MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 2-2 Exeter

It was Blackpool's turn to come back from two goals down to earn a late draw as a goal at the death from Kyle Vassell earned them a point - as Blackpool drew 2-2 for the third game running.

Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 6:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 10:11 am
Kyle Vassell bagged his first goal since November.

The returning Kyle Vassell prodded home from close range in the first minute of injury time to bag his first goal since November.

It was enough to earn the Seasiders a point they barely deserved having found themselves 2-0 down courtesy of goals from John Akinde and Charlie Clough.

Nathan Delfouneso got his side back in it halfway through the second period before his strike partner Vassell came off the bench to earn Gary Bowyer’s men a point - meaning their winless run at home continues.

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Once again the game was played in front of a virtually empty Bloomfield Road, with the only atmosphere coming from a small group of five or six Barnet fans in the away end.

Given the manner in which Blackpool threw away three points at Exeter on Saturday, you’d think the players would have come firing out of the blocks with a point to prove - but the complete opposite happened.

Instead, the Seasiders were content to sit back and gift possession to the visitors who enjoyed lengthy spells in the Pool half in the opening stages.

The first half chance of the game did come Blackpool’s way though, with Brad Potts fizzing an ambitious effort from range

But the next chance proved critical, with Pool being punished for a lapse in concentration yet again when neither of the centre backs reacted to Curtis Weston’s shot which deflected off the foot of the post - leaving dangerman John Akinde with a simple tap in with Dean Lyness left stranded on the ground.

The Seasiders continued to huff and puff in the early stages but it was the visitors looking the more threatening, with Pool’s only chances coming from range.

Gary Boywer’s men wasted a priceless opportunity to equalise halfway through the first half, with Colin Daniel only able to drill wide of the far post after being found in space following some good build-up play in the middle of the park.

But the Bees immediately broke and nearly doubled their lead through Jamal Campbell Ryce, whose curling effort was tipped around the post by Lyness - who was brought into the side to replace Sam Slocombe who had picked up an injury in training.

Akinde, who now has 21 goals to his name this season - 17 more than anyone else is the Barnet side - proved a constant thorn in their side and the two centre backs Clark Robertson and Will Aimson failed to get to grips with him all night.

The cumbersome strike saw sight of a second as the ball dropped kindly for him in the Blackpool box but he fluffed his lines despite being under little pressure.

But he had an even better chance on the stroke of half time, making the most of his strength to bully Aimson off the ball on the halfway line before making his way into the penalty area, where he could only cut back his shot agonisingly wide of Lyness’ goal.

But that wasn’t to be the end of the action in the first half, with Jordan Flores forcing Barnet shot stopper Harry Burgoyne into making a fine save to deny the on-loan midfielder from a free kick.

You would have expected the Blackpool players to have been given a rollicking at half time but if they were, it certainly didn’t work.

Within minutes of the second half getting underway the Bees doubled their lead with defender Charlie Clough being allowed a free header from a corner and he duly took advantage by nodding past Lyness.

Two almost immediately became three as Mauro Vilhette turned smartly on the edge of the box before shooting narrowly wide.

The Seasiders were in danger of being completely blown away but they did have their chances to get back into it, with Jamille Matt having a free header that he was only able to glance straight at Burgoyne in the Barnet goal.

They eventually reduced the arrears just before the hour mark, with Nathan Delfouneso bagging his fourth goal in his last seven games to side foot home at the back post following some good work from Daniel.

It has to be said the goal was barely deserved but it brought the Seasiders back in the game - but they struggled to take advantage.

Substitute Bright Osayi-Samuel found himself in some space on the edge of the box but he could only fire straight at Burgoyne.

But the killer blow came in stoppage time as Vassell stabbed home from a matter of inches away after Clark Robertson’s header had hit the post.

Pool rallied in the dying moments to find an unlikely winner but the visitors managed to hold on.

Blackpool: Lyness, Mellor, Aimson, Robertson, Taylor (Osayi-Samuel), Daniel, Payne, Flores, Potts (Gnanduillet), Delfouneso, Matt (Vassell)

Subs not used: Boney, Nolan, Black, Cullen

Barnet: Burgoyne, Dembele, Santos (Taylor), Nelson, Clough, Champion, Bover (Sweeney), Campbell-Ryce, Weston (Akinola), Vilhete, Akinde

Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Watson, Coulson, Amaluzor

Referee: Eddie Ilterton

Attendance: 2,094 (74 Barnet)