Three lows and one high from Blackpool's Good Friday disappointment against Derby as system raises eyebrows

Blackpool lost further ground in the race for the final play-off spot in League One as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Derby County at Pride Park.
Sonny Carey was named in the starting line-up for the SeasidersSonny Carey was named in the starting line-up for the Seasiders
Sonny Carey was named in the starting line-up for the Seasiders

A superb first half strike from Ebou Adams proved to be the difference between the two teams, as the Seasiders failed to make the most of the few opportunities that came their way in the opposition box.

Elsewhere, Lincoln City overcame Leyton Orient with a 1-0 win, while Oxford United and Stevenage drew against Shrewsbury and Bolton Wanderers respectively.

Here’s some of the highs and the lows:

Wasted chances

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Hayden Coulson, George Byers and Karamoko Dembele all had chances in the first half, while Kyle Joseph came close in the latter stages, with the Rams being let off on each occasion.

The difference between the two teams was ultimately the moment of quality of Adams. Neil Critchley’s frustration was clear at full time, as it’s been a regular occurrence away from home this season.

Coulson needed more composure with a first half volley, while Byers and Dembele should’ve definitely been testing the keeper, if not scoring, either side of Derby’s goal. As for Joseph, he was initially denied by a save, with his effort on the rebound then being blocked.

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Big selection call

The biggest talking point of the team news was the inclusion of Sonny Carey in the starting 11, with the midfielder coming in for the injured Jordan Rhodes, leaving Jake Beesley up front as a lone striker.

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It’s been a hit and miss campaign for the 23-year-old, and it was a surprise to see him come in ahead of a forward, as Joseph, Shayne Lavery and Kylian Kouassi were all on the bench.

On an individual basis it was a pretty decent afternoon for Carey. After a nervy opening 20 minutes, he grew into the game and had a number of bright moments. He set up the opportunity which Byers should’ve made more of in the first half, and played a good ball in the build-up to Joseph’s late chances.

The overall set-up

While credit must go to Carey for how he conducted himself in his first start in over a month, the system that allowed him to come in just didn’t work. The replacement for Rhodes should’ve been one of the other strikers, as the Seasiders just lacked that threat in the final third.

They did have chances which they should’ve taken, but they weren’t continuously knocking at the door. Beesley up front by himself just didn’t work as he couldn’t impose himself onto the game.

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None of the alternative options would really work as lone strikers either, and all need that other man alongside them to provide support.

Quiet day for Kaddy

Like the game against Wigan Athletic prior to the international break, it was a pretty quiet afternoon for Dembele. Despite his best efforts, he just couldn’t ignite the usual spark that gets the Seasiders going. It probably didn’t suit him playing with another attacking midfielder behind the striker, as it does give him less freedom in his role.

His miss just before half time perfectly summed up how the game went for him and Blackpool as a whole.

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