MATCH REPORT: Fleetwood Town 3-2 Blackpool

Fleetwood Town took home the Fylde coast bragging rights as they defeated Blackpool for the first time in their history in a five-goal thriller.

In a fixture which usually produces high-scoring affair, the Cod Army were 2-0 up inside 11 minutes thanks to clinical finishes from Wes Burns and Ross Wallace.

Blackpool, who had earlier looked in danger of being beaten heavily, gave themselves a chance as they pulled one back 10 minutes before half time through Jordan Thompson.

Paddy Madden came off the bench in the second half to restore Fleetwood’s two-goal lead, which was immediately cut back down to one again through Nathan Delfouneso.

But Joey Barton’s side managed to hold on for the win, which condemns Blackpool to only their second defeat of the season and ending their 11-game unbeaten run in the process.

There was further frustration for Terry McPhillips’ men who ended the game with 10 men after Armand Gnanduillet was sent off in stoppage time.

Blackpool initially made just the one change for the game, bringing Marc Bola back in after the left back missed the midweek victory against Scunthorpe United with an ankle injury.

Out went Michael Nottingham, who dropped down to the bench, as Ollie Turton moved back to right back.

However, Donervon Daniels picked up a hamstring injury during the warm up and was replaced in the centre of defence by Ben Heneghan.

Fleetwood made three changes from their 1-0 defeat to Peterborough United, with James Husband, Nathan Sheron and Jason Holt all coming into the side.

Kyle Dempsey, Ryan Taylor and Dean Marney were the three to make way.

The Seasiders were given an early opportunity to threaten Fleetwood’s backline as they were awarded a free kick near the touchline. Jay Spearing whipped it in and Curtis Tilt was inches away from getting a decisive touch.

But a few seconds later, Fleetwood were ahead courtesy of a clinical 20-yard finish from Wes Burns.

The forward, who scored in the 2-1 defeat to Blackpool last season, rode a couple of challenges before rifling a low shot beyond Mark Howard and into the bottom corner of the net.

On 10 minutes, Fleetwood went close to a second as a cross deflected and looped up to Ched Evans at the back post, whose side footed effort flies past Howard but across the face of goal.

The second did follow shortly though, as Ross Wallace was given too much space to run into and the midfielder took full advantage, unleashing a powerful left-footed drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.

The hosts weren’t content to sit on their lead and they maintained their attacking presence, with Burns bringing a save out of Howard at the near post.

Blackpool slowly but surely grew into the game but they were still finding clear-cut opportunities hard to come by.

Liam Feeney did well to beat his man and whip in a superb ball in from the left, but his teasing cross just eluded Armand Gnanduillet who was ready to pounce from close range.#

Blackpool did pull one back on 35 minutes, Jordan Thompson lashing home to reduce the arrears. The midfielder was found in space at the back post by Nathan Delfouneso’s cross, which Thompson met to side foot into the roof of the net.

The Cod Army came close to restoring their two-goal lead shortly before half time, as Jason Holt surged through the middle before curling just wide of the Blackpool goal.

The half ended with Ched Evans heading against the foot of the post, although the linesman’s flag was up for offside.

Blackpool, who changed it at half time by bringing on Harry Pritchard for Feeney, came straight under the cosh at the start of the second half as Ash Hunter flashed a ball across the face of goal to Burns, who failed to make any contact.

At the other end, Pritchard delivered a dangerous ball into Fleetwood’s six-yard box which James Husband just about managed to turn away from goal.

The two sides continued to exchange chances, with Ash Eastham going close for the home side as he headed onto the top of the Blackpool net.

Fleetwood did eventually get that third just before the hour mark, and it came via a quality finish from substitute Paddy Madden.

Hunter beat Turton for pace down the left which allowed him the time and space to pull the ball back to the striker who made no mistake with a clinical finish into the top corner.

But Fleetwood’s lead was immediately cut back to just the one goal, as Blackpool produced an immediate response.

Delfouneso capitalised on a defensive mistake from Craig Morgan, who failed to deal with a long ball over the top from Curtis Tilt, allowing the winger to curl past Alex Cairns into the bottom corner.

Pool came agonisingly close to what had previously seemed an unlikely equaliser, with Gnanduillet inches away from meeting Marc Bola’s cross at the near post.

The derby, a fixture that had already provided plenty of entertainment, came to life with antics off the field, rather than on it.

Clint Hill was shown a red card and was sent to the stands after shoving Bola as the left back attempted to retrieve the ball for a throw in, with the defender also being shown a yellow card for his reaction to the push.

The game threatened to boil over as both sides began to produce some crunching challenges, with players squaring up to each other all over the pitch.

The Seasiders ended the game with 10 men as Gnanduillet was sent his marching orders in stoppage time for an off-the-ball incident with Husband.

TEAMS

Fleetwood: Cairns, Coyle, Eastham, Morgan, Husband, Sheron, Holt, Wallace (Madden), Burns, Hunter (Bolger), Evans

Subs not used: Jones, Biggins, Jones, Dempsey, Long

Blackpool: Howard, Turton, Heneghan, Tilt, Bola, Spearing, Guy (Nottingham), Thompson, Feeney (Pritchard), Delfouneso (Cullen), Gnanduillet

Subs not used: Boney, O'Connor, Taylor, O'Sullivan

Referee: John Brooks