Blackpool's 2020/21 campaign review part two: Ups and downs to end the year

Matt Scrafton’s review of the Seasiders’ season continues with a look back at November and December’s action...

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 4:45 pm

Blackpool’s form finally began to improve in November, with Neil Critchley’s side winning six of the seven games they played in all competitions that month.

The turnaround began with a hard-earned 2-1 win against Burton Albion, a result that was backed up with another unspectacular 1-0 win against Wigan Athletic.

Critchley had decided to go back to basics a little bit at this point, having introduced Gary Madine into the side to partner Jerry Yates in attack.

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Gary Madine and Blackpool celebrate the striker's late winner at Peterborough United
Gary Madine and Blackpool celebrate the striker's late winner at Peterborough United

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After going 11 games without a goal, Yates would finally notch his first for the club in the victory at Burton.

Pool would win back-to-back games in cup competitions, overcoming non-league Eastbourne Borough in the FA Cup before seeing off Leeds United’s youngsters in the EFL Trophy.

This was followed by Blackpool’s biggest win of the season to date, beating high-flying Peterborough United 2-1 at London Road thanks to a last-minute Madine strike.

Just four days later, Pool’s stop-start season continued as they threw away a two-goal advantage and lost 3-2 against Doncaster Rovers.

Nevertheless, Pool ended the month by reaching the lucrative third round of the FA Cup with a routine win over Harrogate Town.

Blackpool’s revival in League One continued in December with three victories against sides all competing at the top in Hull City, Portsmouth and Fylde coast neighbours Fleetwood Town.

The Cod Army would exact some revenge of sorts just four days after going down to a 1-0 defeat to Pool in the league, overcoming Critchley’s side on penalties in the EFL Trophy.

The Seasiders would play out two frustrating goalless draws against Oxford United and Accrington Stanley, before Covid-19 finally hit the camp after managing to avoid it for the first three months of the campaign.

Unlike the majority of other sides in the division, Blackpool opted to play on, but they ended up losing back-to-back league games against Shrewsbury Town and Bristol Rovers.

They were without Chris Maxwell for both encounters, due to their skipper and number one testing positive for the virus.

Sam Walker arrived on an emergency loan from Reading and saved two penalties in as many games, but he was unable to stop Pool from ending 2020 on a bad note.

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