MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 1-1 Southend

Clark Robertson celebrates his third goal of the season
Clark Robertson celebrates his third goal of the season
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Blackpool were forced to settle for a point as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Southend United.

The Shrimpers were the better side in the first half and opened the scoring on 11 minutes through striker Marc Antoine Fortune.

It appeared they would hold onto that lead until half-time but Clark Robertson equalised in stoppage time, stabbing home from close range for his third goal of the season.

But the Seasiders were much improved in the second period and had chances to claim all three points, but once again that lack of a clinical touch meant they were forced to settle for just the one.

The two sides are separated by just the one point in the league table - and that showed as they fought out an evenly-contested battle.

The draw means Blackpool remain 14th, still seven points clear of the dropzone.

Blackpool were forced into making one change to their line-up from their midweek fixture; bringing Danny Philliskirk in for the missing Nathan Delfouneso.

Philliskirk impressed after replacing Delfouneso during the first half of Blackpool’s 1-0 win against Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.

That came after Delfouneso was stretchered off the pitch and rushed to hospital following a clash of heads with Charlton’s Lewis Page.

The 27-year-old was allowed home the same night and should be okay to return for the trip to MK Dons next week, but missed out today with concussion.

The Seasiders, clearly brimming with confidence from the midweek win, almost took the lead inside the first 30 seconds but the woodwork came to Southend’s rescue.

Viv Solomon-Otabor picked out Sean Longstaff inside the Southend box and he rattled the crossbar with his side-footed effort.

But the visitors responded well, dominating the early proceedings with some neat and tidy play before taking the lead on 11 minutes.

It came after Anthony Wordsworth’s superb free kick rebounded off the post into the path of Marc Antoine Fortune, who bundled home into the empty net.

Kyle Vassell wasted a good opportunity to level for Blackpool when he was adjudged to be onside when Solomon-Otabor’s ambitious effort deflected into his path inside the six-yard box, only for the striker’s touch to let him down.

Another good bit of play from Southend saw Stephen McLaughlin head wide after Ben Coker had hung up a cross for him at the back post.

Vassell got a shot off at goal from inside the box, with a deflection seeing it swerve just wide of the far post.

Southend were given a big let-off just before the half-hour mark when Simon Cox, already on a booking, went over the ball and fouled Curtis Tilt.

But referee Andy Haines ignored the calls for a red card from the homem supporters, giving the Southend forward a stern talking-to instead.

Despite their quick start, Blackpool were very much second best for the majority of the first half and they almost found themselves two down shortly before the break.

Some neat play from the visitors saw Fortune gain a yard of space inside the box, but the striker’s curling effort was palmed away from the bottom corner by Joe Lumley with two strong hands.

Blackpool probably didn’t deserve to head into half-time level but that’s exactly what happened after Clark Robertson equalised in first-half stoppage time.

It came after Danny Philliskirk’s effort was saved on the goalline after Jimmy Ryan’s corner had caused havoc inside the Southend box, but Robertson made sure of it by drilling home from close range.

Southend keeper Mark Oxley denied Blackpool from taking the lead at the start of the second half as he made a superb double save to deny Longstaff first and Vassell on the rebound.

Blackpool kept up the pressure at the start of the second period and again came close through Vassell, who shot over the bar on the turn after Southend had failed to clear their lines from a corner.

The blizzard conditions failed to deter the Seasiders, who came close through Colin Daniel and Vassell in quick succession.

Southend hadn’t showed a great deal of endeavour in the second half.But with just seven minutes remaining, Blackpool were given a big let-off when Jason Demetriou hit the post after being sent through on goal.

The remainder of the game was a fairly uneventful one, as the match fizzled out with both sides settling for the draw.

Blackpool: Lumley, Turton, Tilt, Robertson, Daniel, Ryan, Spearing, Longstaff (Gnanduillet), Philliskirk, Solomon-Otabor, Vassell (Agyei)

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Aimson, D’Almeida, Cooke, Clayton

Southend: Oxley, Demetriou, White, Coker, Wordsworth, Turner, Timlin, Yearwood, McLaughlin, Fortune (Mantom), Cox (Robinson)

Subs not used: Bishop, Harrison, Kightly, Ladapo, Wright

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 3,213 (399 Southend)