MATCH REPORT: Doncaster 0-1 Blackpool
Jordan Flores banished Blackpool's penalty woes to strike in the last minute to secure a priceless 1-0 win away at league leaders Doncaster Rovers.
Mark Cullen missed the first of Pool’s two spot kicks in the 87th minute when he struck the inside of the post against ten-man Rovers.
But Flores made sure of it with his last minute effort to send the Seasiders back into the play-offs with just three games remaining.
Doncaster had been forced to play the majority of the second half with ten men when Matty Blair was sent off for two bookings, but the Seasiders struck at the death to keep their season alive.
Blackpool started the game in what appeared to be a pretty defensive setup, which saw the hosts dominate the vast majority of the early possession.
We had to wait 12 minutes for the first chance of sorts, but it was a big one for the hosts who came close to opening the lead but Sam Slocombe was equal to a close-range drive from Joe Wright and palmed it over his crossbar.
The Seasiders’ first foray into the Doncaster half came when Brad Potts was unleashed in behind the Doncaster defence following Andy Taylor’s pinpoint pass, but the midfielder could only win a corner after his pullback was blocked.
It was Slocombe who was being kept the busier of the two goalkeepers though, with Pool’s number one being forced into making another smart stop - this time for Alfie May’s acrobatic effort at the back post.
Gary Bowyer’s men had the ball in the back of the net in the following attack after Potts was sent through on goal and lobbed the onrushing goalkeeper, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.
The midfielder hadn’t realised and celebrated in front of the travelling contingent, seemingly oblivious of the linesman’s flag and the referee’s whistle.
Doncaster’s Niall Mason then came close to breaking the deadlock, although at the wrong end of the pitch with the defender skewing just over the top of his own crossbar after Ian Black had flicked on from Jack Payne’s long throw.
The game began to open up towards the end of the first half with Slocombe making his third smart stop of the game to deny Tommy Rowe from the edge of the box.
Pool began to see the benefit of having an extra man in midfield, with the likes of Jack Payne and Ian Black picking up on any loose balls and launching attacks from deep.
The tangerines forced a trio of corners in quick succession in the final minutes of the opening period but were unable to find that breakthrough.
There was a moment of good fortune for Blackpool at the very start of the second half but it didn’t come in the way of a goal.
Instead, the hosts were reduced to ten men when Matty Blair was sent his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Kelvin Mellor.
This changed the whole outlook of the game and meant it was the Seasiders who now enjoyed the majority of possession.
Pool almost took immediate advantage of their man advantage when Rovers keeper Marko Marosi spilled Nathan Delfouneso’s downward header but he managed to collect at the second attempt.
A deep cross then found Delfouneso at the back post but he could only volley over the bar. It was a tough chance but one he perhaps ought to have done better with.
Pool began to enjoy the lion’s share of possession but Doncaster were content to sit back and wait for any opportunities on the break.
Bowyer bolstered his attacking options by bringing on Mark Cullen halfway through the second period to partner Nathan Delfouneso in attack.
And the striker was inches away from making an immediate impact when Clark Robertson’s dangerous looking low cross was just about cleared away with the substitute ready to tap home.
The home side remained a threat on the rare occasion they ventured forward, with experienced substitute Gary McSheffrey curling over the bar when well placed on the edge of the box.
Jordan Flores tested the Rovers goalkeeper from range but his low effort was easily collected by Marosi.
Doncaster came a whisker away from taking the lead with just ten minutes remaining when Mathie Baudry’s dangerous header towards goal was cleared away by Tom Aldred at the last minute.
Lata drama ensued in the 87th minute when the visitors were awarded a penalty when Mathieu Baudry blatantly handled.
Mark Cullen stepped up but struck the inside of the post to miss Pool’s eighth penalty of the season.
It looked like that would be that but the drama continued, with Pool being awarded a second spot kick when Kelvin Mellor was brought down just inside the box.
This time Jordan Flores stepped up and drilled low to send the away fans into raptures.
Doncaster: Marosi, Blair, Alcock, Baudry, Wright, Taylor-Sinclair, (McSheffrey) Mason, Grant (Longbottom), Rowe, May (Middleton), Marquis
Subs not used: Jones, Keegan, Beestin, Lund
Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Aimson, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor, Black, Danns (Cullen), Payne (Flores), Potts, Delfouneso (Matt)
Subs not used: Lyness, Nolan, Odelusi, Osayi-Samuel
Referee: Carl Boyeson
Attendance: 6,914 (447 Blackpool)