Blackpool 1-2 Bournemouth: Siriki Dembele goal deep into stoppage-time condemns Seasiders to cruel defeat

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A Siriki Dembele goal deep into stoppage-time condemned Blackpool to a cruel and undeserved defeat to high-flying Bournemouth.
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Blackpool v Bournemouth: Live updates from Bloomfield Road

It looked as though Josh Bowler’s stunning long-range strike would be enough to secure another three impressive points for Neil Critchley’s men.

But the Cherries, who sit second in the Championship table, equalised four minutes from time through substitute Jamal Lowe, before Dembele won it at the death in the fourth minute of time added on.

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The away side had earlier seen a soft penalty saved by Dan Grimshaw.

The Seasiders had more than enough chances to put the game to bed, hitting the woodwork through the dangerous CJ Hamilton and going close through Gary Madine’s header.

While Pool will be naturally gutted not to hold on, they demonstrated once again they’re more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the best sides the Championship has to offer.

As anticipated, the Seasiders were without the services of Richard Keogh who missed out with a calf injury he picked up at Coventry in midweek. In came Jordan Thorniley in a like-for-like replacement.

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Dan Grimshaw saves Dominic Solanke's weak first-half penaltyDan Grimshaw saves Dominic Solanke's weak first-half penalty
Dan Grimshaw saves Dominic Solanke's weak first-half penalty

It was one of FIVE changes Neil Critchley made from the 1-1 draw, as he opted to drop Reece James, Kenny Dougall, Ethan Robson and Owen Dale.

Jordan Gabriel, Callum Connolly, Kevin Stewart and CJ Hamilton were the four beneficiaries alongside Thorniley.

For Stewart, it was the midfielder’s first start for the Seasiders since September, when he starred in the 1-0 win against Fulham.

Jerry Yates was once again preferred in attack to Shayne Lavery, who hasn’t seen a minute of action in Blackpool’s last two games.

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Chris Maxwell (quad), Luke Garbutt (knee), James Husband (hamstring), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (achilles), Sonny Carey (metatarsal) and Keshi Anderson (hamstring) all remain sidelined.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, made two changes to the side that beat Birmingham City 3-1 on Wednesday night.

The Cherries, who are managed by Scott Parker, began the day in second place, six points adrift of leaders Fulham.

The visitors were the first to threaten and it was a good chance too, as Dominic Solanke slipped through into the channel following a quick break.

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But Dan Grimshaw stood tall to make an important block, using his body to force the powerful drive behind for a corner.

Bournemouth were making Blackpool do most of the running as the rain lashed down in the early stages, but the hosts retained a threat.

Josh Bowler, strongly linked with a move to the South Coast during the January window, combined well with CJ Hamilton whose low shot was straight at keeper Mark Travers.

At the other end, Solanke continued to cause Blackpool problems. The former Liverpool striker, who is well known to Critchley, got in between the two centre backs to run onto a clever ball over the top, but fortunately for the hosts his touch was a little too heavy and Grimshaw was able to watch it out for a goal kick.

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The game was just beginning to drift, when all of a sudden, it sparked to life when referee Dean Whitestone awarded Bournemouth a soft-looking penalty.

Jordan Gabriel was the man penalised for bringing Jaidon Anthony down in the area. While there appeared to be some contact, it was very minimal and the Bournemouth man certainly made the most of it.

Thankfully Grimshaw dived the right way for Blackpool, getting down low to his left to deny Solanke’s weak effort.

The North Stand erupted, and it almost got even louder inside Bloomfield Road a few seconds later when the Seasiders immediately broke at speed, working the ball to the left channel where Hamilton volleyed just over.

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Eight minutes before the break, the noise levels ramped up to a whole other level when Bowler gave Blackpool the lead with a simply stunning strike.

It was a goal out of absolutely nothing for the Seasiders, as Bowler unleashed an outswinging drive from 25 yards which flew away from the goalkeeper’s despairing dive and straight into the top corner.

Blackpool came to life at this point and had chances to double their lead before the break, Bowler seeing a low effort on his right foot tipped wide by Travers, with Jerry Yates agonisingly close to getting a touch on the rebound.

Bournemouth emerged with more purpose at the start of the second-half, as Solanke saw a low effort from range skip off the sodden turf and into the hands of Grimshaw.

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But Blackpool responded with another good chance created down the flanks, as Gabriel remained patient to tee up Bowler, whose dangerous low cross somehow managed to evade everyone in the six-yard box.

The two sides exchanged some good chances at this point as the game sprung back into life.

Phil Billing curled just over from a similar position to where Bowler scored from, after Dujon Sterling had done well to recover and thwart Anthony.

The Seasiders responded with two great chances, Travers somehow clawing Bowler’s rising shot away from goal before Jordan Thorniley’s close-range effort was blocked as a result of a well-worked corner.

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The home side kept the ball alive as Kevin Stewart went to ground, prompting penalty appeals from the fans more than anything, but the referee waved them away.

With Keogh already missing, the Seasiders were dealt another big injury blow just after the hour-mark when Marvin Ekpiteta was forced to hobble off. Oliver Casey came on for his league debut in his place.

Now without Ekpiteta, Keogh and Maxwell, it was left for Gary Madine to take the captain’s armband.

With a makeshift side now out on the pitch, the Seasiders had to manage the rest of the game - something which would have become a lot easier had Hamilton’s long-range rocket thundered into the back of the net, rather than rebounding off the crossbar.

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Another chance to put the game to bed went begging 10 minutes from time when Madine leapt and headed towards goal from Callum Connolly’s corner, only for Travers to stand tall and make the save.

Blackpool’s missed opportunities eventually came back to haunt them as the Cherries levelled four minutes from time.

It was a hugely fortunate goal for the visitors, as a left-wing cross deflected right into the six-yard box for substitute Jamal Lowe to stab home.

The Cherries smelt blood and pushed for an unlikely late winner, Cantwell seeing a dipping low effort well held by Grimshaw.

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But they managed to force the ball home in the fourth minute of five added on, as Dembele sneaked it home at the near post - gifting his side three points when they barely deserved one.


Blackpool: Grimshaw, Gabriel, Ekpiteta (Casey), Thorniley, Sterling, Connolly, Stewart, Bowler, Hamilton, Yates (Lavery), Madine

Subs not used: Moore, James, Dougall, Dale, Beesley

Bournemouth: Travers, Stacey (Lowe), Phillips, Kelly, Zemura (Davis), Cook, Billing (Marcondes), Cantwell, Dembele, Anthony, Solanke

Subs not used: Woodman, Mepham, Hill, Pearson

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 11,141

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