MATCH REPORT: Cheltenham 2-2 Blackpool

Blackpool goalscorer Kyle Vassell
Blackpool goalscorer Kyle Vassell
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Kyle Vassell bagged a brace as Blackpool were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against Cheltenham despite missing a number of clear chances.

Cheltenham had taken the lead on two occasions only to be pegged back by a goal either side of half time by the in-form Blackpool forward man.

In what was an end-to-end game, Gary Bowyer’s men will be left to rue a number of missed opportunities in the first half.

Blackpool almost raced into an early lead when, with just 20 seconds on the clock, Cheltenham goalkeeper Russell Griffiths saved at the near post from Jamille Matt after Brad Potts’ pull back.

Potts then had a priceless chance to open the scoring when he beat Griffiths to a teasing cross from Kyle Vassell, only to see his shot rebound off the bar.

It came on the counter after Cheltenham had gone close themselves after the ball had bounced around the Blackpool box from a corner.

Vassell was in the thick of the action once again when his free kick from just outside the box was deflected just wide of the post.

Blackpool continued to make all of the early running as Cheltenham were forced to make three blocks in quick succession inside the box.

Cheltenham fans were up in arms when Blackpool ‘keeper Sam Slocombe was only booked after handling outside the box, when they felt a red would have been more deserving.

But they were cheering only minutes later when they took the lead, with James Dayton’s free kick was diverted into the back of the net after a deflection off Danny Pugh.

The Seasiders almost found themselves on level terms when Kelvin Mellor rose highest to glance a header inches wide of the far post.

The visitors then saw another great chance go begging, when Kyle Vassell’s back post header was well saved by Griffiths before being cleared off the line.

They finally got back on level terms after breaking at speed from a Cheltenham corner, with Vassell shooting past the Cheltenham ‘keeper after collecting Brad Potts’ pass.

Having worked so hard to get back into the game, they fell behind in the final minute of injury time when Danny Wright was left alone at the back post to fire past Sam Slocombe in the Blackpool goal.

However Blackpool drew themselves level with the first action of the second half, when Kyle Vassell’s rasping drive found the top corner of Cheltenham’s net from Jack Payne’s lay off.

Blackpool began to pile on the pressure and Jamille Matt went close to giving his side the lead when his header was flicked just wide of the post from Danny Pugh’s inswinging free kick.

Brad Potts was then sent through on goal by Colin Daniel only to see his lofted effort thwarted by the Cheltenham stopper.

Both sides rallied towards the end of the game but weren’t able to find that all important third goal.

Cheltenham: Griffiths, Barthram (Morgan-Smith), Dickie, Downes, Parslow, Cranston, Dayton (Munns), Pell, Storer, Waters, Wright

Subs not used: Kitscha, O'Shaughnessy, Suliman, Lymn, Whitehead

Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor, Daniel, Pugh, Payne, Potts, Vassell, Matt (Gnanduillet)

Subs: Boney, Nolan, Cain, McAlister, Philliskirk, Cullen

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 3,162