MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 3-2 Bradford City

Curtis Tilt celebrates scoring Pool's late winner
Curtis Tilt celebrates scoring Pool's late winner

Blackpool produced a remarkable comeback, scoring three times in the final six minutes to beat Bradford City and pick up their second league win of the season in the process.

The Seasiders dominated the game but, on 83 minutes, undeservedly found themselves 2-0 down courtesy of goals from Eoin Doyle and Jack Payne, the first coming from the penalty spot after former Pool defender Kelvin Mellor had been fouled.

But a crazy ending to the game saw Jay Spearing score his first goals for the club, the first from the penalty spot after Armand Gnanduillet had been flattened.

He was given the chance to score a second penalty three minutes later when Curtis Tilt was brought down. He opted to go the same way and his effort from 12 yards was saved, but he smashed home to rebound to pull Pool level.

Tilt, playing as a striker in the dying stages, then bagged the winner for Pool in the final minute of normal time as he tapped home after O’Donnell had spilled a cross.

The win takes Pool up into the top half of the table, having only tasted defeat once this season.

Blackpool made three changes from the side that drew 0-0 at Walsall last week.

Donervon Daniels returned from injury to take his place in defence alongside Tilt, with Ben Heneghan dropping down to the bench.

Harry Pritchard and Liam Feeney were brought back into the fold after impressing during Blackpool’s 3-3 draw at Macclesfield Town in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday. Michael Nottingham and Joe Dodoo were the other two to drop to the bench.

Mellor, meanwhile, lined up for the Bantams having left the Seasiders during the summer.

Bradford came into the game on the back of four defeats in their last five league games. One of those losses was against ten-man Fleetwood Town last weekend, which resulted in Michael Collins receiving the sack on Monday. The following day, former Livingston boss David Hopkin was given the job.

But it was the Seasiders who made the brighter start, with Jordan Thompson going close after five minutes when he brought a good save out of Richard O’Donnell at his near post.

The following move saw Mark Cullen nod the ball down to Nathan Delfouneso in space, but the forward could only fire well over.

It wasn’t the greatest start to the game though, with lots of long balls from both sides with head tennis in the middle of the park.

But when the chances did come, they were coming Blackpool’s way. A Thompson corner found Tilt but the defender headed narrowly wide at the back post.

It was one-way traffic as Blackpool continued to pepper the Bradford defence, with the visitors showing no attacking intent whatsoever.

Pool keeper Mark Howard was a virtual bystander, having nothing to do other than take the odd goal kick.

It took 37 minutes for Bradford to create their first attempt on goal, and when it did come it failed to trouble Howard’s goal.

Former Preston North End man Doyle picked out George Miller in the centre but the forward’s header sailed harmlessly wide.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with Blackpool probing the Bradford goal.

On 52 minutes, the Seasiders should have found that breakthrough as Harry Pritchard attempted to pick out the bottom corner from close range, but O’Donnell flew across his goal to save.

Thompson, having battled back to win the ball, also went close as he curled narrowly over the bar from just outside the Bradford box.

On the hour mark, the deadlock was finally broken - but it didn’t come Blackpool’s way. Former Seasider Mellor was brought down in the box by Tilt, allowing Doyle to give Bradford an undeserved lead as he coolly slotted home from 12 yards.

Five minutes later, Pool were left stunned as Bradford quickly made it two - Jack Payne evading a couple of challenges before shooting through a defender’s legs to find the far corner of Howard’s net.

Pool tried to fight their way back as Thompson fired over the bar while the Seasiders before Marc Bola’s dangerous ball across the face of goal failed to be dispatched.

Pool had shots cleared off the line in quick succession as a Bradford defender recovered to produce a wonderful clearance for Thompson’s shot, which looked destined to find the back of the net, before Daniels also saw a close-range shot blocked.

But Blackpool did get one back on 85 minutes when Jay Spearing scored his first goal for the club from the penalty spot after substitute Armand Gnanduillet had been flattened by O’Donnell.

Remarkably, Pool’s comeback was complete - or so it seemed - just three minutes later when Spearing scored again after Tilt had been brought down in the box.

This time Spearing’s penalty was saved as he opted to go the same way, but he smashed home to rebound to bring Blackpool level.

But it got even better for Pool when Tilt capitalised on a goalkeeping error from O’Donnell to tap home from close range to hand the Seasiders their second league win of the season.


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

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Heneghan, O'Sullivan, Sinclair-Smith

Bradford: O’Donnell, McGowan, O’Connor, Payne, Mellor, Knight-Percival, Wood, Colville (Gibson), Wright (O'Brien), Miller (Ball), Doyle

Subs not used: Kenworthy, Seedorf, Bruenker, Isherwood

Referee: Simon Hooper

Attendance: 4,393 (1,804 Bradford)