MATCH REPORT: Doncaster 1-1 Blackpool (p)

Blackpool goalscorer Armand Gnanduillet
Blackpool goalscorer Armand Gnanduillet
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Blackpool produced their second cup win in four days as they beat Doncaster Rovers on penalties to progress to the next round of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Blackpool’s joy in cup competitions continued as they saw off Doncaster Rovers on penalties to make it through to the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy.

The two sides couldn’t be separated in normal time, with a goal in either half leaving the scores 1-1 after the 90 minutes.

Blackpool then edged a mammoth penalty shoot out, with youngster Luke Higham scoring the all-important goal as the Seasiders won 8-7.

During the normal 90 minutes, Pool striker Armand Gnanduillet handed the visitors the lead in the first half, only to be pegged back by Andy Williams’ second-half header.

Pool, starting with an almost unrecognisable side from the one that won in the FA Cup second round, were rarely threatened as they overcame a dispirited Doncaster side with relative ease.

However, it is not all good news for Blackpool - who are likely to pick up a £5,000 fine after Gary Boywer made 10 changes in what was a breach of Checkatrade Trophy rules.

It means the club will be risking another fine from the Football League, with tournament rules stipulating that sides should make no more than five changes from their previous fixture.
Blackpool were fined £3,000 in the last round after Sam Slocombe was subbed off after 11 minutes to give Myles Boney some game time, with Bowyer having already made five changes.

Senior players such as Sam Slocombe, Tom Aldred, Brad Potts and Kyle Vassell were missing from the squad altogether, while just five substitutes were named on the bench.

Among them was striker Jack Redshaw, returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines through shin splints.

Youngsters Rowan Roache and Christian N'Guessan were also included on the bench.

Doncaster also opted to make nine changes, as both clubs decided to ignore the Football League’s warnings for what has been a much-criticised competition.

The first chance of the game the home side’s way but it was all the visitor’s own doing, with Andy Williams failing to take advantage after Will Aimson fluffed his lines.

Armand Gnanduillet shot wastefully wide for Blackpool’s first opportunity, after the French striker had found a small pocket of space on the edge of the Doncaster box.

Neither side were able to lift their tempo in the early stages, with the apathy in the stands seemingly making its way to the players on the pitch.

Blackpool produced three good chances in quick succession but failed to take advantage. Gnanduillet went closest when goalkeeper Marko Marosi saved superbly down to his left to keep out the striker’s downward header.

Mark Cullen and Mark Yeates also wasted two good opportunities the minute previous.

Pool’s early joy came via some pressing high up the pitch, with the home side opting to be more patient with their approach which failed to trouble the Seasiders’ backline.

Gnanduillet and Cullen linked up well at front of for Gary Bowyer’s side, as they looked to recreate the successful partnership of Kyle Vassell and Jamille Matt that has proven so fruitful in the league in recent weeks.

And it was the two who combined for Blackpool’s opener, with Gnanduillet drilling home a smartly-struck volley inside the Rovers box after Cullen had done well to knock the ball down to him.

A minute later, Gnanduillet almost bagged his second as he headed disappointingly over from Michael Cain’s outswinging cross.

Mark Yeates, given a free role in midfield, combined well with Danny Philliskirk down the right but produced a weak effort after getting on the end of a well-worked one-two.

Blackpool almost ended the half with a second goal, but Osayi-Samuel was unable to get the ball out of his feet as he bore down on the Rovers goal.

Blackpool then had the ball in the back of the net at the start of the second half, only for Cullen’s close range header from Mark Yeates’ teasing cross to be ruled out for offside.

The visitors were made to pay for all of their missed chances when Doncaster drew level, with striker Andy Williams heading into the bottom corner.

Williams was afforded far too much space inside the Blackpool six-yard box and somehow remained unmarked between three Pool defenders.

Pool almost made amends straight away, but Gnanduillet’s glancing header ended an inch or two the wrong side of the Doncaster post as he raced to meet a corner.

Cullen was denied a goal by the linesman’s flag for the second time after he reacted quickest to nod in on the goalline after Osayi-Samuel was denied by Marosi.

The game fizzled out in the final stages, although Rovers’ Paul Keegan flashed a free-kick narrowly wide of Dean Lyness’ post.

But it was the Seasiders who took the last laugh as they won 8-7 on penalties, with Luke Higham scoring the crucial spot-kick after Dean Lyness had made two great saves,

Doncaster: Marosi, Mason, Wright, Garratt (Baudry), Evina (Houghton), Keegan, Calder, Middleton, Beestin, Williams (Mandeville), Longbottom

Subs not used: Jones, Marquis, Rowe, Walker

Blackpool: Lyness, Nolan, Aimson, Higham, Osayi-Samuel (Cameron), McAlister, Yeates, Cain (Roache), Philliskirk, Cullen, Gnanduillet (Redshaw)

Subs not used: Boney, N'Guessan

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 1,549 (99)