Goals from Nathan Delfouneso and Kelvin Mellor saw Blackpool start 2018 with a 2-1 victory at Rochdale.
The pair found the net with second-half efforts to break the deadlock in torrential conditions at Spotland and reward the side with three points for the first time since mid-November.
The team had survive a late scare though, with Mark Kitching pulling a goal back in added time.
Manager Gary Bowyer shuffled his squad around given the quick turnaround from Saturday, changing six players from the 2-2 draw with Plymouth Argyle. Christoffer Mafoumbi made his league debut in goal, while Ollie Turton returned from injury. Jimmy Ryan, Callum Cooke, Nathan Delfouneso and Viv Solomon-Otabor also started.
Mafoumbi was called into action inside the first three minutes, with Callum Camps fizzing 30-yard free-kick needing to be parried away from danger.
The home side were pinning Blackpool back in the opening stages and whipping crosses into the box for Calvin Andrew. The forward had the Rochdale fans cheering when he met a deep free-kick at the back post, however it was the side-netting that his attempt ended up hitting.
The Seasiders’ first opportunity came in the 17th minute, when Nathan Delfouneso headed wide from a Jimmy Ryan free-kick.
It was Ryan’s delivery that was started to cause a few problems for the hosts, with ‘keeper Josh Lillis punching clear on two occasions. The second time saw Cooke pick up the pieces and clip the ball to the back post, where a scramble near the line denied Clark Robertson.
The torrential rain wasn’t conducive for the way both sides like to play football, with the heavy pitch fast becoming boggy. Controlling the ball and getting the right measure on passes was proving tough, leading to a scrappy battle in the middle of the park.
Half-Time: Rochdale 0 Blackpool 0
Colin Daniel went close to breaking the deadlock immediately after the restart, with his 20-yard drive flying just past the post.
A minute later Daniel had another opportunity after the ball fell to his feet following a defensive clearance. This time he fired over the bar.
It was a bright start to the second-half, despite the conditions, and it got even better in the 54th minute. Nathan Delfouneso controlled the ball well inside the box, dummied his man, then the ‘keeper and stayed composed to finish and put Blackpool ahead.
With Blackpool looking to at least preserve their advantage, manager Gary Bowyer introduced Jay Spearing Jimmy Ryan shortly after the hour mark. Given that Ryan had earlier been booked, it was sensible management.
The arrival of Spearing proved influential in Blackpool scoring a second, with the midfielder’s corner delivery being met by Kelvin Mellor, who nodded the ball down and into the roof of the net.
Both sets of players were now tiring on an energy sapping pitch, however Rochdale’s need to commit bodies forward was leaving space to exploit on the counter attack.
One such opportunity saw The Seasiders break three-on-one against the hosts, but Solomon-Otabor spurned the chance to find a team-mate.
Blackpool utilised their second and third substitutions with 14 minutes to go, as Nick Anderton and Danny Philliskirk were brought on for Ollie Turton and Callum Cooke.
A fine double save from Rochdale’s Josh Lillis prevented Pool from scoring a third, with Colin Daniel’s header pushed away and Solomon-Otabor’s rebound claimed on the line.
Rochdale sub Brad Inman had a good chance to pull a goal back in added time, yet he was rash with his attempt and blazed over from eight-yards out.
Dale did pull a goal back shortly afterwards though, as Mark Kitching scrambled home from a similar distance.
Callum Camps saw a late free-kick deflect over the bar, however Blackpool held on to take the three points back to Bloomfield Road.
Full-Time: Rochdale 1 Blackpool 2