Blackpool 1-1 Burton Albion: Luke Garbutt scores his first goal for the club as Seasiders draw fourth straight game at Bloomfield Road
Luke Garbutt scored his first Blackpool goal as the Seasiders came from behind against Burton Albion to record their fourth straight draw at Bloomfield Road.
The left-back drilled home to get Blackpool back on level terms after Hayden Carter had given Burton a first-half lead.
Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink’s in-form side were much the better side in the opening half and were well worthy of their one-goal lead.
But a half-time substitution changed the course of the game and Pool were well on top in the second period and will feel frustrated not to pick up all three points.
The result leaves the Seasiders, who remain unbeaten on home turf since October, five points adrift of the play-offs with games in hand still to play.
Neil Critchley opted to make two changes to the side that were held to a goalless draw against Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
The major news was that CJ Hamilton had suffered another injury setback, having only recently returned from a lengthy lay-off.
The winger was replaced in the starting line-up by Demetri Mitchell, while Matty Virtue came in for Kevin Stewart who suffered an ankle injury at the weekend.
There was a spot on the bench for young hotshot Brad Holmes, who has been in great goalscoring form for the youth team this season.
Elsewhere, Marvin Ekpiteta, Daniel Gretarsson, Keshi Anderson and Gary Madine all remain sidelined.
Burton, who came into the game on the back of six straight wins and nine in 11, made one change from their 3-0 win at Crewe on Saturday.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men gave Pool an early fright when Kane Hemmings, fresh from netting a first-half hat-trick at the weekend, whacked one against the outside of the post, only to see the linesman’s flag raised for offside.
The visitors continued their bright start, as Dan Ballard was called into action to block Lucas Akins’ shot from the edge of the box.
Burton looked full of confidence early on, playing with an extra spring in their step and offering a threat with Tom Hamer’s long throws.
Blackpool threatened for the first time on 15 minutes, when Mitchell cut in well from the right flank onto his favoured left foot before curling in a dangerous effort which was headed away from within the six-yard box.
At the other end, Hemmings had another sight of goal when his fierce drive was beat away from the danger area by Chris Maxwell.
The Seasiders were dealt a big let-off when another long throw caused havoc inside their box, Hemmings heading the ball back into the six-yard box where centre-back Hayden Carter nodded inches wide of the far post.
The long throws were a major weapon for Hasselbaink’s men, who created another opening for Hemmings from a second phase, but the striker could only hook the ball straight at Maxwell.
The away side continued to pile the pressure on, as Jonny Smith cut in from the right before unleashing a curling effort which Maxwell turned behind, despite the effort appearing to be heading wide anyway.
It looked to be only a matter of time until Burton edged their noses in front and, lo and behold, the breakthrough came from the following corner.
Hamer, who missed the gilt-edged chance earlier on, made no mistake this time as he headed home at the back post after the Brewers had worked the ball back into the box after Pool had partially cleared their lines.
Try as they might, Pool just couldn’t muster a response, as they remained very much second best to Burton’s industry and tireless running.
Burton came close to doubling their lead and the chance came via a set-piece once again, as Tom Hamer headed over from Joe Powell’s corner.
Critchley’s men struggled to pass their way through Burton’s intelligent press, which led to them resorting to hopeful balls up to the front two.
But Ellis Simms and Jerry Yates couldn’t make the ball stick and it just kept coming back at the Seasiders, who were badly missing the physical presence and hold-up play of Gary Madine.
Pool belatedly piled on some pressure at the end of the first-half, as Matty Virtue saw a long-range deflect wide.
With the second-half underway, Pool were looking to do something they’ve only managed once this season, come from behind to win.
Critchley knew full well things had to change and he took action at the interval, replacing striker Ellis Simms with substitute Elliot Embleton.
The change offered an extra man for the Seasiders in midfield and an extra option, which resulted in more sustained spells of pressure in the Burton half.
Nevertheless, the visitors still offered a threat from set-pieces, as Hemmings came inches away from reaching John Brayford’s knockdown.
Luke Garbutt was then required to make a vital last-ditch clearance after Hamer’s long throw had been deflected towards the back post.
Pool finally began to put Burton under some sustained pressure at the start of the second-half, as Mitchell drilled one wide after a corner had been partially cleared.
Matty Virtue then fizzed a powerful ball across the face of the Burton goal, which was glanced wide by Yates - although the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.
Just as the Brewers were beginning to panic, Blackpool took full advantage and levelled through Luke Garbutt.
The left-back, scoring his first goal for the Seasiders, drilled home a lovely effort beyond the keeper and into the far corner after Pool had kept up the pressure in the final third.
Having trailed for so long, Pool almost found themselves ahead within four minutes of their equaliser.
Sullay Kaikai, who had been anonymous during the first-half, came within a whisker of scoring Pool’s second of the night as he cut inside from the left before firing just wide.
Two minutes later, Yates lashed into the side netting after twisting and turning his way past his marker as Pool continued to pile on the pressure.
Just like the first-half, it was one-way traffic, only this time it was Burton who were forced to hang on.
Kenny Dougall almost turned the ball home from inside the six-yard box after Yates had peeled off his man to keep a deep corner alive.
The Brewers, to their credit, began to come back into things late on, as Sam Powell had a shot spilled by Maxwell only for Ollie Turton to recover and mop up well.
Neither side were content to settle for a draw, with Burton having half-hearted penalty appeals waved away before Yates was denied for Pool.
Blackpool: Maxwell, Turton, Ballard, Husband, Garbutt, Dougall, Virtue, Mitchell, Kaikai, Simms (Embleton), Yates
Subs not used: Moore, Gabriel, Thorniley, Robson, Ward, Holmes
Burton: Garratt, Brayford, Edwards, Carter, Clare, Mancienne, Hamer, Smith, Rowe (Powell), Akins, Hemmings
Subs not used: O’Hara, Earl, Broom, O’Toole, Fondop, Taylor
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
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