Neil Critchley and Jerry Yates celebrate with the fans outside Bloomfield Road as Blackpool book their place in the League One play-offs

There were jubilant scenes outside Bloomfield Road as Neil Critchley and Jerry Yates celebrated with supporters after Blackpool booked their place in the League One play-offs.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 10:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 10:38 pm

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The Seasiders only needed a point from their final game to guarantee a top six finish, but they got the job in style tonight with a comfortable 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers.

Everton loanee Ellis Simms scored in either half as Critchley's side recorded their third straight win.

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It makes Sunday's final game of the regular season against Joey Barton's already relegated Bristol Rovers a dead rubber.

The only thing at stake at the weekend is where Pool finish in the league table and who they will face in the play-off semi-finals.

As it stands, the Seasiders sit third and will face sixth-placed Portsmouth should positions remain the same.

But both Oxford United and Charlton Athletic are still battling it out for that final spot, while Sunderland and Lincoln City have already guaranteed a play-off finish.

Jerry Yates celebrates with Blackpool's fans outside Bloomfield Road. Screengrab taken from Blackpool FC's Twitter

Critchley, Yates and some of the other players joined in with the celebrations that were taking place outside the main reception.

A group of Blackpool fans had congregated behind fencing, where they serenaded Pool's head coach who applauded them.

Yates, this season's top scorer with 22 goals in all competitions, and Keshi Anderson took things one step further by jumping into the crowd.

The fans had earlier set off a smoke bomb outside the North Stand, where they had been chanting and banging the gates throughout tonight's game.

The League One play-offs begin on May 18 and May 19, when limited crowds will be allowed back into the grounds.

Under the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, 10,000 fans will be allowed to attend sporting events from May 17 onwards, or alternatively 25 per cent of your capacity - whichever is lower.

In Blackpool’s case, a quarter of Bloomfield Road’s capacity is 4,334.

There’s even a chance that 500 away fans could attend the play-off fixtures, despite initial reports suggesting this wouldn’t be the case.

The Premier League has delayed the penultimate round of matches to allow supporters to be present, so that every club can play one home game in front of their own fans.

As a result, the 37th round of fixtures will now be played on May 18 and 19, the day after the third stage of the government’s covid road map is scheduled to start. And the final 38th round takes place on Sunday, May 23.

The initial plans didn’t include any provision for away supporters, but Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has since written to clubs to advise them that the government is prepared to relax the 'no away fans' stipulation in current guidance.

Play-off dates

League One A first leg - Tuesday, May 18 (6pm kick-off)

League One B first leg - Wednesday, May 19 (6pm kick-off)

League One A second leg - Friday, May 21 (7.45pm kick-off)

League One B second leg - Saturday, May 22 (3pm kick-off)

League One play-off final - Sunday, May 30 (3pm kick-off)

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