An 89th minute goal from Ian Henderson broke Blackpool’s resolve, as the 10-man Seasiders lost 2-1 away to Rochdale.
Having fought back from a goal down and the dismissal of Jordan Thompson, Michael Nottingham’s third goal of the campaign had looked set to secure the side a point.
However, despite a backs-to-the-wall second-half, Henderson struck with a minute remaining to give the hosts all three points.
Manager Terry McPhillips made a couple of enforced changes for the match, with centre-backs Curtis Tilt and Donervon Daniels both unavailable. It resulted in starts for Michael Nottingham and Paudie O’Connor, while Callum Guy and Nathan Delfouneso also stepped up off the bench.
It was Pool’s top scorer, Armand Gnanduillet, who probably should have opened the scoring though, firing wide after Rochdale ‘keeper Brendan Moore has diverted a cross into his path.
The Frenchman found himself in the right position again three minutes later, however this time he was unable to keep his strike from flying over the bar.
The Seasiders were soon made to pay for wasting those opportunities, as Rochdale took the lead. The home side countered two-on-two and after initially seeing Marc Bola deflect the ball onto the post, Ollie Rathbone reacted quickest to score.
A response from the visitors almost came immediately, as Jordan Thompson’s curling effort clipped the outside of the post.
Blackpool then found themselves unfortunate not to win a penalty after Armand Gnanduillet appeared to knock the ball past the ‘keeper before taking a tumble. The referee waved the appeals away.
Soon after, The Seasiders were reduced to 10 men. Jordan Thompson reacted to a challenge and was shown an instant red card. The Northern Ireland international remonstrated with the referee, insisting he was stamped on. Rochdale’s Callum Camps was booked for his involvement in the incident.
Despite the man disadvantage, Blackpool brought themselves level in the 35th minute. Armand Gnanduillet worked his way into the box before cutting the ball back for Michael Nottingham to score his first league goal for the club.
Ian Henderson looked to restore Rochdale’s advantage with a rasping strike from a tight angle, however Mark Howard managed to save it at the second attempt.
Half-Time: Rochdale 1 Blackpool 1
The hosts made a change for the second-half, bringing on Kgosi Nthle for Matthew Gillam. The substitute almost made an immediate impact, seeing a 20-yard strike clip the post.
Defender Ryan Delaney was then left unmarked from a corner, only to see his header fall wide of the far post.
At the other end, Armand Gnanduillet turned well inside the Rochdale box before seeing his strike saved comfortably by Brendan Moore.
Mark Howard then had to be at his best for Blackpool, as he clawed away a fast-driven shot from Callum Camps.
It really was backs to the wall for Blackpool now as Rochdale, with the man advantage, continued to dictate the play. They then introduced Calvin Andrew and Bradden Inman off the bench.
It was Dale’s earlier substitute, Kgosi Nthle, who continued to threaten for the hosts, this time heading wide from close range.
Block after block was now coming in, including a divine intervention from Michael Nottingham to clear one particular strike away from the bottom corner.
Callum Camps tried his luck once again, firing a deflected effort just past the far post.
Just as The Seasiders looked set to come away from Spotland with a hard-earned point, Ian Henderson was played through from close range and slotted the ball past Mark Howard for what proved to be the winner.
An overhead kick from Armand Gnanduillet came close to salvaging a point, but in the end it was heartbreak for Pool.
Full-Time: Rochdale 2 Blackpool 1