Blackpool subs torpedo Stevenage
- Credit: Archant
Stevenage will have to wait a while longer if they are to dine at the top table of League Two following a home defeat to Blackpool.
While Boro’s away form has been outstanding of late – Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Newport their fifth victory in a row in the league – today’s defeat at the Lamex extended their winless run on home soil in League Two to six matches.
In their last 10 games alone their record reads won five, drawn one and lost four; for a side hitherto balancing nervously just above the relegation zone, there has been a marked upturn in fortune.
But Boro have the play-offs in mind, and they will need to turn some of these home reversals into points if they are going to achieve their goal.
For most of this match it looked as though the teams would play out a goalless draw.
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In a game affected by heavy rain with the ball zipping off the ground, Blackpool played quite direct and offered very little attacking-wise in the first period.
Boro just edged the first half but failed to beat Sam Slocombe, and in the second half when Bright Osayi-Samuel curled home the hosts had no answer. Mark Cullen then made the most of a Dean Wells slip to make it two, and with just seven minutes remaining Blackpool were able to hold on.
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Boro had a couple of early chances but on both occasions were denied by Slocombe.
First Tom Pett fired low from 20 yards only to see the keeper push it wide, and then from a Steven Schumacher free-kick Harry McKirdy got on the end of a header back across goal only to see Slocombe get down and save at his post.
At the other end Brad Potts had a sight of goal and put his laces through it only to fire it clear of the bar.
Slocombe was the busier of the two keepers in the first half hour and twice he was almost caught out by freak goals, but managed to save on the line.
The first was a long Schumacher ball which bounced over the keeper and looked to be heading goalwards, only for a jump back from Slocombe who somehow clawed it away.
And then a Henry Cowans cross from the left was curled too close to goal, forcing the keeper to backpedal and catch the ball as he landed against the post and dropped to the line.
Potts headed over early in the second half while for Boro Franks stung the palms of Slocombe from distance.
Blackpool took the lead with just under 15 minutes to go when Osayi-Samuel, on for just over five minutes, curled a low effort inside the goal of Chris Day, who was deputising for Jamie Jones.
Moments later and it was two when a high ball looked to be covered by Dean Wells, but the centre-half slipped as the ball fell behind him and another substitute, Cullen, was on hand to coolly beat Day from the edge of the area to make it no way back for the hosts.
Stevenage: Day, Franks, Wells, Wilkinson, Henry, Cowans (McAnuff 78), Schumacher, King, Pett, McKirdy (Godden 60), Lee (Liburd 74). Subs: Preston, Tonge, Kerr, Gorman.
Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Taylor, Robertson, Vassell (McAllister 90), Potts, Aldred, Philliskirk (Osayi-Samuel 71), Matt (Cullen 63), Pugh, Payne. Subs: Lyness, Aimson, Nolan, Yeates.
Att: 2,513 (424)