MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 2-3 Portsmouth
A momentous week for Blackpool Football Club ended with the team losing to Portsmouth in a five-goal thriller.
In an ironic twist of fate, Portsmouth - a club who have had their own fair share of problematic owners in recent years - provided the opponents in the week Pool’s owners, the Oyston family, were ordered to pay Valeri Belokon Â£31.27m and subsequently put the club up for sale.
And it was the visitors who took home the three points scoring three of the five goals in a crazy second half.
Other than the chants of “Blackpool’s up for sale” and “Oyston out” from the 1,700 travelling Pompey fans, there was very little report on in the first half.
After a dull start, Blackpool should have taken the lead with the first chance of the game.
It fell to Viv Solomon-Otabor after the visitors failed to deal with a free kick into their box but the winger could only blaze over with his wild effort.
Portsmouth created a decent opening for themselves after a brisk counter attack but Curtis Tilt produced a superb block to deny the on-running Jamal Lowe from getting a shot off at goal.
The game livened up for a brief spell and the two sides exchanged a couple of chances, with Danny Philliskirk almost getting on the end of Solomon-Otabor’s teasing cross before Will Aimson almost deflected a cross into his own net at the other end of the pitch.
Little else happened until the start of the second half, where Pompey came out firing and almost took the lead within 50 seconds of kick-off.
Jamal Lowe’s low shot caused chaos inside the Blackpool box but the hosts somehow managed to clear their lines and survive.
The dangerous Solomon-Otabor then came close to breaking the deadlock at the other end, but his low shot went narrowly wide of Luke McGee’s near post.
But it was the visitors who were to find that all-important first goal of the afternoon and it was the experienced striker Brett Pitman who got it for Kenny Jackett’s side.
Pool ‘keeper Ryan Allsop had initially done well to save Kyle Bennett’s rasping drive but Pitman was left unmarked to tap home into an empty net.
Pompey almost doubled their lead through Christian Burgess, but the defender’s header flew narrowly wide of Pool’s top corner.
Nothing was happening for the Seasiders in an attacking sense so they turned to new signing Dolly Menga to make an impact off the bench, and that’s exactly what he did.
The Angolan forward provided a pinpoint cross from the right for Solomon-Otabor who tapped home at the back post to earn himself a deserved goal.
Pool weren’t on level terms for long though, as the visitors regained the lead with just ten minutes remaining.
Allsop, just as he had done for Pompey’s first goal, made a stunning save to keep out Pitman’s header but the defence was nowhere to be seen as Ben Close side footed home.
But the goals didn’t stop there as Gary Bowyer’s men equalised for a second time two minutes later, although his players knew nothing about it.
Ollie Hawkins was under no pressure whatsoever as Pool swung a free kick into their box but the defender steered his header into the top corner of his own net.
An amazing six-minute spell ended with Pompey winning it at the death thanks to Pitman, who bagged his second of the game by heading past the stranded Allsop having been left completely unmarked at the back post.
Blackpool: Allsop, Turton, Aimson, Tilt, Daniel, Ryan, Spearing, Solomon-Otabor, Cooke (Gnandnuillet), Philliskirk (Menga), Delfouneso
Subs not used: Williams, Mellor, Taylor, D'Almeida, Longstaff
Portsmouth: McGee, Rose, Clarke, Burgess, Lowe, Bennett (Donohue), Evans, Close, Hawkins, Naismith, Pitman
Subs not used: Bass, Kennedy, Chaplin, Talbot, May, Main
Referee: Jon Moss
Attendance: 5,032 (1,711 Portsmouth)