MATCH REPORT: Notts County 1-0 Blackpool
Blackpool remain in a League Two play-off place with just one game left to play despite going down to a 1-0 defeat at Notts County.
Richard Duffy scored the only goal of the game in what was a poor affair at Meadow Lane, but other results went Blackpool’s way to keep them in the top seven on goal difference.
It means should they win at home to Leyton Orient next week they will guarantee themselves a play-off spot.
The first chance of the game came the home side’s way in the second minute, and it was former Pool player Mark Yeates - who made the move to Meadow Lane on January transfer deadline day - who curled wide of goal.
The tangerines responded well though and were almost gifted the lead when County keeper Adam Collin spilled what ought to have been a routine claim, but a defender recovered to clear just as Mark Cullen looked set to tap home.
The tangerines continued to make all the early running and looked a constant threat on the break.
One counter saw Neil Danns receive the ball in acres of space in the corner of the box after Brad Potts had surged through the middle but the midfielder could only win a corner after his curled effort was deflected wide.
The home side only looked dangerous from long balls and set pieces into the box, one of which fell to Yeates at the back post who brought out a good reaction save from Sam Slocombe.
After a lull in proceedings midway through the opening period, Blackpool came close again as Potts’ shot was charged down into the path of Nathan Delfouneso but Collin raced out of goal quickly to claim.
But moments later it was the hosts who made the breakthrough, with defender Richard Duffy heading into an empty net after Slocombe had done well to claw away Jorge Grant’s free kick from the top corner.
The Seasiders were forced to hold on in the latter stages of the first half, with Jack Payne making a superb block to deny Shola Ameobi who was readying himself for a volley on the edge of the box.
Andy Taylor took a shot to the face in the first action of the second period to block Rob Milsom’s acrobatic effort before Slocombe got down to save from Jon Stead’s deflected follow up.
Slocombe then got a strong hand to a second effort from Stead, who tried his luck with a curling effort from the edge of the box.
The game opened up a little with both sides trading blows, with Pool coming close through Jack Payne who fizzed an effort just over the bar after latching onto Kelvin Mellor’s pass.
Blackpool continued to find themselves in promising positions in County’s final third but the final ball was lacking.
Gary Bowyer’s men struggled for clear outings until the last 10 minutes, when Kyle Vassell wasted a good opportunity after being unleashed in behind the County defence.
Brad Potts was equally as wasteful after a long throw fell to him, but the midfielder could only head straight at Collin in Pool's last chance of the game.
The season will now be decided at Bloomfield Road next week where the Seasiders take on bottom-of-the-table and already relegated Leyton Orient, with the two sets of supporters set to take part in a protest before the game takes place.
Notts County: Collin, Dickinson, Duffy, Hollis, Milson, Yeates (A. Campbell), Grant (Forte), Hewitt, Clastone, Stead (Smith), Ameobi
Subs not used: Searson-Smithard, Thompson, Howes, T. Campbell
Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor (Osayi-Samuel), Danns (Flores), Payne, Potts, Daniel, Delfouneso, Cullen (Vassell)
Subs not used: Lyness, Aimson, Black, Odelusi
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Attendance: 7,108 (702 Blackpool)