Blackpool boss Neil Critchley keeping a watchful eye over potential play-off final foes Lincoln City and Sunderland

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley was keeping a watchful eye on the other play-off semi-final tie between Lincoln City and Sunderland last night.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 3:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th May 2021, 3:14 pm

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Michael Appleton’s side were 2-0 winners against the Black Cats at Sincil Bank, thanks to goals from Tom Hopper and Brennan Johnson.

The Imps, who have lost all six play-off campaigns they’ve taken part in as a club, head to the Stadium of Light for the return leg on Saturday (3.30pm kick-off).

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The Seasiders, meanwhile, will be looking to complete the job against Oxford United in their second leg at Bloomfield Road tomorrow night night (7.45pm kick-off).

Critchley’s men have one foot in the final after producing a scintillating display at the Kassam Stadium in the first leg on Tuesday night, winning 3-0.

Ellis Simms bagged a brace, scoring for the fifth time in his last three games, after Ollie Turton had given Pool an early lead with his first goal of the campaign.

The win means Blackpool are now unbeaten in their last 11 play-off semi-final ties and have won 17 of the 24 play-off games they’ve taken part in.

Neil Critchley was a keen viewer of the other League One semi-final tie

The Seasiders, already the most successful side in English play-off history, are bidding to clinch a sixth promotion from just nine play-off campaigns.

The winners of both semi-final ties will face off in the Wembley final on Sunday, May 30, with a place in the Championship on the line.

When asked about last night's game between Lincoln and Sunderland Critchley said: "I thought it was two good teams and there wasn’t a lot in the game.

“Lincoln started well, but Sunderland then had a period where they were on top and they hit the woodwork on a couple of occasions.

“You can praise the boy (Brennan) Johnson for closing the keeper down and he gets some fortune, so that’s that little bit of luck you might need and it’s the bad luck that went against Sunderland.

“When you’re kicking the ball against somebody, it can easily bounce off him and go behind the goal, but it drops right in front of him and 1-0 all of a sudden becomes 2-0 and the game gets away from Sunderland a little bit.

“But it was two evenly matched teams, two good teams that are well coached and well prepared.

“I’m sure Sunderland will be doing everything they can in front of 10,000 fans at the Stadium of Light on Saturday to turn it around.

“I wouldn’t put it past them, but Lincoln have got a fantastic away record as well so I’ll be watching with interest on Saturday.”

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