Match verdict: Blackpool's watertight defence proves the difference once again in Scunthorpe United win

Armand Gnanduillet was the match winner
Armand Gnanduillet was the match winner

In many ways, last night’s game against Scunthorpe United was a carbon copy of the 2-0 win against AFC Wimbledon at the weekend.

MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 1-0 Scunthorpe United

Nathan Delfouneso in action

Nathan Delfouneso in action

Only this time, one goal proved to be enough as Blackpool held on for their second win in the space of just four days.

It’s a risky tactic to take, clinging on to one-goal leads, but when you’ve got a defence as good as Blackpool’s it’s one that is likely to churn out positive results.

In the worst case scenario, Pool might have to settle for the odd draw - as they have done seven times already this season - when they’re not quite as clinical as they have been in the last two fixtures.

The Seasiders, who boast the best defensive record in the league, have conceded just nine goals in their 13 games this season.

Armand Gnanduillet celebrates his goal with the man who set him up, Ollie Turton

Armand Gnanduillet celebrates his goal with the man who set him up, Ollie Turton

For comparison, that’s 11 less than second-place Peterborough United. Last night’s opponents Scunthorpe have leaked 30 goals.

Again, it wasn’t a classic encounter but it didn’t need to be. When you’ve got a defence that has kept eight clean sheets in 13 games, you play to your strengths.

You keep things tight at the back, limit your opponents to very few shots on goal and you try and take full advantage when chances come your way at the other end of the pitch.

READ MORE: Blackpool assistant makes a case for the defence

Donervon Daniels helped Blackpool keep their eighth clean sheet of the season

Donervon Daniels helped Blackpool keep their eighth clean sheet of the season

That’s exactly what the Seasiders did last night as Armand Gnanduillet produced a clinical first-time finish to end a free-flowing team move.

It began with Curtis Tilt producing a trademark run out from the back, powering forward before playing a pinpoint ball out to Ollie Turton who was in acres of space down the left.

The defender, aptly nicknamed Mr Consistent after producing another fine display, this time at left back, crossed for Gnanduillet who side footed home beyond the keeper’s despairing dive and into the far corner.

That came after just 19 minutes and capped off a dominant start from the home side. But from then on, Pool became a little sloppy and allowed Scunthorpe to gain momentum.

Terry McPhillips celebrates at the full-time whistle

Terry McPhillips celebrates at the full-time whistle

The visitors almost found an instant response as James Perch brought a clever save out of the ever-reliable Mark Howard, before Jay Spearing cleared a header off the line from the following corner.

Two or three half chances followed, but that was about it. There was never a moment where you felt Blackpool were seriously under threat.

Terry McPhillips’ men kept them at arm’s length at all times and what was most telling was the manner in which Blackpool saw out the last 10 minutes of the game, plus the five minutes of stoppage time.

Scunthorpe just weren’t allowed to get into a flow and there wasn’t even a frantic last-ditch aerial bombardment to speak of.

The Seasiders’ game management was superb and, in the end, it turned out to be a fairly comfortable victory - if a 1-0 win can ever be such a thing.

PLAYER RATINGS: Marks out of 10 after Blackpool's 1-0 win against Scunthorpe

Michael Nottingham, Curtis Tilt and Jay Spearing celebrate at full time

Michael Nottingham, Curtis Tilt and Jay Spearing celebrate at full time

The victory, which extends Blackpool’s unbeaten run to 11 games, takes McPhillips’ side up to 10th in League One.

They’re three points off the play-offs with two games in hand, and two points above a certain Fleetwood Town side who again have played two games more.

That sets us up perfectly for this weekend’s Fylde coast derby. Win that and Blackpool might just dare to dream...