MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 1-3 Wigan

Kyle Vassell beats Jamie Jones to the ball to tap home
Kyle Vassell beats Jamie Jones to the ball to tap home

Blackpool were left to rue an early injury to Kyle Vassell as high-flying Wigan came from behind to win and end the Seasiders’ unbeaten home in the process.

Vassell had given his side the perfect start when he capitalised on a defensive mix-up to give Pool the lead against the League One title favourites.

But the striker was forced off after pulling up with an injury, and from there on in the visitors were very much in control.

Chey Dunkley was the man at fault for Vassell’s opener but he atoned for his mistake with goals either side of half time, before former Blackpool man David Perkins made sure of the three points towards the end.

It means Blackpool, who missed the injured Jimmy Ryan and Clark Robertson, were beaten at Bloomfield Road for the first time this season.

The game was played in horrific conditions with the wind and rain of Storm Brian making the game almost unplayable.

Neither side was able to get hold of the ball in the early stages as they attempted - mostly in vain - to get to grips with the conditions.

But with just eight minutes on the clock Gary Bowyer’s men were gifted the lead thanks to a woeful defensive mix-up from Wigan’s backline.

Centre back Chey Dunkley failed to deal with a hopeful ball into the Wigan box and instead headed past his own goalkeeper, with Kyle Vassell getting the last touch virtually on the goalline.

It was fair to say Blackpool acclimatised to the conditions the quicker through some dogged play but it didn’t take long for Wigan to assert their dominance possession-wise.

Nick Powell had their first effort on goal after Jay Spearing had inadvertently given him the ball, but the forward could only shoot straight at Ryan Allsop in the Blackpool goal.

The visitors almost took advantage of Blackpool being a man down when Kyle Vassell was forced to hobble off with an injury, but Michael Jacobs could only direct his diving header against the foot of the post with Allsop well beaten.

Curtis Tilt continued his impressive early season form to make two vital blocks in the space of as many minutes - denying Jacobs on the second occasion after the midfielder had engineered himself some space in the Blackpool box.

As much as Wigan were enjoying most of the possession, the hosts were a constant threat on the break with the pace of Nathan Delfouneso and Viv Solomon-Otabor proving a headache for the Latics’ backline.

Other than Vassell’s opportunistic goal, there wasn’t much to split the two teams but Blackpool were punished right at the death in first-half injury time to make the scores level at the break.

Gavin Massey was afforded too much space at the back post and he lofted a chip into the centre where Dunkley scrambled home to atone for his earlier mistake.

The Latcs, buoyed by their late goal in the first half, made a bright start to the second period and came close to taking the lead through Powell’s header which was deflected behind by Colin Daniel.

Having been a goal down in the first half, the Latics completed the turnaround by taking the lead 10 minutes into the second half - and once again their goal came from the unlikely source of their centre back Dunkley.

The Seasiders failed to clear their lines from a free kick and a deflected effort fell at the feet of Dunkley, who steered home into the bottom corner to send the away fans delirious.

Wigan were happy to sit back on their lead and hit on the break, which only served to frustrate Blackpool who were struggling to make the ball stick up top in the absence of the injured Vassell.

After a brief lull in the game, Blackpool sparked into life somewhat and forced a couple of corners - the latter presenting Sean Longstaff with a chance from range which deflected narrowly over.

Wigan almost added a third through Gavin Massey, whose drilled effort from the edge of the box beat Allsop but clipped the outside of the post.

But a few minutes later that third goal did come, with substitute David Perkins slotting into the bottom corner after Armand Gnanduillet had played the ball off his own man in the middle of the park.

Blackpool: Allsop, Turton, Tilt, Aimson, Daniel, Spearing, D'Almeida (Longstaff), Solomon-Otabor, Mellor, Delfouneso, Vassell (Clayton, Gnanduillet)

Subs not used: Williams, Taylor, Cooke, Philliskirk

Wigan: Jones, Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, Elder, Morsy, Power, Jacobs, Powell (Hunt), Massey (Roberts), Toney (Perkins)

Subs not used: Sarkic, Bruce, Thomas, James

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 5,817 (2,190 Wigan)