MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 1-0 Brackley

Jamille Matt scored Blackpool's all-important goal
Jamille Matt scored Blackpool's all-important goal
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Blackpool advanced to the third round of the FA Cup despite an unconvincing performance in their 1-0 win against non-league Brackley Town.

Jamille Matt’s first-half goal proved to be the difference between the two sides as the Seasiders saw off National League North opposition for the second consecutive round.

Brackley dominated large spells of the game, which was played in front of a sparse crowd at Bloomfield Road. The official attendance was given out as 1,764 although many disputed that figure.

Before the game got underway, a minute’s silence was impeccably observed for all those Chapecoense players, staff and journalists that lost their lives during the tragic plane crash during the week.

The Seasiders made a sluggish start to the game in the opening minutes as the visitors took the game to their Football League opponents. But it was Blackpool who took the lead with their first attack of the game.

Brad Potts and Kelvin Mellor combined well down the right, with the former getting in a shot which inadvertently found the head of striker Jamille Matt, who prodded in from close range.

The visitors came close to an instant equaliser with striker Lee Ndlovu seeing his close-range effort deflected just wide of the post after the ball had been fizzed across the box.

The resulting corner was well cleared and Pool broke at speed and Potts brought a good save out of Brackley ‘keeper Laurie Walker, who got down well to save at his near post.

Brackley showed plenty of ambition to break forward in numbers but left plenty of gaps for Pool to exploit on the counter attack.

But Brackley settled well and began to pile on the pressure.

Mellor was forced to climb highest to head away at the back post as James Armson, Brackley’s hat-trick hero in the last round, looked odds on for a simple finish.

Fellow defender Clark Robertson was then forced to skew a clearance out for a corner as Brackley looked to make the most of their promising spell.

Pool were forced to put their bodies on the line and defended well, and were almost rewarded when Potts’ rasping drive from just outside of the box was tipped wide of the post by Walker after a quick one-two with Kyle Vassell.

Brackley were inches away from levelling the scores in the final action of the first half, with the ball crashing against the underside of the bar and down onto the line as Clark Robertson attempted to clear away a ball fizzed across the six-yard box.

Blackpool started the second half in a sluggish fashion once again.

Brackley’s James Armson curled a left-footed effort narrowly wide of the top corner as the non-league outfit looked for a way back into the game.

Pool stopper Sam Slocombe was called into action to make a crucial stop from Ndlovu as he bore down on goal after capitalising on a short back pass.

The hosts immediately broke but Potts was unable to get a clean shot away inside the area as he came under pressure from the defender.

Brackley did get the ball in Blackpool’s net on the hour-mark, but the referee had already blown for offside as Ndlovu’s tapped into an empty net.

Pool strikers Matt and Vassell combined well as the hosts looked to break on the counter, but Vassell’s shot inside the 18-yard box was comfortably saved by the Brackley ‘keeper.

Blackpool were forced to clear their lines from their own goalline for the second time in the match, with Tom Aldred heading away after Slocombe spilled at his near post.

With five minutes injury time added on, the visitors threw the kitchen sink at Blackpool but the hosts held firm to proceed through to the next round.

Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor, Potts, Payne, Pugh, Osayi-Samuel (Yeates), Vassell (McAlister), Matt (Gnanduillet)

Subs not used: Lyness, Nolan, Aimson, Cullen

Brackley: Walker, Myles, Gudger, Byrne, Graham (Lowe), Dean, Walker, Armson, Ndlovu (Pitt), Diggin (Moyo), Walker

Subs not used: Cox, Rankin, Farrell, Noon

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 1,764 (429)