Doncaster Rovers 2-0 Blackpool: Seasiders' winning run ended with first ever defeat at Keepmoat Stadium
Blackpool's five-game winning run came to a disappointing end as they suffered defeat to Doncaster Rovers.
Goals in either half from Herbie Kane and John Marquis condemned the Seasiders to their first ever defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium against a side they have previously done so well against, winning nine of the last 13 meetings.
It could have been a whole different story had they taken their chances in the first half, with Nathan Delfouneso, Armand Gnanduillet and Joe Bunney all guilty of missing presentable opportunities.
Doncaster had disappointed in an opening 45 minutes dominated by Blackpool, but the homem side edged ahead in first half stoppage time with a goal out of nothing from Kane.
That goal appeared to knock the stuffing out of Pool, who never got going again and conceded a second 12 minutes from time to lose for just the fourth time in League One this season.
Terry McPhillips’ gamble of making four changes from the the side that won so convincingly against Burton Albion at the weekend backfired.
Ollie Turton missed out with a knock he picked up at the weekend, while Marc Bola dropped out of the squad altogether.
Michael Nottingham dropped to the bench alongside Joe Dodoo, despite the on-loan Rangers man bagging a goal and an assist against Burton and scoring four goals in his last four games.
Ryan McLaughlin, Harry Pritchard and Nathan Delfouneso came into the side alongside Joe Bunney, who made his first league start since August.
The rain, which had previously been bordering on torrential, subsided for kick off but the swirling wind was certainly having an impact on the game.
The hosts made a brighter start to proceedings and looked to open up Blackpool with some intricate passing in and around the 18-yard box, while the Seasiders were set up to hit their opponents on the break with swift counter-attacks.
McPhillips’ men were the first to threaten, with Armand Gnanduillet unable to continue his fine scoring run after fluffing his lines in front of goal before Curtis Tilt saw his back-post effort cleared away from goal.
A minute later, from the subsequent throw-in, Nathan Delfouneso ought to have given Pool the lead when he was left unmarked inside the six-yard box, but the returning forward failed to get a clean connection on his shot and Donny keeper Ian Lawlor was left untroubled.
Ali Crawford, a midfielder who was linked with Blackpool during the summer window, came close to giving the hosts halfway through the opening period.
If it had gone in, it would have involved a large slice of luck, with his long-range effort deflecting off Ben Heneghan, leaving Mark Howard stranded, but fortunately for Pool it dropped just wide of goal.
Blackpool came close courtesy of one of their trademark counter attacks 10 minutes before the interval, but again they were just lacking that clinical touch.
Harry Pritchard surged through the middle before playing in Jordan Thompson down the left, who fizzed in a cross into the box which just evaded Gnanduillet and dropped just wide of the far post.
This was followed by the clearest chance of the game to date, which again came Blackpool’s way. It fell to Bunney who made a lovely run into the box, exchanging a one-two with Gnanduillet before skewing his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Unlike Saturday, the Seasiders were missing that clinical touch in front of goal but at the other end of the pitch they were looking very comfortable.
A sign of Doncaster’s frustration came on the stroke of half time when Alfie May drilled one towards goal from 20 yards out and it flew well over the Blackpool bar.
Having dominated most of the half, Blackpool were dealt a major blow in first half stoppage time when the hosts took the lead out of nowhere.
It came via a subline effort from Doncaster’s dangerous midfielder Herbie Kane, who beat Howard with a swerving effort from long range which crashed off the crossbar and bounced over the line.
Blackpool struggled as they looked for an instant response at the start of the second half, although Thompson did see a shot blocked after skipping a couple of challenges in the middle of the park.
In fact, if a second goal of the game was going to be scored, it looked like it was going to come from the visitors who went close through Alfie May, whose low effort was well blocked by Curtis Tilt.
The Seasiders responded in kind with Gnanduillet rasping in a 20-yard effort which flew just wide of the Doncaster goal.
The visitors just weren’t at it in the second half and they failed to create anything of note and the game was put to bed 12 minutes from time when Doncaster added their second.
It came from John Marquis, who capitalised on some hesitant defending from the Seasiders, having enough time to take a touch inside the box before curling home beyond Howard and into the far corner.
It almost got worse for Pool, who nearly conceded a third when substitute Mallik Wilks raced through on goal only for Howard to save his curling effort.
Kane then rattled the woodwork with a superb, curling free kick that left Howard rooted to his spot.
But in the end it made no difference, as Grant McCann’s men held on for the three points to leapfrog Pool in the league table and earn their first home win against the Seasiders since 2005.
Doncaster: Lawlor, Mason, Anderson, Butler, Andrew, Crawford (Rowe), Whiteman, Kane, Coppinger (Blair), May (Wilks), Marquis
Subs not used: Marosi, Taylor, Amos, Cummings
Blackpool: Howard, McLaughlin (Nottingham), Daniels, Heneghan, Tilt, Bunney (Taylor), Spearing, Pritchard (Dodoo), Thompson, Delfouneso, Gnanduillet
Subs not used: Boney, O'Connor, Feeney, O'Sullivan
Referee: Seb Stockbridge
Attendance: 6,473 (289 Blackpool)