Rovers and Southend United are tough ones but, based on August’s displays, they should not be feared.