Bowyer delight as Blackpool pass test of nerve after late scare

Jamille Matt scored the openerJamille Matt scored the opener
Jamille Matt scored the opener
Gary Bowyer hailed the determination and professionalism of his Blackpool side after they fought off a late Leyton Orient challenge for a priceless away victory which lifted them into the League Two play-off zone.

The Seasiders were forced to battle to protect their 2-1 lead in London.

O’s substitute Paul McCallum gave his side a last-gasp lifeline with a 90th-minute header, but Blackpool’s desire shone through as they held on for only their second away victory of the season and their first back-to-back wins.

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Bowyer said: “It’s the first time we’ve done that this season and it’s something we had spoken about all week.

“I’m delighted we managed to achieve it but we never make things easy for ourselves, do we?

“But what we did see was an incredible desire and determination to see it through.

“It was a controlled performance from us. Their goalkeeper has made some fantastic saves.

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“When they score late on you know there’s going to be a rally and I thought we managed it well.”

Jamille Matt’s composed run and finish separated the sides in a first half low on quality.

Defender Tom Aldred added Blackpool’s second and his first goal of the season with a thumping header in the second period.

The win means the Seasiders head to Mansfield tomorrow seventh in the table and unbeaten in six games in all competitions.

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Despite Orient’s late rally, Bowyer praised the resilience of his players.

He added: “We had some great half- chances and opportunities to go in further ahead at half-time.

“I thought we hadn’t played as well as we have been playing and we hadn’t passed it as well as we could have done, so I just encouraged them to work on that.

“But I also stressed the need to be professional, which I thought we were.”

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The Pool boss also showered his squad with praise for their work rate, despite admitting it was frustrating not to prevent their hosts scoring.

“It was a fantastic header from their lad but we’re just a touch disappointed we didn’t get the clean sheet,” he said.

“But the work rate, the shape and the organisation were all terrific.

“That all comes down to the work they put in on the training ground.”