Bristol Rovers 3 Blackpool 1: Five things we learned
So Blackpool's undefeated league run ended after seven games with yesterday's 3-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers.
Things had looked good early on when Kyle Vassell’s fourth of the season had given Gary Bowyer’s side the lead.
However, Billy Bodin’s equaliser, followed by two in the last six minutes from Ryan Sweeney and Ellis Harrison gave the home side victory; so what else did we learn?
Keep it in perspective
Sure, a defeat - especially one with a lacklustre performance - wasn’t expected after the previous seven outings.
Yes, it was also a day when most of the players turned in their worst performances of the season so far.
However, it’s difficult to imagine the Blackpool camp would not have snatched off your hand in response to an offer of 17 points from the first nine games.
That’s a good start to the season by most standards and should be kept in mind when analysing Saturday’s events.
As mentioned above, the most disappointing aspect of Saturday’s display was the fact it was largely a collective issue.
Managers up and down the land will admit you can get away with two or three players failing to perform if the other eight or nine show show up.
Unfortunately for Blackpool, the reverse was true at the Memorial Stadium with Vassell seemingly fighting a lone battle in attack.
Hopefully, it means the Seasiders’ squad feel they have a point to prove next time out; speaking of which…
Speak to most players after a poor performance and the chances are they want another game to come along almost immediately.
If that attitude is prevalent at Bloomfield Road, then Tuesday’s home game against Rochdale presents an instant chance to atone for yesterday’s defeat.
It won’t be easy as the visitors are seasoned operators at League One level and make the trip on the back of a 3-0 win against Gillingham.
Nevertheless, if making up for defeat isn’t incentive enough then Blackpool’s players can also aim to make it five wins from five at home in the league this season.
Billy the whiz
There was no doubt that Bodin was the difference between the two sides yesterday.
A goal and an assist highlighted a lively afternoon’s work from the wide man and showed what Pool have lacked since Bright Osayi-Samuel’s move to QPR.
Fast, direct, willing to get crosses in and have shots at goal; no, not Osayi-Samuel but Bodin as he gave Colin Daniel a difficult afternoon.
Kelvin Mellor has performed admirably on the right-hand side of midfield since Osayi-Samuel’s exit but another wide player to augment Viv Solomon-Otabor should be on the shopping list.
Try, try and try again
One thing Rovers showed the Seasiders yesterday was the value of perseverance.
On countless occasions, Bodin got into good positions but saw his crosses come to nothing until Sweeney put Rovers ahead late on.
Nowhere, though, was that attitude better exemplified than in the performance of Rovers’ striker Ellis Harrison.
Criticised early on for a perceived lack of aerial effort, he also missed a golden opportunity seconds before the break.
Not that it worried him; he kept plugging away and was rewarded with the goal which wrapped up Rovers’ victory.