Blackpool scorer Nathan Delfouneso spells trouble at the double in the FA Cup

Nathan Delfouneso helped to turn the tie against Maidstone upside down in the first five minutes of the second half
Nathan Delfouneso helped to turn the tie against Maidstone upside down in the first five minutes of the second half
Share this article

Nathan Delfouneso was delighted his return to scoring form helped Blackpool to avoid an upset and progress in the FA Cup.

READ MORE: FA Cup draw for Fylde coast clubs
The forward bagged a quickfire brace to cap off Blackpool’s remarkable turnaround against Maidstone United on Sunday, when the Seasiders ran in three goals in four minutes after half-time for a 3-1 Bloomfield Road victory.

Their reward is a third-round tie away to Championship strugglers Reading on the first weekend of 2020.

Simon Grayson’s men had been booed off at half-time, when they trailed to Saidou Khan’s looping volley for the National League South club.

But George Elokobi’s own goal and Delfouneso’s two strikes – his first goals since scoring in the previous round against Morecambe – helped the Seasiders overcome a potential banana skin.

Delfouneso said: “We needed a response after the first half, where we didn’t quite get at it.

“It was a disappointing first 45 minutes but we got there in the end and got the job done, which is the most important thing.

“At the break the manager told us we needed to up the tempo and move the ball quicker.

“They got into a good shape, which left us with small spaces.

“But we should have moved them around the pitch by getting our dangerous players on the ball.

“Second half we managed to do that, and once we got the first goal the second and third came quite quickly.

“That allowed us to settle down a little bit and from that point onwards we managed to control the game.”

Delfouneso wanted a hat-trick but added: “I’d love to say I got a touch for the first goal – if you want to give it to me, I’m more than happy to take it!

“It was unfortunate for their lad but it was great for us, as it was exactly what we needed at the start of the second half.

“That set the tone and we knew as soon as we got the goal we would kick on from there.

“Thankfully it came very early and we still had plenty of time to finish the job off, which we did.”

Delfouneso produced two clinical finishes, heading home from Sullay Kaikai’s header before chipping the keeper for his second, having robbed George Elokobi of the ball.

The forward added: “It was a good ball from Sullay for my first goal and I just made sure I was in the right place to get a good contact to direct it in.

“For the second one, I chased it down and then it felt like hours for the ball to come back down.

“I could hear him behind me (Elokobi) as he’s a big guy but I managed to get it under control and put it away.

“Normally you won’t get that sort of opportunity but the defender just took an extra second and that allowed me to nip in and win the ball.

“I just remained composed before putting the ball in the back of the net.”

The 28-year-old could have come away with the match-ball, squandering a chance to complete his hat-trick in stoppage-time, when he blazed over.

“I should have hit the target with the one that went over the bar,” he said.

“I think there was another one where Sullay could have played me through. I thought he saw me but it doesn’t matter.

“The important thing is that we got the win, which we’re happy with.”