Match report: Accrington Stanley 1 Blackpool 2

Max Clayton scores Blackpool's winning goal
Max Clayton scores Blackpool's winning goal

Blackpool registered their first win of the Checkatrade Trophy campaign with a hard-fought victory at the Wham Stadium.

Danny Philliskirk gave the Seasiders the lead just after the half-hour before Erico Sousa levelled matters moments later.

Then, with time running out, Max Clayton scored from close range to give the Seasiders victory.

Blackpool had made nine changes to their starting XI from the side which lost at Southend United last Saturday.

Curtis Tilt and Nathan Delfouneso were the only players to retain their shirts for a night which saw entertaining, end-to-end football from both sides.

That gave a chance to players including Philliskirk, Clayton, Chris Mafoumbi, Nick Anderton and Scott Quigley.

The home side utilised the speed and direct running of Sousa, Mallik Wilks and Mekhi McLeod to great effect in the opening stages.

McLeod was a nuisance to the Seasiders in the opening stages, beating some of the Blackpool defence for fun and seeing a shot deflected behind.

Stanley came close to opening the scoring just before the 20-minute mark when Wilks got away from Will Aimson and Anderton, only to be hauled down 20 yards from goal.

Sousa took the free-kick and clipped the top of the bar, though it had appeared that Mafoumbi had got a touch on the ball.

Clayton and Quigley both saw shots blocked by the home defence before the Seasiders took a 33rd minute lead.

Good possession play gave them a corner, which was only half-cleared to Philliskirk 20 yards out.

He fired the ball back through a ruck of players and past the unsighted Stanley keeper Aaron Chapman.

The lead only lasted six minutes, however, as a ball came in from the Stanley right-hand side and Sousa stooped to head past Mafoumbi.

There was still time for Blackpool to go close again before the break as Quigley’s delicate flick sent Kelvin Mellor into the area.

Despite the tightening angle, he chose to shoot rather than square to Clayton and saw his shot kept out by Chapman.

Watts and McLeod picked up where they left off in the second half, tormenting the Blackpool defence and carving out opportunities.

Wilks lashed wildly over, while Sousa found Tom Dallison, who fired the ball across goal without the finishing touch required.

Blackpool should have been in front by that stage but Clayton fired wide of a gaping goal after Chapman had pushed out Quigley’s shot.

Wilks spurned the best chance of all on 65 minutes after Sousa played him behind the defence but, one-on-one with Mafoumbi, he could only hit the post.

Stanley continued to come close as Mafoumbi pushed McLeod’s curling effort behind and held Jonny Edwards’ swerving attempt.

Penalties seemed to be on the cards; at least they were until Clayton’s decisive intervention as he met a cross from the left and netted via the upright.

It was almost 3-1 seconds later as Callum Cooke shot against Chapman’s right-hand upright from 20 yards but two goals ultimately proved enough.

Accrington Stanley: Chapman, Ogle, Sykes, Richards-Everton, Dallison (Donacien 86), Brown, Johnson, Forbes, McLeod, Sousa (Edwards 80), Wilks. Subs not used: Wolland, Hmami, Mills, Reilly, Watson.

Blackpool: Mafoumbi, Mellor, Tilt (Roache 46), Aimson, Anderton, Taylor, Philliskirk, Cooke, Delfouneso, Clayton, Quigley (Sinclair-Smith, 71). Subs not used: Allsop, Robertson, Ryan, Longstaff, Turton.

Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Attendance: 975.