MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 1-2 Portsmouth

Managerless Blackpool's first game without former boss Gary Bowyer ended in defeat to Portsmouth.

Saturday, 11th August 2018, 3:51 pm
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 11:40 am
Curtis celebrates his opener with his teammates

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Blackpool fans hold anti-Oyston protest ahead of Portsmouth game

Ronan Curtis was the star of the show as he scored both of Pompey’s goals in what was Terry McPhillips’ first game in temporary charge following Bowyer’s surprise resignation on Monday.

The Seasiders did briefly threaten a comeback when substitute Mark Cullen pulled one back with eight minutes to go, but they were unable to find a late equaliser.

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Ronan Curtis scores his and Pompey's first goal of the afternoon

There were question marks over Pool’s defending for both goals, which Curtis took full advantage of to condemn Pool to their first defeat of the season.

Blackpool matched Portsmouth for much of the game but, without someone of Curtis’ quality up front, they looked blunt in attack and Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray was rarely troubled.

The defeat will only heighten concerns among Blackpool’s fanbase, who took part in an anti-Oyston protest before the game.

Those pre-match boisterous chants outside the main entrance continued inside the stadium, as the Portsmouth fans displayed their show of support from the away end.

Terry McPhillips was in charge for his first game as temporary manager

On the pitch, Blackpool were without injured pair Jimmy Ryan and Ryan McLaughlin for the second game running - while Curtis Tilt was also left out of the squad, just as he was at Wycombe Wanderers last week.

Marc Bola came into the side in place of Michael Nottingham as the one and only change from that 0-0 opening day draw at Adams Park.

Blackpool almost made a blistering start to the game as they came inches away from opening the lead inside the first 20 seconds.

Joe Bunney made a marauding run down the left and delivered a cross that found Joe Dodoo, who - with his back to goal - turned and sent a low shot crashing off the foot of the post.

Despite the early pressure, Portsmouth responded well and settled into a steady rhythm.

This resulted in rangey striker Oli Hawkins flashing a header wide of Mark Howard’s goal.

However, just three minutes later they were ahead. Ronan Curtis took advantage of a defensive mix-up from Blackpool, nipping in to to send a low shot into the back of the net despite Howard’s best attempts to block with his feet.

With the visiting fans continuing to show their support for Blackpool’s struggles with the Oystons with constant chanting, it was their team who continued to dominate on the pitch.

They came close through Gareth Evans, who flashed a left-footed shot just wide of the post, before goalscorer Curtis saw a volleyed effort blocked near the goalline.

The Seasiders were struggling to get to grips with the impressive Curtis, who came inches away from doubling Pompey’s lead when he evaded two or three challenges before sending a drilled effort against the inside of the post and out to safety.

To Blackpool’s credit, they did rally towards the end of the first half. Harry Pritchard roamed through the centre of Pompey’s midfield before flashing in an ambitious long-range effort which was straight at Craig MacGillivray.

The hosts were the first to threaten at the start of the second half, as Nathan Delfouneso glanced wide at the near post after meeting Pritchard’s front-post corner.

The Portsmouth fans continued to back their side with constant chanting, but their songs were routinely drowned out by the ear-splitting sounds of the passing jets at the Blackpool Air Show.

But they certainly could be heard on the hour mark when Curtis bagged his second to double Pompey’s lead.

It was almost a carbon copy of his first, as he outmuscled Ben Heneghan to get in behind the Blackpool defence before rifling a low shot in between Howard’s leg and into the back of the net.

Pool needed an instant response and they almost gone one as Bunney fizzed in a dangerous attempt from 30 yards which flew just wide of the Pompey goal.

With eight minutes left on the clock, Blackpool got back into things with a goal from substitute Mark Cullen.

He latched onto a long ball over the top from keeper Howard to lob the Pompey shot stopper, although it also looked as though defender Matt Clarke may have got a touch on the way in.

Pool threw everything they had at Portsmouth in the final stages in search of that desperate equaliser and Cullen did have the ball in the back of the net, only for his injury-time effort to be ruled out for offside.


Blackpool: Howard, Turton, Heneghan, O'Connor, Bola (Gnanduillet), Spearing, Taylor, Pritchard (Cullen), Bunney, Delfouneso, Dodoo (O'Sullivan)

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Nottingham, Thompson, Sinclair-Smith


MacGillivray, Walkes, Brown, Clarke, Taylor, Hawkins, Lowe (Wheeler), Curtis, Whatmough, Evans, Close (Rose)

Subs not used: McGhee, Burgess, Pitman, Dennis, Haunstrup

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 4,154 (1,638 Portsmouth)