MATCH REPORT: Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Blackpool

Blackpool came from behind for the second round running to defeat Doncaster Rovers and put their name in the hat for the League Cup third round draw.

Tuesday, 28th August 2018, 8:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th August 2018, 10:41 pm
Michael Nottingham celebrates after hauling Blackpool level

Goals from Pool’s two summer signings from non-league - Michael Nottingham and Harry Pritchard - saw the Seasiders claim victory having earlier fallen behind courtesy of Alfie May’s effort.

The duo had also found the back of the net in Pool’s first round 3-1 win against Barnsley, when again Terry McPhillips’ men had found themselves 1-0 down.

The Seasiders had initially struggled to get to grips with the pace and dynamism of Doncaster’s attack, but once they levelled shortly before half time they looked like the only side that was going to go on and win it in normal time.

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Pool will now find out their third round opponents on Thursday night, when the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal will all be included for the first time.

McPhillips, rapidly earning himself the reputation of ‘tinker-man’, made another five changes to his side from Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Accrington Stanley.

Ollie Turton, Jordan Thompson, Nathan Delfouneso, Joe Dodoo and Mark Cullen were the five to make way.

Chris Taylor, John O'Sullivan, Harry Pritchard, Liam Feeney and Armand Gnanduillet came into the starting line-up.

Curtis Tilt was left out of Pool’s squad for the second game running amid ongoing speculation regarding his future.

Championship side Ipswich Town could be set to seal a loan move ahead of next Friday's deadline with a view to a permanent deal in January.

It was the home side who were the first to threaten, with Alfie May looking to take advantage of a dangerous ball over the top but Pool keeper Mark Howard was there to head away from danger on the edge of the box.

But the Seasiders hit back with a chance of their own on five minutes - John O’Sullivan curling over the bar when well placed after being picked out well by the marauding full back Michael Nottingham.

Pool showed plenty of attacking intent in the early stages with Liam Feeney full of trickery on the right wing in what was his first start in tangerine.

McPhillips’ men should have taken the lead on nine minutes when Chris Taylor curled in a teasing corner to Nottingham, who somehow managed to head wide from inside the six-yard box.

Howard was once again forced to race off his line as May beat the offside trap to get in behind, but the Pool keeper produced a great tackle to deny the Doncaster forward from taking the ball around him and tapping into an empty net.

Pool were lucky to remain on level terms on 20 minutes when they went unpunished for a poor mistake by Ben Heneghan.

The centre back conceded possession on the edge of the box allowing May to square for Paul Taylor, but Howard was once again the man to the rescue as he saved from point blank range.

Heneghan made yet another mistake a couple of minutes later but this time it proved costly, as May nipped in ahead of him before lashing home into the top corner.

Pool responded well to going a goal down and, after a brief lull in the game, hauled themselves back level just before the half-time break.

It involved a spot of controversy as Doncaster defender Tom Anderson was booked for handling the ball as he contested a header with Heneghan, who knocked the ball down to Nottingham to bundle home from close range.

That goal seemed to spring the hosts back into life as Paul Taylor went close with a toe-poked effort but Howard was there to claim.

Blackpool had tentative appeals for a penalty turned down on the stroke of half time as a right-wing cross from Nottingham appeared to hit the arm of a Doncaster defender.

Pool wasted a huge chance to take lead just three minutes into the second half when Doncaster keeper Ian Lawlor rushed out of goal, allowing John O’Sullivan the chance to get a shot off only to see his curling effort fly wide with the recovering defender beaten.

But on the hour mark, Pool did take the lead as Pritchard guided a side-footed effort into the bottom corner and beyond the desperate dive of Lawlor after a long throw had been flicked on straight to him.

Doncaster struggled to muster much of a response, taking 10 minutes to produce a shot on the Blackpool goal but even when it came - via the boot of Ben Whiteman from the edge of the area - it was a tame effort that Howard easily collected.

In fact it was Pool who had the chance to extend their lead on 77 minutes when substitute Jordan Thompson sent Gnanduillet through on goal but the striker’s left-footed drive was well tipped over by Lawlor.

The home side rallied in the final five minutes but they looked short on ideas and Pool dealt with them well, expertly running down the clock to ensure their progression.


Doncaster: Lawlor, Mason, Wright, Anderson, Andrew, Whiteman, Rowe (Ben Khemis), Blair, Taylor (Beestin), Anderson (Kiwomya), May

Subs not used: Ogley, Lund, Horton, Gibbons

Blackpool: Howard, Nottingham, Heneghan, O'Connor, Bola, Taylor, Spearing, O'Sullivan, Pritchard (Turton), Feeney (Thompson), Gnanduillet (Dodoo)

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Sinclair-Smith, Delfouneso, Cullen

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

Attendance: 3,188, (192 Blackpool)