Report: Port Vale 2 Blackpool 0
After over 80 minutes of being the better side at Vale Park, Blackpool succumbed to another defeat as two late Port Vale goals earned the hosts three points.
The Seasiders had two efforts cleared off the line but once again had no joy in front of goal, as strikes from AJ Leitch-Smith and Chris Birchall did the damage.
The defeat leaves Neil McDonald’s side stuck inside the League One bottom four, after Bright Osayi-Samuel and David Norris were two of many left frustrated with strikes.
In what could only be described as torrential conditions, Blackpool looked the more up for it early on and fired a major warning sign their visitors’ way on 11 minutes. Osayi-Samuel was thwarted by both Jak Alnwick and the defender on the line, before Jim McAlister suffered a similar fate.
Vale were taking their time to get going, but in-form Leitch-Smith was looking busy and saw a strike deflect off Hayden White – their first effort of note. Meanwhile, Blackpool were still asking questions but penalty appeals for an apparent trip on Mark Cullen were ignored.
The returning Kwame Thomas, who was playing instead of the injured Andy Little, fired a speculative effort wide next, as the break edged closer. As for the hosts, Anthony Grant’s shot trickled into the arms of Dean Lyness.
Lady luck continued to turn her back on The Seasiders again moments later when Cullen’s effort cannoned into the path of Norris, who’s strike appeared to squirm over the line, only for the assistant to decide otherwise.
Half-Time: Port Vale 0 Blackpool 0
After the break Pool had to weather a mini Port Vale storm, before another chance of their own went begging. Good work from Thomas set up Cullen, who in turn slipped in McAlister, but the Scot’s side-footed effort cannoned back off a defender and away from danger.
Somehow Pool continued to be held, next Brad Potts and Thomas tried their luck, but again couldn’t find the breakthrough. Dean Lyness was relatively busy at this point, but did have to hold a shot from Sam Foley.
His opposite number Alnwick was the busier stopper and parried a Tom Aldred header away from a McAlister corner. McDonald then changed his hand, with Potts making way for John Herron.
Blackpool were continuing to huff and puff but were almost dealt a blow when both Carl Dickinson and Michael O’Connor shot wide from range, but at the third time of asking Port Vale finally took the lead. After some scrapping inside the Pool box, and appeals for fouls fell on deaf ears, Leitch-Smith rolled home.
And then came the killer blow minutes later, as substitute Uche Ikpeazu rolled Clark Robertson and squared for Birchall to tap in.
A previously planned change then saw Jack Redshaw and Martin Paterson thrown on for Pool, and the former curled a deflected free-kick over in injury time to sum up Pool's frustration.
Full-Time: Port Vale 2 Blackpool 0