Coventry City 3-2 Blackpool: Callum O'Hare's late goal condemns Seasiders to first league defeat

Jay Spearing in action
Jay Spearing in action
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Blackpool wasted a two-goal lead to succumb to their first defeat of the season against Coventry City.

READ MORE: Coventry City v Blackpool as it happened

Blackpool wasted a two-goal lead to succumb to their first defeat of the season against Coventry City.

Simon Grayson’s men looked set to extend their six-match unbeaten run thanks to a first-half Sullay Kaikai brace.

But two lapses in concentration at the back allowed Coventry a route back into the game.

Matty Godden notched the first four minutes before the break and three minutes later Wesley Jobello levelled matters right on the stroke of half-time.

Coventry were the better side in the second half but they had to wait until the first minute of stoppage time to get their winner, Callum O’Hare the man to confirm Pool’s misery.

It came with Pool holding on with 10-men, as Nathan Delfouneso was forced to hobble off with a recurrence of his hamstring injury after coming off the bench for the final stages.

It is a first defeat of the season for Blackpool, who drop down to sixth in the league table.

Simon Grayson made one change to his side from last weekend’s draw with Portsmouth, Callum Guy replacing Jordan Thompson who is currently away on international duty.

Rocky Bushiri was also available for selection due to being away with Belgium’s Under-21 side.

Nathan Delfouneso returned to the squad, named on an attacking bench alongside the likes of Sean Scannell and Ryan Hardie.

A sign of Blackpool’s strength in depth was made evident with Nick Anderon, Michael Nottingham and Calum Macdonald all being left out of the 18.

Pool, just as they did against Portsmouth last week, came flying out of the traps - but this time their early pressure resulted in a goal.

It took just 50 seconds, too, Grayson’s men getting off to a flying start thanks to Sullay Kaikai’s audacious attempt.

The winger was left in reams of space at the back post but Kaikai still had it all to do, but he still managed to loop a side-footed volley over the keeper and into the back of the Coventry net.

The home side were left chasing shadows in the early stages as the Seasiders looked to capitalise on their promising start with an early second.

Pool were again seeing plenty of joy down the flanks, with a James Husband cross almost reaching Armand Gnanduillet in the centre.

Coventry thought they had earned an equaliser after 11 minutes when former Fleetwood Town man Jordi Hiwula hit the back of the net, only for the ‘goal’ to be ruled out for offside.

It was a big let-off for Pool as well, as Liam Feeney had completely switched off in the right wing-back position.

The Seasiders quickly countered and wasted a huge chance to double their lead through Joe Nuttall, who could only shoot wide.

The forward had beaten the offside trap to get in behind Coventry’s backline, where Nuttall then shifted the ball onto his stronger right foot before failing to test the keeper at the near post.

After a brief lull in the game, Pool enjoyed another promising opening down the left as Husband was again left in space thanks to Kaikai’s trickery.

The wing-back ran into the Coventry box unopposed and saw his cross inadvertently deflected over the bar by defender Kyle McFadzean.

Pool doubled their lead seven minutes before the interval and it was that man Kaikai again getting on the scoresheet.

It all came from Joe Nuttall’s through ball to Gnanduillet, who was denied by the onrushing keeper Marko Marosi.

But the loose ball fell to Feeney, who showed impressive calmness to pick out Kaikai in the middle who had the simple task of slotting home.

Pool’s delirium was short-lived, however, as Coventry immediately pulled a goal back out of nowhere.

It followed a defensive mix-up between Ryan Edwards and Ollie Turton in the Pool area, which saw the ball fortunately ricochet straight to Matty Godden who volleyed past Jak Alnwick in the Pool goal.

Despite Coventry’s pressure, it looked as though Grayson’s men had done enough to hold out for the remainder of the first half.

But Pool’s good work was all undone in first-half stoppage time, when the Sky Blues levelled after the Seasiders had failed to clear their lines from a hopeful ball into their box.

The cross was played out to Wesley Jobello at the back post who slammed home the equaliser high into the roof of the Blackpool net.

It was a big kick in the gut for the Seasiders who had looked such a threat in attack, yet were undone by a couple of basic defensive errors.

Despite being penned in their own half at the start of the second half, it was the Seasiders who produced the first opportunity.

The ball fell kindly for Husband on the left-hand side and the wing-back drilled a low shot across the face of goal and just wide.

Halfway through the second half, with the score still level, Grayson shuffled the pack with a double change - bringing Ben Heneghan and Nathan Delfouneso on in place of Turton and Gnanduillet.

Coventry defender Michael Rose wasted a golden opportunity to give the home side the lead for the first time, heading over the bar after being left unmarked from a corner.

Pool, meanwhile, threatened from another Feeney cross from the right, which Nuttall bizarrely opted to dummy for Kaikai who was crowded out at the back post.

The Seasiders were forced to play the final five minutes with 10 men after Delfouneso, who had just returned from an injury lay-off, suffered a recurrence of his hamstring complaint.

The one-man advantage paid its toll in the first minute of stoppage time, as the Seasiders suffered a cruel late blow.

Sub Callum O’Hare was the man to notch the all-important goal, creeping into the Blackpool box before finding the far corner of the net.

With Pool throwing men forward in the dying stages, Coventry almost added a fourth but Alnwick came rushing out of goal to deny Gervane Kastaneer.

TEAMS

Coventry: Marosi, Rose (Hyam), McFadzean, Jobello (Kastaneer), Walsh, Dabo, Westbrooke (O'Hare), Shipley, McCallum, Hiwula, Godden

Subs not used: Wilson, Watson, Allen, Bakayoko

Blackpool: Alnwick, Turton (Heneghan), Edwards, Tilt, Feeney, Husband, Spearing, Guy, Kaikai, Nuttall (Hardie), Gnanduillet (Delfouneso)

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Virtue, Shaw, Scannell

Referee: Paul Marsden

Attendance: 6,637 (884 Blackpool)