Blackpool produce heroic comeback to earn a point in enthralling Lancashire derby against Burnley

Blackpool produced the comeback of all comebacks to draw 3-3 in an enthralling Lancashire derby against Burnley.
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Michael Appleton’s side looked to have been dead and buried during a frantic first-half, which saw them trail 3-1 at half-time.

The Clarets took just four minutes to edge their noses in front, as Josh Brownhill curled home from 25 yards. A second soon followed from Nathan Tella.

Shayne Lavery steers home Blackpool's second of the gameShayne Lavery steers home Blackpool's second of the game
Shayne Lavery steers home Blackpool's second of the game
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The Seasiders reduced the deficit when Theo Corbeanu scored his first goal in tangerine, capitalising on a poor pass out from the back to slot past Arijanet Muric.

The away side could and probably should have drawn themselves level before Burnley restored their two-goal lead through Tella’s second of the game.

But Blackpool composed themselves and produced a scintillating second-half display, scoring two in the space of three minutes through Shayne Lavery and Jerry Yates to earn a point.

Appleton’s men could easily have taken the lead before the game ended in controversy, with both sides having a man sent off - Sonny Carey and Ian Maatsen the men sent their marching orders.

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But an enthralling Lancashire derby, Blackpool’s first visit to Turf Moor in nine years, ended with the two sides sharing the points.

Michael Appleton was forced into making two changes for the derby, replacing the injured Charlie Patino and Lewis Fiorini with Jordan Gabriel and Theo Corbeanu.

It meant Gabriel took Callum Connolly’s spot at right-back, allowing the latter to move forward into midfield.

It was Gabriel’s first league start of the season having already made three substitute appearances following his return from a long-term hamstring injury.

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The right-back was linked with Burnley earlier this window before they signed Brazilian Vitinho from Belgian side Cercle Brugge.

Luke Garbutt, Kevin Stewart, Keshi Anderson and Jake Beesley all remain sidelined, while Beryly Lubala missed out altogether.

When you’re playing a possession-based side who can keep the ball even better than Swansea, the last thing you need is to concede early.

Unfortunately for the Seasiders, that’s exactly what happened with just three minutes on the clock.

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Ironically it came via a long ball forward, which was knocked down to Josh Brownhill who curled home a sumptuous effort beyond Dan Grimshaw’s grasp.

This resulted in a frantic spell of Burnley pressure as they looked for a quick second.

Grimshaw was forced to clear his lines after Rhys Williams overhit a sloppy backpass, while the visitors somehow survived after some pinball in their box from a corner.

Burnley didn’t have to wait long for the second goal to arrive though, only seven minutes later in fact.

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It was another sloppy goal to concede, as Taylor Harwood-Bellis was given far too much time and space to pick out Nathan Tella, who got in behind Gabriel before tucking the ball past Grimshaw at his near post.

The Seasiders desperately needed a lifeline, otherwise they would have been in danger of shipping four, five or even more.

Thankfully Burnley gifted them a route back into the game courtesy of some lax passing out from the back, leaving Theo Corbeanu with the simple task of slotting home his first goal for the club since joining on loan from Wolves.

It was a calm finish from the winger, who took full advantage of Burnley’s generosity by reducing the arrears.

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Despite the horror start, the Seasiders should have been level by 30 minutes in.

But the deficit remained at one goal after a glaring miss from Shayne Lavery, who somehow side footed wide completely unmarked at the back post after being picked out at the back post by Dom Thompson.

The Seasiders were made to pay for that miss as Burnley restored their two-goal lead moments later, and once again it followed some poor, poor defending.

Gabriel, caught out for the second goal, slipped, allowing Tella the time and space to pick out the far corner to score his second of the day.

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An absolutely crackers first-half almost took another twist when Corbeanu once again dispossessed Burnley of the ball in their own box.

But the loanee took too long to pick out the unmarked Josh Bowler, with the ball eventually falling for Callum Connolly who was penalised for handball - and another chance to reduce the deficit went to waste.

The remainder of the first-half fizzled out as the game died down for the first time, but it soon picked up again at the start of the second.

The nervous Muric was closed down quickly by the tireless Shayne Lavery, gifting Jerry Yates a priceless chance in front of goal. But to Muric’s credit, he recovered well to force the ball wide.

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Jordan Gabriel would then head just wide from the resulting corner, before Josh Bowler saw a low free-kick deflect inches wide.

Burnley’s first chance of the second-half came via full-back Ian Maatsen, who fired wide of the near post following a neat move from back to front.

Appleton made his first change just after the hour mark and it was an attacking one, as Gary Madine replaced goalscorer Corbeanu.

Pool were still creating chances, most of them coming via their high pressing which forced Burnley into mistakes.

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Kenny Dougall was the latest man to force an error, resulting in Lavery receiving the ball in space down the left only for the Northern Irishman to wastefully overhit his cross.

A half chance of sorts fell the way of substitute Madine, as the striker swept a first-time effort wide of the upright following a right-wing cross from Jordan Gabriel.

It looked like it would be another of those frustrating days in the final third for the Seasiders, as Lavery overhit another poor cross after the ball fell to him in space at the back post.

But two goals in three minutes changed the whole complexion of the game as the visitors produced an almighty comeback to draw level.

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It started with a wonderful drive down the right from Gabriel, whose ball across the face of goal was steered into the roof of the net by Lavery.

It turned out to be the forward’s final action of the game as he was replaced by CJ Hamilton, who was already prepped to come on.

Lavery’s replacement almost made an instant impact only to see his back post effort well saved by Muric as a tantalising Bowler cross almost reached Gary Madine in the centre.

But the Seasiders completed their comeback from the resulting corner as Yates steered home with a similar effort to Lavery after Kenny Dougall’s close-range shot had been cleared off the line.

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Blackpool smelt blood, they sensed the game was there to be won. Bowler had a long-range effort saved by Muric before the keeper stood tall to make a vital save to deny Yates, who had turned his man in the box with a sublime bit of skill.

But the drama had only just begun, because both men were reduced to 10 men following a clash between Sonny Carey and Ian Maatsen.

Carey stopped Maatsen’s charged forward in cynical fashion, resulting in a rush of blood to Maatsen’s head as he sprinted over to confront Carey, shoving him to the ground.

Referee Keith Stroud had no option but to brandish straight red cards to both players.

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The Clarets rallied in the EIGHT minutes of stoppage-time and almost snatched it through substitute Maneul Benson, who was denied by a vital stop from Grimshaw.


Burnley: Muric, Roberts, Harwood-Ellis, Maatsen, Vitinho (Bastien), Cork, Cullen (Benson), Brownhill, Tella (Churlinov), Rodriguez (Barnes)

Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Egan-Riley, Gudmondsson

Blackpool: Grimshaw, Gabriel (Carey), Ekpiteta, Williams, Thompson (Husband), Dougall, Connolly, Corbeanu (Madine), Bowler, Lavery (Hamilton), Yates (Virtue)

Subs not used: Maxwell, Thorniley

Referee: Keith Stroud