Blackpool’s unbeaten run in Sky Bet League One came to an end at Fleetwood Town this afternoon, as the hosts recorded a 3-2 victory.
Town found themselves two goals up inside 11 minutes at Highbury, though Jordan Thompson pulled one back before half-time.
Substitute Paddy Madden restored Fleetwood’s advantage early in the second-half, only for Nathan Delfouneso to grab a quick reply for The Seasiders.
With Blackpool trying to find an equaliser as time ticked away, Armand Gnanduillet saw red late on for an incident off the ball.
Manager Terry McPhillips was forced into a late change prior to kick-off, with Donervon Daniels feeling his hamstring in the warm-up. It meant that Ben Heneghan stepped up at short notice to partner Curtis Tilt at the heart of the Blackpool defence.
There was nothing the centre-halves could particularly do to prevent Wes Burns from opening the scoring for Fleetwood after five minutes though, as the forward fired in from 20-yards out. The Blackpool bench appealed for a foul on Jordan Thompson in the build-up, however the referee allowed play to continue.
The hosts nearly doubled their advantage soon after, with Ched Evans left unmarked at the back post. Fortunately, the striker sliced his effort wide.
Fleetwood did score a second a minute later, though. Ross Wallace was allowed the time and space to run forward with the ball before rifling a shot into the bottom corner.
Wes Burns, who opened the scoring, had another opportunity to extend Fleetwood’s lead further in the 17th minute, turning on the outside of his man before forcing Mark Howard to save.
The Seasiders, clearly shell-shocked, were struggling to make the ball stick in the attacking third. A couple of free-kicks also went wayward.
Blackpool finally got themselves back in the game with a goal from Jordan Thompson in the 35th minute. The Northern Ireland international latched on to a sublime cross from Nathan Delfouneso to reduce the deficit.
At the other end, Fleetwood quickly looked to restore the two-goal cushion through Jason Holt, however his effort went just wide of the post.
Ched Evans then hit the outside of the post with a header, though the assistant had already flagged for offside.
Half-Time: Fleetwood Town 2 Blackpool 1
The Seasiders made a change for the second-half, introducing Harry Pritchard for Liam Feeney. The midfielder took up a position down the left, with Nathan Delfouneso moving just behind Armand Gnanduillet.
Before the team could fully readjust, Wes Burns almost scored his second and Fleetwood’s third. The forward was left in acres of space in the box but couldn’t get a clean connection with Ash Hunter’s cross.
Blackpool had a short spell of pressure in the final third, winning a couple of corners. No real opportunities came from them, though.
The hosts opted to make a change that quickly paid off, as substitute Paddy Madden stepped off the bench to score a third for Fleetwood. The striker made a well-timed run before finding the top corner with his finish.
The Seasiders responded immediately through Nathan Delfouneso, who pounced on some hesitancy at the back to go one-on-one with Alex Cairns before finding the bottom far corner.
Tensions started to spill over after Fleetwood assistant Clint Hill pushed Marc Bola off the ball as he looked to take a throw-in. Hill was sent to the stands by referee John Brooks, while Bola was yellow carded.
Blackpool’s last throw of the dice in the game was to bring Michael Nottingham and Mark Cullen on. Callum Guy and goalscorer Nathan Delfouneso were the players withdrawn.
It resulted in a more direct approach from The Seasiders, who were starting to knock the ball long for Cullen to chase down.
The break just wouldn’t come and with four minutes of added time counting down, Armand Gnanduillet was dismissed.
Full-Time: Fleetwood Town 3 Blackpool 2