Neil Critchley's verdict on Blackpool's pivotal win against League One play-off rivals Gillingham
The manner of Blackpool’s pivotal win against play-off rivals Gillingham was of huge satisfaction to head coach Neil Critchley.
Blackpool saw off Steve Evans' side in emphatic fashion to cement their spot in the League One play-offs.
A clinic of incisive passing and clinical finishing saw Critchley’s side extend their unbeaten run to 13 games in this Easter Monday encounter.
More importantly, it dealt a major blow to a direct rival as they moved four points clear of Charlton Athletic in seventh, with a game in hand still to play.
Jerry Yates scored two of the four goals, as he became the first Blackpool player to bag 20 in a season since Andy Morrell during the 2006/07 promotion-winning campaign.
The win also extends Blackpool’s unbeaten run on home turf, where they’ve still not been beaten since October 20 - an impressive streak that extends 16 games in all competitions.
“It was a very good team performance,” Critchley said.
“We were playing a team that was in good form because they had only lost one of their last nine games, so to win in the manner we did was very satisfying.
“We got off to a great start, although it’s fair to say we got a bit of fortune with their player pushing the ball into Jerry’s path.
“He’s obviously coming back from closing the goalkeeper down but he made a difficult finish look easy.
“The disappointment was their goal, which came from a long kick. We didn’t get close enough to their player in the box to stop the ball from coming back into the danger area.
“But our response again was excellent and it’s a fantastic second goal from Jerry from a free-kick, which is something we’ve been spending quite a lot of time on and highlighted we wanted to improve upon in the second-half of the season.
“The third goal was a terrific team goal, a real footballing goal involving a lot of players passing and moving and Sullay hits a great strike. It was similar for the fourth goal as well.
“In the end, we comfortably saw the game out and were a lot better on the ball than we were against Swindon on Friday.
“We kept possession better and if anything we could have got one or two more by the end.”
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