Report: Blackpool 0 Peterborough 1
A 1-0 defeat and a serious looking injury to Barry Ferguson made for a difficult day at the office for Blackpool, when they faced Peterborough United at Bloomfield Road.
Manager Paul Ince had emphasised that his players needed to build on their midweek victory over Watford, but The Seasiders were instead left frustrated by Darren Ferguson’s side.
Blackpool made three changes to the side that snatched that 2-1 win at Vicarage Road last weekend as Ludovic Sylvestre, Isaiah Osbourne and Nathan Delfouneso were all promoted to the starting line-up.
Those swaps appeared to do the trick as Blackpool threatened the visitor’s goal early, though Tom Ince’s shot was blocked by the Peterborough back line after the England Under-21 international had skipped his way to the edge of the area.
The visitors weren’t going to lie down though and Peterborough’s top scorer, Dwight Gayle, had the away side’s first attempt at goal.
After wiggling his way free from a Tangerine defender, the 22-year-old fired a low shot towards the bottom right hand corner of Gilks’ net. It took a slight deflection though and went just wide.
Blackpool continued to circle the visitor’s area and almost reaped their reward when, after nine minutes, Alex Baptiste was played in cleverly by Matt Phillips and unleashed a powerful ball across the face of goal.
Nathan Delfouneso and co. did their best to meet it but were just too late arriving in front of Bobby Olejnick.
The away side responded positively again when Jack Payne was given room to run down the channel and set his sights on the Seasiders’ goal.
With a quick shift of balance the midfielder shimmied the ball onto his right foot and shot low but wide, much to the dismay of Posh boss Darren Ferguson.
The Peterborough manager’s namesake wasn’t having much luck either as, shortly after, Blackpool midfielder Barry suffered a serious head injury after challenging bravely for a high ball.
Unluckily for the former Rangers and Birmingham midfielder, Isaiah Osbourne’s foot was also high and collided with the Scotsman’s head. He was taken to hospital but was later given the all-clear and discharged.
The 35-year-old was taken off via stretcher and replaced by Angel Martinez in the centre of midfield.
The Seasiders were well on top of possession, playing keep-ball and frustrating their opponents.
The introduction of Angel, albeit in negative circumstances, seemed to calm the Blackpool midfield, using his Latin know-how to quicken the Tangerine’s passing game.
Things soon turned ugly though and the first bookings of the match came after the half-hour mark when Kirk Broadfoot and Michael Bostwick were both shown yellows by Mark Haywood, for taking part in an unorthodox exchange in the Posh area.
Ince’s side then tested Olejnick from range once again, as the 22-year-old Phillips took aim from just outside the area after some good work by Tom Ince down the left.
Immediately after, and against the run of play, Peterborough took the lead. A break down the right touchline was squared to the left and Posh captain Tommy Rowe crossed deftly to Kane Ferdinand, who headed easily past Gilks.
BLACKPOOL 0-1 PETERBOROUGH UNITED
Then, as the clock struck 45 minutes, Blackpool suffered another setback when Tom Ince went down with a muscular injury under the challenge of the Peterborough defence.
The 21-year-old walked off unassisted and was allowed back on the pitch following a short period on the touchline.
HALF TIME: BLACKPOOL 0-1 PETERBOROUGH UNITED
Peterborough started the second half in a composed fashion, much to the frustration of Blackpool and Isaiah Osbourne who kicked out and earned himself an early booking.
The Seasiders’ first effort on goal came courtesy of Ince after 56 minutes, but his weak shot from the edge of the ‘D’ did nothing to trouble the Posh ‘keeper who was able to watch it roll wide.
A succession of corners saw the home side continue to apply pressure, but their play seemed lacking in that final crucial pass and most positive periods of possession were rendered disappointing.
The visitors were still pressing though and almost doubled their advantage when Lee Tomlin drove towards goal with the ball at his feet.
The 24-year-old midfielder shot with the outside of his boot, but the effort was saved acrobatically by Gilks.
Paul Ince responded with the introduction of Elliot Grandin, who replaced Isaiah Osbourne after 70 minutes, with the hope that his side might take hold of the game and push for an equaliser.
But Peterborough’s rhythm couldn’t be broken and they almost had a second goal when Jack Payne was allowed cross to Tommy Rowe.
The former Manchester United trainee could only head wide though, despite the time and space afforded to him by the Blackpool defence.
The Seasiders refused to go down without a fight and their tireless efforts almost got them a leveller when the ball broke to Matt Phillips just inside the Posh area.
However, his resulting strike only went a far as Delfouneso, hitting the on-loan forward and landing at the feet of a visiting defender who cleared.
Both sides seemed lethargic heading into the final minutes, with Peterborough happy to sit on their one goal lead as their defence held on to deny Blackpool a first home victory under Paul Ince.
FULL TIME: BLACKPOOL 0-1 PETERBOROUGH UNITED