Match report: Blackpool must build on surprising double

Blackpool's Mark Cullen (2nd right) celebrates scoring
Blackpool's Mark Cullen (2nd right) celebrates scoring
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765 days!

That’s how long it’s been since Blackpool last won back-to-back games at Bloomfield Road, something THREE different managers failed to do.

Statistics like that show just how bad the Seasiders run of form has been in recent years, and just why the few who bother to attend Bloomfield Road these do enjoy victories so much.

A Tom Ince goal against Watford on August 31 in 2013 was saw the last run of wins on home turf, something Barry Ferguson, Jose Riga and Lee Clark never managed.

So there’s no surprise there was a smug enough look on McDonald’s face after the game, particularly after how bad things were a week ago at Shrewsbury.

It gives a totally different outlook to Blackpool’s plight, and might just help the manager persuade people the Fylde coast isn’t that bad a place to come, but let’s not get carried away just yet - there’s a LONG way to go.

I mention attracting players as it’s still a major issue, while it’s going well this week, the Seasiders remain short in numbers and could be in real trouble should they sustain injuries in the wrong areas.

With managerless Fleetwood able to sign two ahead of their game at the weekend, it’s so important Blackpool bust a gut this week to bring in new faces. It has to be a case of striking while the iron is hot now for the Seasiders.

There were no surprises in McDonald’s team selection on Saturday, he was never going to change much after such a promising display on Tuesday night.

There was one forced change however, Tom Aldred returning from an injury of his own to replace Lloyd Jones who returned to Liverpool for treatment on an ankle injury.

McDonald spoke ahead of the game how important it was for his side to start quickly, but it was the away side who had the first chance of the game.

Just two minutes in, Fabien Robert burst forward from midfield before firing straight at Colin Doyle.

Much has been said about the way Swindon play, it’s described as pleasant on the eye without real cutting edge, and from the start of the game you could see what people mean.

They certainly play with a spring in their step and are very comfortable on the ball.

While the away fans were enjoying their side’s start, chanting Ole with every pass, Blackpool showed flashes of giving them something to worry about.

And after 12 minutes Jack Redshaw came close to opening the scoring with a lovely long range effort.

After finding space 25 yards out the forward tried his luck, his effort fizzed just wide.

Despite all the negativity around Blackpool FC, on Bloomfield Road on Saturday there was actually quite a positive atmosphere.

In the opening 20 minutes the few who were inside the stadium encouraged and cheered on the Seasiders, with not an Oyston chant anywhere to be seen.

Barring a mix-up between Doyle and Emmerson Boyce which Pool escaped on 20 minutes, it was a pretty even and dull opening to the game with neither side creating anything like a chance.

For the next 20 minutes the game fizzled out with very little action, chances of moments of note.

But out of nowhere Blackpool found themselves ahead seven minutes before the break.

Henry Cameron’s left-wing corner was turned towards goal by Mark Cullen and appeared to be cleared off the line, only for referee David Webb to award the goal.

It caused mass confusion in the press box with some crediting the goal to Clark Robertson, replays showed Cullen had the final touch.

The goal, as on Tuesday against Chesterfield, did wonders for the Seasiders and brought a real spring to their step.

And just as the fourth official indicated two minutes added time, Pool almost found themselves doubling their lead.

After the lively David Norris was fouled 25 yards from goal, Potts launched a wonderful effort towards the top corner only for Lawrence Vigouroux to tip over.

The Liverpool loan man was involved in drama this week when paying a fine to Swindon in 1p coins, well he earned his pennies with that save.

At half-time Blackpool were forced into a change when the injured Norris was replaced by Bright Samuel, it was a shame as the lively midfielder had done well.

Samuel has had to be patient since being dropped in recent weeks after such a positive start to his Pool career and he had an instant impact on the game.

First he picked up the ball inside his own half before embarking on a wonderful individual run and firing goal wards, only for the keeper to be a match.

Then, moments later, he was played in on goal by Cameron, only to fire his effort straight at the keeper.

It was a very positive start to the second half from McDonald’s men although they had to be on their guard eight minutes later.

Yaser Kasim took advantage of a poor Cameron pass to slide Jonathan Obika in on goal, only for Doyle to race off his line and beat the ball away.

Doyle’s contribution has slipped under the radar so far this season, he’s been excellent.

The save boosted the Seasiders who moments later couldn’t have come much closer to doubling their lead when Potts broke from midfield and curled a superb effort off the inside the post.

Sadly for Blackpool it rolled agonisingly across the goal line and away from danger, but it was a moment of real class from Potts.

While the Seasiders were creating plenty of chances it was a little worrying they weren’t taking them, and on 66 minutes came the game’s best.

A brilliant counter attack saw Redshaw break forward and play the perfect pass into the path of Samuel who fired wide when faced with just the keeper. He has to at least hit the target, a shame as it was a wonderful move.

When you miss decent chances you always have a feeling a sucker punch won’t be far away, and it almost came with 15 minutes to go.

Swindon’s James Brophy went down under a challenge from Aldred in the area, referee Webb blew his whistle, but instead of pointing the to spot awarded a free-kick to Blackpool.

He booked the defender for diving, much to the fury of Aldred who gave Brophy a piece of his mind.

For the rest of the game it was a case of Blackpool seeing it out, and to be fair they did it well, although as always there were a couple of shaky moments.

In that spell we saw just how much Aldred loves to defend, at one point the former Accrington man threw his body in the way of three consecutive blasts towards goal which hit his legs, chest and face - he didn’t so much as flinch.

In the end Blackpool held on and the few inside the stadium celebrated something very rare, back-to-back wins.

It doesn’t cover over all the problems and won’t have thousands running back to cheer on the team, but at least it’s something to build on for McDonald (right) and his side.

If nothing else, it’s a start.