Blackpool player ratings V Derby County: Four starters score 5/10 in defeat at Pride Park as others claim sixes

Blackpool were left to rue missed chances as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Derby County at Pride Park.

Hayden Coulson, George Byers and Karamoko Dembele all wasted good opportunities for the Seasiders in the first half, as a superb strike from Ebou Adams proved to be the difference.

With six games remaining, Neil Critchley’s side now sit four points off the final play-off spot, which is currently occupied by Lincoln City following their 1-0 win over Leyton Orient.

The first half chance of the game came the way of Hayden Coulson, who fired a volley well over the bar from close-range. Meanwhile, down the other end, a ball into the box from Joe Ward looked dangerous, but just about beat everyone waiting.

Ahead of the half hour mark, a golden opportunity came the way of George Byers. A pass from Sonny Carey was played into the midfielder, who scuffed his first time shot wide of the post, when he should’ve been testing Joe Wildsmith.

In the Seasiders net, Dan Grimshaw was called into action, as he pushed behind a cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. From the resulting corner, there was a goal-line scramble, with the referee’s whistle for a foul helping Blackpool to survive.

The opening goal of the game came in the 41st minute. Adams ran onto a loose ball on the edge of the box, hitting a well-taken half-volley with his left foot to give the Rams the lead. There was a chance for Critchley’s side to instantly respond, but Karamoko Dembele was unable to get clear contact on his shot.

Following the restart, Derby had an opportunity to double their advantage, with Grimshaw producing a good save to deny Conor Washington in a one v one. Wildsmith was also on hand for a strong stop for the home team, as he pushed away a curling free kick from Sonny Carey.

In the closing stages, Louie Sibley fired an effort from the edge of the box over the bar, as Paul Warne's side looked to put the result beyond all doubt. Ultimately a second goal wasn’t required, with their defensive efforts to stop two late chances from substitute Kyle Joseph being enough to get them over the line.

Here’s how Blackpool performed in the defeat to Derby: