MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 1-0 Scunthorpe United

Striker Armand Gnanduillet was the match winner
Striker Armand Gnanduillet was the match winner

Armand Gnanduillet was the match winner as Blackpool battled to their second win in the space of four days.

Armand Gnanduillet was the match winner as Blackpool battled to their second win in the space of four days.

The striker’s first half effort, his fourth of the season, was enough to separate the two sides in what was an evenly-contested clash at Bloomfield Road.

In a game where chances were few and far between, the Seasiders again proved they had what it takes to grind out a win - as they kept their eighth clean sheet of the season.

The win takes Blackpool up to 10th in the League One table, while also extending their unbeaten run to 11 games ahead of Saturday’s Fylde coast derby against Fleetwood Town.

The result also means Blackpool have won all five of their midweek games in league and Carabao Cup action.

Blackpool had to do without Saturday’s goalscoring hero Marc Bola, who missed out with an ankle injury he picked up during the 2-0 win against AFC Wimbledon.

The left back, whose goal against the Dons was his first as a professional, was replaced by Michael Nottingham as one of two changes from Saturday’s game.

Nottingham came into the team starting at right back, seeing Ollie Turton move over to the left-hand side of defence.

Liam Feeney was the second change, as he returned to the side in place of Harry Pritchard.

Scunthorpe, meanwhile, made one change to the side that squandered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at Wycombe Wanderers at the weekend, which was their third defeat in their last four games.

The Seasiders asserted their dominance from the off, playing some lovely one and two-touch football and pinning Scunthorpe back in their own half.

McPhillips’ men came close to scoring after just nine minutes, Michael Nottingham heading narrowly over after reaching Liam Feeney’s pinpoint delivery.

Ten minutes later, Blackpool were ahead. It came via a superb, flowing team move which started with Curtis Tilt bringing the ball out of defence before finding Turton in space down the left.

The defender produced a pinpoint cross for the unmarked Armand Gnanduillet who calmly side footed a first-time volley beyond Jak Alnwick and into the bottom corner.

Bizarrely, the goal seemed to wake up the visitors who came close to finding an instant response as James Perch brought a smart save out of Mark Howard who tipped his curling 25-yard effort over the bar.

From the subsequent corner, defender Charlie Goode sent a looping header towards goal but Pool skipper Jay Spearing was there to clear off the line.

The danger wasn’t quite cleared though, with Tilt being required to hook away from the danger zone as a goalmouth scramble ensured.

The Iron again went close through striker Stephen Humphrys, who turned into space by the touchline before driving towards goal and unleashing a powerful 20-yard drive that Howard did well to push away.

Pool struggled to assert their dominance in the final stages of the first half and their play became a bit sloppy.

It resulted in more attacking opportunities for Scunthorpe, who again came close to an equaliser through the dangerous Ryan Colclough who found the side netting with a drilled effort from a tight angle.

But Blackpool almost ended the half on a perfect note as they went close to adding a second on the stroke of half time. Turton and Gnanduillet again combined, with the latter seeing a bobbled shot turned around the post by Alnwick.

Goode, the man who saw a header cleared off the line in the first half, again looped an effort towards goal at the start of the second period but this time it was Howard who denied him to keep Scunthorpe at bay.

His centre back partner Rory McArdle also went close with a header, rising highest from a corner only to flash wide of goal.

At the other end, space opened up for Callum Guy after the midfielder played a neat one-two with Gnanduillet, but his low effort was weak and straight at Alnwick.

But Scunthorpe remained the more threatening side, with Humphrys again coming close with a low shot that flashed just wide of the far post, with Howard beaten.

McPhillips made a tactical change on the hour mark, bringing off the tired-looking Jordan Thompson and replacing him with Mark Cullen, who went up front to partner Gnanduillet in attack.

This opened the game up considerably, with substitute Mark Cullen almost inadvertently adding a second for Pool as his cross looped over the keeper only to hit the top of the crossbar and go out for a goal kick.

Scunthorpe continued to push for an equaliser and, with 13 minutes to go, substitute George Thomas flashed a dangerous ball across the face of goal but fortunately for Blackpool no one was there to take advantage.

The Seasiders did well to slow the game down in the final 10 minutes, breaking up play and winning a number of free kicks.

One of these led to substitute Harry Pritchard having a chance just outside the box, but the midfielder’s curled effort went just wide.

Despite the fourth official signalling five minutes of stoppage time, the visitors had little to give and Blackpool eventually saw out the rest of the game with ease.

TEAMS

Blackpool: Howard, Nottingham, Daniels, Tilt, Turton, Spearing, Guy, Thompson (Cullen), Delfouneso, Feeney (O'Sullivan), Gnanduillet (Pritchard)

Subs not used: Boney, Heneghan, O'Connor, Dodoo

Scunthorpe: Alnwick, Clarke, Borthwick-Jackson, McArdle, Ojo (Horsfield), Humphrys, Dales (Thomas), Perch, Goode, Burgess (Ugbo), Colclough

Subs not used: Flatt, Lewis, Sutton, Butroid

Referee: Thomas Bramall

Attendance: 2,769 (302 Scunthorpe)