Blackpool 3-1 Peterborough United: Jerry Yates bags brace as Seasiders climb into League One play-offs

Blackpool completed a league double over high-flying Peterborough United to climb into the League One play-offs for the first time this season.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 8:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 9:00 pm

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Blackpool v Peterborough United as it happened

Blackpool completed a league double over high-flying Peterborough United to climb into the League One play-offs for the first time this season.

A Jerry Yates double and a Luke Garbutt strike sealed the win, which extends Blackpool’s unbeaten run to 10 games.

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Jerry Yates now has 16 goals in all competitions

Despite missing their first three first-choice centre-backs and seven players through injury altogether, Neil Critchley’s men continue to get stronger and stronger.

The well-deserved three points against second-placed Posh extends the Seasiders’ unbeaten run at Bloomfield Road, where they’ve avoided defeat since October 20 - a streak that spans 14 games in all competitions.

With Dan Ballard now away on international duty and Matty Virtue sidelined with a knee injury, the Seasiders were forced into making two changes to their side.

Ollie Turton was the man to get the nod at centre-back, moving over from right-back to partner Jordan Thorniley - the pair becoming Pool’s ninth different centre-back partnership of the season.

Jordan Gabriel came back into the side at right-back, while Demetri Mitchell replaced Virtue, starting on the right flank and Grant Ward coming into central midfield.

Daniel Gretarsson returned from a two-and-a-half month lay-off to be named on the subs’ bench, alongside youngsters Cameron Antwi, Rop Apter and Brad Holmes.

Along with Virtue, Marvin Ekpiteta, James Husband, Kevin Stewart, Keshi Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine are all sidelined.

Despite all the absences, there was still no spot for Bez Lubala in Blackpool’s 18-man squad, despite the winger being fit and available.

Peterborough, who knew they could go level on points with league leaders Hull City with a win, named an unchanged side from their 3-3 draw against lowly Rochdale on Saturday.

The Seasiders made a dream start to the game, taking the lead inside the opening minute.

What a strike it was too, Jerry Yates rifling home from 25 yards after Sullay Kaikai had powered the ball into him.

Due to the strength of Kaikai’s pass, Yates struggled to get the ball fully under control, but it bobbled up nicely for the frontman to rifle home with his second touch.

Pool maintained their bright start, closing down superbly and giving Peterborough no time on the ball whatsoever.

Christy Pym bizarrely avoided a yellow card when former Premier League referee Bobby Madley adjudged the Posh keeper had caught the ball outside his box.

Luke Garbutt drilled in the subsequent free-kick, but his low effort was cleared away by the visitors.

The Seasiders were awarded another free-kick right on the edge of the box a few minutes later, but this time Demetri Mitchell took it, blazing his effort well over.

Yates, looking for his second of the night, turned his man smartly before slicing his shot just wide of the upright.

Pool continued to win the ball back high up the pitch over and over again, which produced a number of promising attacking positions.

One of these fell to Kaikai down the left after the winger had been played in by Elliot Embleton, but Kaikai slipped at the vital moment.

Given their dominance, the only thing lacking from Blackpool’s start was a second goal, which they would have richly deserved.

Coming up against a side as potent as Posh, chances are Pool were always going to concede chances at some point.

In the 24th minute, Darren Ferguson’s side duly created their first opening, Sammy Szmodics firing wide of the upright after Pool had failed to clear their lines from an inswinging free-kick.

The away side began to see more of the ball from this point onwards, as Siriki Dembele fired in a low effort which was superbly blocked by makeshift centre-back Ollie Turton.

Kaikai, who produced arguably his best performance of the season so far against Oxford at the weekend, was on top of his game once again with his pace, trickery and willingness to beat his man.

The winger dropped a shoulder to beat befuddled Nathan Thompson all ends up, but his final ball was lacking.

A minute later, Embleton carved some space for himself to unleash a shot from range, which Pym claimed with relative ease.

All of Blackpool’s good work was almost undone on the stroke of half-time when a lofted Dan Butler corner was missed by Maxwell, but fortunately the Seasiders were able to scramble the ball to safety.

The first-half began with a goal being scored in the opening minute, and it ended with another one in the final minute.

Unfortunately for Pool, it came the way of the visitors, who produced a goal out of nothing through Joe Ward’s sweet strike, which flew beyond Maxwell and in off the post.

The pressure came about after Jordan Thorniley had made a bit of a hash of clearing a long ball, which seemingly caught him unaware.

While it was a finely taken goal from Posh, it was one they scarcely deserved, harshly begging the Seasiders back at the interval.

Despite the frustrating setback, Blackpool kept their heads up and started the second-half strongly, Yates having a powerful shot well blocked after being found by Embleton’s clever pass.

Seven minutes into the second period, the Seasiders were gifted the opportunity to retake the lead when they were awarded a penalty.

Ethan Hamilton was the man penalised for handling Thorniley’s acrobatic effort from a Pool corner, the Posh man only receiving a yellow card from Madley.

Yates stepped up from the spot and sent the keeper the wrong way to calmly slot home his second of the game and his 16th of the season.

While Pool were unable to build on their dominance in the first-half, they made amends in the second period, making it 3-1 within seven minutes.

Luke Garbutt scored his second goal in three games to give Pool a commanding lead, firing past the hapless Pym.

The left-back had exchanged a quick give-and-go with Embleton from a short corner, before taking a touch to settle himself before unleashing a powerful effort that arrowed into the top corner with the aid of a deflection.

Posh struggled to muster much of a response, their only chance of sorts falling for dangerman Jonson Clarke-Harris, who failed to make a clean connection after a long ball into the box had fallen into his path.

Critchley handed a well-deserved rest to the magnificent Embleton 12 minutes from time, Ethan Robson the man to replace him.

Posh were denied a penalty 10 minutes from time when the ball appeared to bobble up in the box and hit Turton’s hand.

Madley waved away the appeals, much to the ire of Ferguson who was booked a moment later for declaring: “it's a blatant penalty, referee. You couldn't wait to give them one”.

Blackpool fell asleep from a short corner four minutes from time and substitute Mo Eisa bundled the ball home, but thankfully the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

It was one-way traffic in the dying moments and in the six minutes of stoppage time, but Pool held firm to claim a richly deserved, crucial three points.

TEAMS

Blackpool: Maxwell, Gabriel, Turton, Thorniley, Garbutt, Dougall, Ward, Mitchell, Embleton (Robson), Kaikai, Yates

Subs not used: Moore, Gretarsson, Antwi, Apter, Holmes, Simms

Peterborough: Pym, Butler (Burrows), Thompson, Beevers, Kent, Brown, Hamilton (Mason), Ward, Szmodics (Eisa), Dembele (Jade-Jones), Clarke-Harris

Subs not used: Gyollai, Reed, Kanu

Referee: Bobby Madley

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