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MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 2-2 Rochdale

Jordan Thompson celebrates after scoring his first goal for the club
Jordan Thompson celebrates after scoring his first goal for the club

Blackpool were forced to settle for yet another draw as Calvin Andrew headed home a late equaliser for Rochdale.

The Seasiders were just three minutes away from sealing their fourth league win of the season thanks to goals from Jordan Thompson and Curtis Tilt.

But Rochdale, who had earlier levelled through Ryan Delaney, equalised for a second time at the death through substitute Andrew.

It means Blackpool, who are now unbeaten in 13 games, had to settle for their seventh draw of the season from just 11 matches.

Terry McPhillips opted to name an unchanged side, which meant Ben Heneghan retained his place in the centre of defence despite the return of Donervon Daniels from suspension.

Rochdale, meanwhile, named former Seasiders Harrison McGahey and David Perkins in their starting line-up.

After a scrappy start to proceedings, Blackpool took the lead just five minutes in as Jordan Thompson netted his first goal for the club.

The Northern Ireland U21 international was granted a free header in the six-yard box from Marc Bola’s pinpoint delivery and he made no mistake, despite keeper Josh Lillis getting a strong hand.

The Seasiders weren’t ahead for long though, as Dale got back on level terms just three minutes later as defender Ryan Delaney produced a superb first-time volley that flew past Mark Howard and into the back of the net.

Now full of confidence, the visitors almost took the lead a couple of minutes later in a frantic start to the game, as Delaney headed just wide when well placed in front of goal.

Despite the two early goals, there was a brief lull in the game with Rochdale dominating possession but unable to create any clear-cut chances.

On the half hour mark, they were made to pay for that lack of a cutting edge as Curtis Tilt headed Blackpool back in front.

The centre back rose highest in the six-yard box to nod a powerful header beyond Lillis from Jay Spearing’s corner for his second goal of the campaign.

Blackpool were given a good chance to extend their lead at the very start of the second half when they were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the Rochdale box, but Armand Gnanduillet’s effort was straight into the wall.

Nathan Delfouneso then went close as Pool pressed for their third of the afternoon, with the forward looping a header over the keeper only to see it nestle on top of the net.

The Seasiders continued their impressive start to the second 45 minutes, as Ben Heneghan went close with a back post header that was hooked away from the goalline.

Callum Guy then flashed a cross off the top of the Rochdale crossbar after doing superbly to keep the ball alive down the right-hand flank.

The Seasiders were unable to capitalise on their period of domination, and were eventually forced to sit back and soak up some pressure from the visitors who came back into it in the last 20 minutes.

Brad Inman found himself getting in behind the Blackpool defence but his pullback into the danger area was cleared away by Spearing.

Meanwhile at the other end Gnanduillet saw a goalbound shot cleared away from the bottom corner after being teed up by Thompson.

Thompson then came close to a third for Blackpool seven minutes from time as he looked to pick out the top corner from just outside the box, but his curling effort flew just over.

With just three minutes remaining, Rochdale were level. It came after full back Joe Rafferty whipped in a dangerous cross to the back post where substitute Calin Andrew headed the ball back across goal and into the bottom corner.

Pool nearly got themselves back in front in injury time as Ryan McLaughlin toe poked the ball across goal to Gnanduillet, who couldn't get the required contact to turn the ball home.

TEAMS

Blackpool: Howard, Turton, Heneghan, Tilt, Bola, Spearing, Guy (McLaughlin), Thompson, Delfouneso (Cullen), Feeney (Nottingham), Gnanduillet

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

Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, Delaney, McGahey, Williams (Cannon), Rathbone (Andrew), Perkins, Inman, Hart, Clough (Williams), Henderson

Subs not used: Moore, McNulty, Done, Morley

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 3,520 (840 Rochdale)