Blackpool 1 Burton 2 - second half troubles costing Pool

Blackpool's Connor Oliver, Clark Robertson and Brad Potts look dejected following Burton Albion's winning goal
Blackpool's Connor Oliver, Clark Robertson and Brad Potts look dejected following Burton Albion's winning goal
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If football matches were played over 45 minutes, Neil McDonald’s men would be on to something.

At Colchester in the opening period they were superb. Pool more than held their own against Rochdale and last night were more than worthy of their 1-0 half-time lead.

But something happens to the Seasiders in the second half – they just don’t turn up.

Last night the Seasiders got themselves a lead and at half-time there was a real feeling of positivity around the stadium.

Forty five minutes later and it was a very familiar story.

It’s now been 200 days since Pool won a game and it’s starting to show – sometimes you can just forget what it’s like to win.

The biggest surprise pre-match was the lack of changes in Blackpool’s starting 11, particularly at the back.

After Pool had conceded seven in their opening three games, it would be interesting to know what Tom Aldred and Charles Dunne were thinking as Neil McDonald named the same back four for the third league game running.

Nine in four makes even worse reading.

In all my years of watching the Seasiders, I don’t think I’ve ever known such a low- key, almost dead atmosphere in the build-up to kick-off.

It’s what I spoke about in Monday’s Gazette – you really get the feeling everyone is just drained and fed up with following the Seasiders.

With yet more off-the-field drama with the Twitter abuse scandal, how can you blame the people who stay away?

It’s simply not a nice place to be around at the moment.

On their first ever trip to the seaside, it was the Burton fans who could be heard at Bloomfield Road as the game got under way, and who can blame them?

In just their eigth season as a Football League club, they arrived on the Fylde coast after winning the title last season and having won two of their previous three games this term.

They started like a side full of confidence, and had the game’s first effort when Abdenasser El Khayati fired over from long-range.

Sadly for Pool, his finishing would become more accurate as the evening wore on.

Despite Burton’s bright start, you have to say there was very little between the two sides in the opening quarter of an hour, something which I’ve already noticed as a trend in League One.

In all three league games so far, Pool haven’t been a million miles worse or better than their opponents – it just comes down to having that bit of quality when it matters.

You get the feeling already that League One isn’t going to be the most exciting of homes for Pool, but it’s probably one they will be able to survive in as long as they learn to take their chances when they do come.

That said, there was nothing which resembled a chance in the opening 15 minutes, with Henry Cameron’s long-range curler the closest Pool would come.

Soon after there was a decent Blackpool chance, and one Brad Potts will probably feel he should have hit the target with.

Winger Cameron was again involved down the right, this time showing good composure to pick out Potts who fired just over from a tight angle from 12 yards.

It was as decent a move as the Seasiders have created all season so far.

And you have to say Pool were looking the more likely, with Jack Redshaw seeing an effort blocked en route to goal.

While there were huge areas of empty seats inside Bloomfield Road, those who did make it were doing their best to get behind the team.

And it was clearly having an effect, with Pool going ahead on 25 minutes.

Yet again Cameron was involved in the build-up, this time getting to the bye-line and picking out Redshaw, who guided the ball past keeper Jon McLaughlin at the near post.

It was a lovely move and a finish which will do Redshaw and his team-mates the world of good.

Just two minutes later, McDonald’s men could have had another when Potts again broke from midfield and lashed an effort towards goal, only for Jon McLaughlin to be a match to it.

As pleasing for Blackpool in the opening half hour would have been how solid they looked at the back.

Unlike recent opponents, Burton were restricted to long-range efforts, with Timmy Thiele’s 30-yarder easy meat for Kyle Letheren in goal.

However, there was a reminder of the away side’s quality just before the break, when Khayati found space on the wing and whipped a brilliant ball across the box.

Luckily for Pool, the back-post lunge of Stuart Beavon couldn’t quite produce a decisive contact and the hosts retained their lead.

As the half-time whistle blew, you have to say it had been a job well done by the Seasiders and McDonald.

Like the opening of the game, it was the away side who started the brighter in the second half, with two quick half-chances falling to Beavon but he fired straight at Letheren both times.

In fact, it was pretty much one-way traffic as the hour mark approached, with Blackpool’s back four having to stand strong and ride the storm.

It proved to be a key spell as Burton deservedly found themselves level.

Winger Khayati had been a threat all night and he left Bright Samuel for dead on the left wing before cutting into the box and curling a lovely effort home.

The goal prompted two changes from McDonald, with Dunne coming on for his first appearance of the season in place of Samuel and Connor Oliver replacing Jim McAlister. Interestingly, Dunne was introduced on the left wing.

The changes steadied the game a little as Blackpool finally began to get a grip on the second half. The game proceeded to level out once more as Pool’s most promising attacks all came down the right side, with Cameron really catching the eye on the wing.

The fact the game died down will probably have pleased Blackpool’s boss, although he’d have been less than impressed by the lack of a cutting edge in his side’s play.

It was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Burton side who looked the more likely to win the game, though, and they should have done so with10 minutes left.

Good play by Mark Duffy saw Beavon clean in on goal only for his effort to be brilliantly saved by Letheren.

We’ve not seen too much of the big keeper yet, but he certainly showed his worth with that one.

Sadly for the home side, just a couple of minutes later Burton did find a winner – but there was certainly no blame pointed at the keeper this time.

After Dunne fouled on the edge of the area, the superb Khayati fired an unstoppable effort into the top corner via the underside of the bar.

It was a goal worthy of winning any game.

Yet again it was another poor result for Blackpool, who are already slipping into the losing habit they found so difficult to get out of under Lee Clark last season.

There are signs of hope but they ultimately count for nothing – points are what Pool need.