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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

21 November 2017 Venue Bloomfield Road Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

Report: Blackpool 1 Gillingham 1

Late Eaves Header Cancels Out Vassell Strike

21 November 2017

A late header from Tom Eaves denied Blackpool all three points in a 1-1 draw with Gillingham at Bloomfield Road.

The former Oldham Athletic and Yeovil Town man headed in from close range with 89 minutes on the clock to give his side a share of the spoils.

That equaliser came despite a dominant performance from The Seasiders, who just weren’t clinical enough to add to a first-half strike from Kyle Vassell.  

Manager Gary Bowyer opted to name the same starting 11 that recorded a 1-0 victory against Peterborough on the weekend, though Jimmy Ryan did make a return to the bench.

Blackpool almost took the lead inside 60 seconds, after a defensive clearance bounced back off Sean Longstaff and fell just wide of the post.

It set the tone for the home side however, with Kyle Vassell and Colin Daniel also having attempts inside the first 10 minutes.

Gillingham’s first opportunity came six minutes later, and it was a good one. Gabriel Zakuani got above his man at the back post and headed inches wide.

The Seasiders continued to see more of the ball though and watched Callum Cooke fire wide from distance, prior to Colin Daniel glancing wide.

The same pair went close again on the half-hour mark, yet a superb block tackle from Luke O’Neil denied Daniel, while Cooke’s rebounded effort deflected past the wrong side of the post.

A speculative cross fizzed into the Blackpool six-yard box almost proved costly for The Seasiders, but luckily it ricocheted wide.

Blackpool’s first effort on target came soon after, as Curtis Tilt latched on to a Jay Spearing corner. Unfortunately, he fired the ball straight into the arms of the ‘keeper.

The breakthrough came in the 41st minute though and it was Kyle Vassell who made it. The striker, having scored on his return to the side at Peterborough, grabbed his eighth of the season by driving a powerful effort into the back of the net.

Vassell nearly added a quick-fire second, yet his 20-yard strike deflected just past the post.

Half-Time: Blackpool 1 Gillingham 0

Viv Solomon-Otabor, who was getting plenty of space to run at defenders, continued where he left off in the first-half and deserved better from a great through ball, however Vassell was unable to take it in his stride.

Kelvin Mellor then had a glorious opportunity when left unmarked at the back post, yet he somehow volleyed wide.

It was then Callum Cooke’s turn to line up a strike, but this time he curled the ball just round the wrong side of the post from 22-yards-out.

Conor Wilkinson was presented with a great opportunity to level matters in the 66th minute after two Blackpool defenders collided when challenging to clear. The former Bolton man snapped at his effort though and dragged it wide.

Colin Daniel then did likewise at the other end, scuffing his opportunity after cutting inside from the right.

Manager Gary Bowyer opted to make a double substitution with 15 minutes remaining, with Dolly Menga and Sessi D’Almeida introduced for Kyle Vassell and Callum Cooke.   

Though the changes were made in an effort to see the game off, the visitors continued to battle for a way back into the encounter and found it in the 89th minute. Tom Eaves moved away from his man at the back post to head in from close range.

Full-Time: Blackpool 1 Gillingham 1

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