MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 2-4 Blackburn
Blackpool were punished for a host of defensive errors as they suffered a heavy home defeat to a clinical Blackburn Rovers.
The Seasiders had dominated the first half but found themselves going into the interval 2-1 down after the visitors had pounced on two defensive howlers.
But there was only ever one team in it in the second period and Rovers ran in another two as they extended their winning run to four games.
Substitute Danny Philliskirk bagged a late consolation for the hosts before bizarrely being awarded the sponsors’ Man of the Match award, having played just 20 minutes.
Blackpool were dealt a blow in the lead-up to the game when key duo Kyle Vassell and Curtis Tilt were ruled out through injury and it’s fair to say both were missed - especially the latter at the heart of the defence.
Nathan Delfouneso came into the side in place of Vassell, who failed a late fitness test, while Nick Anderton came in at the back for just his third league start of the season.
The Seasiders, who lined up in a 3-5-2 formation, made a bright start to the game and came close through Sean Longstaff’s ambitious effort from a full 30 yards out which whistled just wide of the upright.
Rovers returned with an opportunity of their own a minute later when Richie Smallwood brought out a good save out of Ryan Allsop with a drilled effort from the edge of the box.
But the home side bravely continued to press high up the pitch and their aggression saw them create an opening for Delfouneso, who could only shoot wide after turning his man.
Blackpool continued to be the main aggressors in the early stages and three glaring opportunities came their way in quick succession, but the visitors just about managed to survive.
Ollie Turton initially brought out a good save out of David Raya before Delfouneso’s effort was blocked by Rovers skipper Charlie Mulgrew. The attack eventually broke down when Longstaff’s effort went wide of goal much to the relief of Blackburn’s backline.
Rovers began to see more of the ball as the half wore on but it looked like Blackpool were coping with their attacks with relative ease.
That was until the 25th minute when the visitors were gifted the lead courtesy of Kelvin Mellor’s short back pass, which was bounced upon by Marcus Antonsson who shot low past Allsop.
It was a goal that came out of nowhere and one that Blackburn had very little to do to earn.
But Mellor made amends for his mistake almost immediately, equalising for the Seasiders just four minutes later with a superbly taken header.
Jay Spearing whipped in a deep free-kick and Mellor was there to leap highest at the back post before sending his header into the far corner.
Spearing caused more problems for the Blackburn backline shortly afterwards with another one of his free-kicks, but Raya just about to keep out his low effort.
Pool went even closer to taking the lead a few minutes later when Derrick Williams was forced to clear off the line from Longstaff’s close-range shot after Blackburn had failed to clear their lines from a corner.
Blackburn winger Elliott Bennett brought a good save out Allsop on the stroke of half-time, with the goalkeeper managing to turn the dipping volley around the post.
But the opening period, one that Blackpool had dominated, ended with the visitors taking the lead for a second time and once again they didn’t have to work hard to earn it.
Longstaff failed to clear his lines on the edge of Blackpool’s box and his attempted clearance was charged down by the dangerous Bradley Dack, who promptly slotted past Allsop.
Rovers, buoyed by their good fortune in the first half, made a bright start to the second period and almost extended their lead with their first attack but Allsop did well to tip over Danny Graham’s looping header.
The Seasiders were given a let-off when Blackburn broke on the counter at speed, only for Antonsson to see his shot rebound off the inside of the post and then away from danger.
Allsop then had to be at his best once again to make up for a comedy of defensive errors in front of him, but he rushed out of his goal to save from Dack’s effort.
But Rovers were soon two-ahead thanks to Charlie Mulgrew’s low free-kick, which managed to beat both Allsop and his wall.
Three instantly became four when Paul Downing took advantage after Pool had failed to clear their lines from a corner to scramble the ball home at the back post.
The Seasiders were given a lifeline with just 15 minutes to go when substitute Danny Philliskirk got one back with a composed finish from inside the box.
But Blackpool were unable to build on it and the visitors saw out the rest of the game with relative ease.
Blackpool: Allsop, Turton, Mellor, Aimson, Anderton (Philliskirk), Daniel, Spearing, Ryan (Menga), Longstaff (Cooke), Solomon-Otabor, Delfouneso
Subs not used: Williams, Taylor, D'Almeida, Gnanduillet
Blackburn: Raya, Nyambe, Downing, Mulgrew, Williams, Bennett, Smallwood, Whittingham (Harper), Dack, Antonsson, Graham (Nuttall)
Subs not used: Leutwiler, Caddis, Ward, Evans, Samuel
Referee: Andy Madley
Attendance: 5,302 (2,217 Blackburn)