Blackpool 3-1 Morecambe: Five things we learned
Blackpool FC writer Matt Scrafton takes a look at the key talking points from the Seasiders' 3-1 win against Morecambe.
Winless home run is finally over
Blackpool’s winless run at home - which had seen them fail to pick up a win at Bloomfield Road since November - has been hovering over the club like a bad smell in recent weeks and months but now it’s over - maybe, just maybe, the Seasiders can pelt full steam ahead towards the top seven. The fact that we’re even discussing that as a possibility after just two wins for Pool in their last 11 games and one win at home in nine says a lot about the quality - or lack of it - in League Two. Saturday’s game against Morecambe was your typically average fourth division affair. In truth, Blackpool played no better or worse than they have in recent weeks and yet, on the face of it, they cruised home to a comfortable 3-1 win. That’s the problem with this division: it’s all about fine margins and momentum and runs of form can hinge on fortunate goals, bad refereeing decisions or an unlikely moment of quality.
Brad Potts was in inspired form
When the midfielder plays as he did on Saturday, it's not difficult to see why the 22-year-old has garnered so much attention from clubs higher up the football pyramid. And yet, at the same time, you can't help but feel frustrated. Potts is a player who has all the right tools required to go far in the game, yet he still struggles to turn it on game after game after game. Consistency may come as he matures, but the fact he has 11 goals to his name this season tells you all you need to know about his potential. He was in fine form against Morecambe and produced a wonderful assist for Mark Cullen's opener before capping off a fine individual performance with a well-taken finish for Pool's second. Frustrate as he may, he's still comfortably one of Pool's most dangerous players.
Pool somehow still in contention
Just as bad as Pool have been at home since November, which is when they last won at Bloomfield Road in the league before seeing off the Shrimps, it wouldn’t come as a total surprise if the Seasiders went on an impressive unbeaten run and put themselves back in contention. That’s the kamikaze nature of this division - where a fairly average side like Exeter can rise from the bottom echelons to the play-offs courtesy of a seven-game winning streak. The likes of Stevenage, Mansfield and Colchester have also risen like a phoenix from the flames to be in contention for a top seven spot. Anything can happen in the last 12 games but in reality, Pool are relying on producing a run of form similar to the one they enjoyed back in November and December - where they won 10 out of their 13 games in all competitions. Or maybe they’ll need a stupendous unbeaten run similar to Fleetwood Town’s, which has seen Pool’s Fylde coast neighbours rise into the top two of League One after failing to lose any of their last 18 games.
Next three games are vital
Without wanting to state the bleeding obvious, a crucial trio of fixtures now awaits Blackpool - whose fate will surely be decided by their upcoming games against Plymouth, Wycombe and Stevenage. All three sides are above them in the league and if Bowyer’s men have any hopes of clawing back points - and positions - then they’ll need wins and they’ll surely take them however they come. Victories are the order day from now until the end of the season and if a goal comes via a deflection off a player’s backside to earn them an undeserved three points against Plymouth, then so be it.
Morecambe's togetherness is heartening
As a genuine football fan, it was a pleasure to watch Jim Bentley receive a rapturous applause from the 700 or so Morecambe fans housed in the away end at the end of the game. His side were visibly under-par when you consider they were one of the league's in-form sides coming into the game, having lost just one of their last 11, but the Morecambe fans are well aware their club is just doing well to be able to compete with the likes of Blackpool given the budget and fanbase at their disposal. Bentley has had to put up with a lot of nonsense off the field of play but he's faced up to it stoically,and there's no doubting what a wonderful job he's done given the circumstances. Despite the off-field turmoil, it was clear to see the Morecambe players, staff and fans were united as one and that's a strong force to be reckoned with.