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MATCH REPORT: AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Blackpool

Kyle Vassell in the thick of the action on his return from injury
Kyle Vassell in the thick of the action on his return from injury

Blackpool now find themselves just three points ahead of the League One relegation zone after they slumped to a dire 2-0 defeat to fellow strugglers AFC Wimbledon.

Second half goals from Liam Trotter and Joe Pigott were enough to see off Gary Bowyer’s men, who have now failed to score in any of their last four outings in league and cup.

The defeat sees Blackpool slip down to 17th, three points ahead of MK Dons in 21st.

Pool had high hopes for a positive result when they named Kyle Vassell and Dan Agyei as their strikers, but both struggled to make any impact.

Vassell, still the Seasiders’ top scorer with eight goals this season, had missed the club’s last eight games in all competitions after picking up the knock in the 2-1 defeat to Rotherham United in December.

He was partnered up front by new signing Dan Agyei, who clinched a loan move to Bloomfield Road from Lancashire neighbours Burnley on Thursday, to feature against the side he started his career with.

As Bowyer promised in his pre-match press conference, Kelvin Mellor started in defence despite rumoured interest from Pool’s League One rivals Bradford City.

Nathan Delfouneso and Jimmy Ryan were the two to make way for Agyei and Vassell, with Ryan dropping out of the squad altogether after picking up a knock.

Debutant Agyei forced the first shot on goal, having a crack from outside the box only to see his effort easily claimed by George Long in the Wimbledon goal.

The Wombles began to assert their dominance on proceedings and came close through Tom Soares, who could only head over the bar after being found at the near post from Lyle Taylor’s dangerous free kick.

Andy Barcham then had a go from 20 yards out but his shot was easily claimed by Joe Lumley in the Blackpool goal.

A scrappy first half low on goalmouth action was summed up by a couple of opportunities for Wimbledon’s Jimmy Abdou in the space of just two minutes.

The first, a dipping volley from the edge of the box, missed the corner flag and ended up going out for a throw in. The second, a shot again from the edge of the box, cleared the Blackpool crossbar by a good ten yards.

The half was then brought to a close when Sessi D’Almeida tried to pick out the top corner with a shot from range, but his effort flew well wide.

The Dons broke the deadlock just four minutes into the second half and it was Liam Trotter who got his name on the scoresheet thanks to some lackadaisical defending.

The midfielder was afforded far too much space to tap home into an empty net after Joe Lumley had saved from Cody McDonald.

The Seasiders were presented with a good opportunity to equalise when Ollie Turton’s pullback deflected into the path of Agyei, but the striker shot well over on the turn.

Substitute Nathan Delfouneso was straight into action for the Seasiders with the ball dropping to him inside the Wimbledon box, but he failed to control his volley which looped over the bar.

Blackpool thought they had a legitimate shout for a penalty when Viv Solomon-Otabor appeared to be clipped inside the area, but referee Darren Drysdale waved away the appeals.

It went from bad to worse for Blackpool when the Dons doubled their lead through their new signing Joe Pigott.

The striker, signed from Maidstone during the week, was sent through on goal and he lashed home high into the net giving Lumley no chance.

Sean Longstaff had an opportunity to get one back for the Seasiders just three minutes from time but he could only shoot across the face of goal when found in space inside the box.

AFC Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Francomb (Meades), Oshilaja, Charles, Abdou, Trotter, Soares, McDonald (Pigott), Taylor (Forrester), Barcham

Subs not used: McDonnell, Robinson, Kennedy, Hartigan

Blackpool: Lumley, Mellor, Aimson, Robertson, Turton, Spearing, D'Almeida (Cooke), Longstaff, Daniel, Agyei (Solomon-Otabor), Vassell (Delfouneso)

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Taylor, Philliskirk, Gnanduillet

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 4,286 (475 Blackpool)