Blackpool FC writer Matt Scrafton takes a look at the key talking points from the Seasiders' home draw against Plymouth.
Plymouth boss is talking cobblers
Viv Solomon-Otabor’s injury time equaliser on Saturday prompted a somewhat bizarre response from Derek Adams - who described Blackpool as a “very lucky side”. It seems to be an accepted footballing myth that, should a side score a game-changing goal in the final minutes of a game, then there must be an element of fortune involved. But perhaps Adams should take a look at his own side and how they failed to pick up Solomon-Otabor at the back post, before he steered home in the 94th minute of time to secure a hard-earned point. The Plymouth Argyle manager, who had just witnessed his side denied a crucial away win that would have seen them leapfrog the Seasiders in the league table, can be excused for making such a brash and nonsensical comment when the frustration of a football match is still being keenly felt.
But the stats don't lie
Gary Bowyer, who didn’t take kindly to Adams’ words, was keen to stress that his side had 20 attempts on goal to Plymouth’s seven - and 11 corners to Argyle’s two. When made aware of what his Plymouth counterpart had said, Bowyer quipped: “I think he’s just trying to kid the Plymouth public in his local paper.” While Bowyer’s tongue was firmly in his cheek during his post-match interview, he was right in what he was saying. Blackpool were more than worthy of a point and on another day, had certain refereeing decisions gone their way, it probably would have been all three. But that just seems to be the way it’s going at the moment. Blackpool have produced a mammoth 45 attempts on goal in their last two games, scoring four and picking up just one point out of a possible 12 in the process. Scunthorpe had three shots on target on Boxing Day and scored all three of them. Plymouth had two on Saturday and also found the back of the net on both occasions. Sometimes you just can’t legislate for those sort of figures - and that’s where luck can sometimes come into it (take note Derek Adams)
Pool can't keep gifting silly goals away
There are still plenty of holes in Blackpool’s game and they’re the same ones that continue to crop up week in, week out. Firstly, they’ve picked up a real nasty habit of conceding soft goals at the wrong time. Of course there’s never a good time to concede a goal, but Blackpool conceded two in the first seven minutes against Scunthorpe and then conceded two in the final six minutes of the first half against Plymouth. It seems to be the case at the moment that, should Pool concede, the second goal never seems that far away. Blackpool’s problems in front of goal are well documented and yet don’t seem to be anywhere closer to being resolved - with Kyle Vassell and Mark Cullen still some way off returning from injury. When you don't have someone to convert your chances at one end of the pitch, it's only inevitable that more and more pressure will fall at the other end - and at this moment in time Blackpool don't seem able to cope with it.
Who deserves the number one jersey?
In recent weeks Bowyer’s side have developed an even bigger problem: they don’t have a goalkeeper they can rely on. That man was was Ryan Allsop for much of the early stages of the season, but he has been dropped in recent weeks after a series of shaky displays in between the sticks where he struggled to dominate his six-yard box. Ben Williams has subsequently been brought in and started off well at Charlton, but has since disappointed in the following two games. Against both Scunthorpe and Plymouth he has been beaten far too easily at his near post and showed his age getting down to save the ball on both occasions. When there are question marks over a team at both ends of the pitch, you know there’s going to be problems and it is perhaps no surprise Blackpool’s form has nosedived in recent months.
Pool need to get off to a good start in 2018
Blackpool's injury time equaliser will mean diddly-squat should they fail to follow it up with a positive result against Rochdale on New Year's Day. The Seasiders' late equaliser in their 1-1 draw at Charlton earlier this month felt like it would be a season-changer at the time, but Bowyer's men followed it up with a dire defeat to Scunthorpe. Pool's draw on Saturday means they have now just won one of their last 12 outings - a truly dire run of form which makes you wonder how they're not closer to the relegation zone than they are. With 90 seconds left on the clock against Plymouth, Blackpool were down to 19th in the League One table. But come full-time they remained in 15th. League positions don't count for much right now, it's all about that points gap between themselves and that side occupying 21st spot - which is currently five points. Blackpool need to at least maintain that gap for the next couple of weeks otherwise they're in danger of getting sucked right in while they continue to suffer with a depleted squad badly struggling for form. It goes without saying that they need to strengthen, but who knows how that will pan out...