Portsmouth 0-1 Blackpool: Jerry Yates strikes late on to claim BIG three points for the in-form Seasiders

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Jerry Yates’ late strike handed Blackpool a priceless victory against high-flying Portsmouth to continue the Seasiders’ strong form.
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Portsmouth v Blackpool as it happened

The striker netted his 11th goal of the campaign and his second in as many games eight minutes from time to decide this scrappy encounter.

In completing a double over Pompey and winning at Fratton Park for the third year running, the Seasiders have now won four of their last five games in League One.

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Jerry Yates celebrates his decisive late strikeJerry Yates celebrates his decisive late strike
Jerry Yates celebrates his decisive late strike

Neil Critchley’s side, who play five of their next seven games at home, are now seven points off the play-offs with two games in hand.

Despite getting back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory against Rochdale in midweek, Critchley opted to make three changes to his side.

One was unforced, with Marvin Ekpiteta dropping out after suffering a hamstring injury during the second-half on Tuesday night.

Dan Ballard was his replacement, while Luke Garbutt came into the side in place of Jordan Thorniley, who dropped to the bench.

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That saw Pool start the game with a new-look centre-back partnership of Ballard and James Husband, who moved across from full-back having filled in there following Ekpiteta’s withdrawal against Rochdale.

Elsewhere, Grant Ward came into the side on the right flank, replacing Matty Virtue who dropped down to the bench.

Gary Madine missed out for a fourth game running with an ongoing groin issue, while Daniel Gretarsson, Keshi Anderson and CJ Hamilton remain sidelined through injury.

Portsmouth, meanwhile, made two changes to their side following their surprising 3-1 defeat against Bristol Rovers in midweek.

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Pompey were due to be without their manager Kenny Jackett, who underwent an operation on his arm on Thursday.

However, the 59-year-old, who missed his side’s defeat on Tuesday and was due to miss a further four games, returned early to watch the game from the stands.

Blackpool survived a penalty scare inside the opening 60 seconds as Chris Maxwell appeared to bundle Ronan Curtis to the floor as he came rushing out of his goal to deal with a bouncing ball, but the referee remained unmoved.

The Seasiders responded well, playing some confident one-and-two touch football before carving open a clear-cut opening after four minutes.

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Ellis Simms did well to shift the ball onto his left foot to create space for himself, before seeing his shot palmed away by Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray.

The keeper’s save rebounded straight into the path of Jerry Yates who appeared to have a simple tap-in from within the six-yard box, but Charlie Daniels recovered to make a last-ditch block for the home side.

Pool continued to look bright, with Sullay Kaikai continuing his strong display in midweek with some bright early touches and runs.

The winger, cutting inside from the left, was clipped to give the Seasiders a free-kick in a dangerous position which Luke Garbutt curled low around the wall, only for MacGillivray to tip behind.

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A minute or two earlier, Pompey centre-back Rasmus Nicolaisen had headed wide from a Daniels corner into a crowded penalty box.

Referee Sam Allison, who was fussy early on, handing out a number of soft free-kicks, handed out a booking to Garbutt following a tough 50-50 challenge on Curtis.

The Pompey player, who went down bashing the floor and screaming out loud, soon returned to the field and was fine to continue.

Pool continued to offer an attacking threat, Ellis Simms heading over from Grant Ward’s right-wing cross.

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However, at the other end they conceded some needless free-kicks, playing into the hands of a Pompey side that offer a big threat from set-pieces.

They were given a major let-off on the half-hour mark when a Curtis free-kick caused havoc inside the Blackpool box.

It initially fell to Marcus Harness at the back-post but the hosts were somehow unable to force the ball home despite having three presentable opportunities to do so, James Husband eventually making a decisive block to force the ball behind.

The referee’s calls continued go against Blackpool, as Allison showed Simms a yellow card for an innocuous challenge with Sean Raggett.

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The Everton loanee risked a second yellow in first-half stoppage-time when he attempted to charge down defender Rasmus Nicolaisen, who went down theatrically looking to see Simms penalised.

Simms was taken off at the break as a result and replaced by Demetri Mitchell, which saw Kaikai move into a more advanced central role.

The beginning of the second-half was a real scrappy affair, as both sides strapped in for a battle.

Pool began to assert some control, but were found wanting in the final third whenever they were required to make the killer pass, cross or shot.

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In a game low on quality, we were given some brief light entertainment when the referee bizarrely allowed the game to continue despite a second ball being on the pitch.

A Pompey player cleared the ball into the stands, only for it to return straight away which gave the referee no option but to pause the game.

The home side briefly threatened on 72 minutes when Curtis cut inside from the left before unleashing a shot that was well blocked, in what was the first opportunity of sorts of the second-half.

With 15 minutes remaining, Critchley turned to the bench and brought on Elliot Embleton for Kaikai, who had struggled after a bright start.

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Embleton almost made an instant impact as he curled towards the bottom corner from 25 yards, only to be denied by a flying save from MacGillivray.

The ball rebounded to Garbutt on the edge of the box, whose fierce drive was tipped wide by the Pompey shot stopper.

There was nothing MacGillivray could do two minutes later though to stop the Seasiders from taking the lead.

Yates was the man to make the all-important breakthrough, as he broke quickly, before turning and twisting Raggett and firing across MacGillivray and picking out the bottom corner.

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Pompey struggled to muster up much of a response, their only real chance falling to Charlie Daniels who fired over from range.

The Seasiders saw out the three minutes of stoppage time with relative ease to claim a big, big win in their pursuit to cut the gap to the League One play-offs.


Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen, Daniels, Naylor, Cannon, Harness (Byers), Curtis, Williams (Hiwula), Marquis (Harrison)

Subs not used: Ward, Brown, Whatmough, White

Blackpool: Maxwell, Gabriel, Ballard, Husband, Garbutt, Dougall, Stewart, Ward (Virtue), Kaikai (Embleton), Simms (Mitchell), Yates

Subs not used: Sims, Turton, Thorniley, Lubala

Referee: Sam Allison

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