Report: Port Vale 1 Blackpool 2
Blackpool progressed into the third round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy thanks to Jarrett Rivers and Clark Robertson’s first goals for the club at Port Vale.
The Seasiders fully merited victory in their first tie in the competition since 2006, after being set on their way when Rivers tucked home before the interval.
Vale, who'd made two changes to the side which beat Sheffield United on Saturday, levelled from the spot thanks to Anthony Grant.
However, Robertson, who’d conceded the spot-kick, made amends by leaping to head home the winner from Jose Cubero’s free-kick.
A sluggish start to the contest from both sides did little to inspire those inside Vale Park, but they did piece together an opening each early on, with Louis Dodds and Martin Paterson miss-firing for their respective sides.
Colin Daniel had set up Dodds and went for goal himself soon after but his strike went the same way as his colleague's – off target.
The first real chance of note fell to the visitors, but after Kwame Thomas’ header was cleared off the line by Grant, the striker’s follow up was smothered by goalkeeper Jak Alnwick.
Colin Doyle’s first involvement saw him collect a looping header from Carl Dickinson, and his second was slightly more testing, getting down low to claim a deflected shot from Dodds.
At the other end Rivers, making his first start for the club, blazed over, but an incident seconds before, which saw Thomas innocuously clash with Remie Street, caused a ten minute delay while the Vale man was treated on the pitch, before being carried off.
And seconds later Blackpool put themselves in the lead. Good work from Thomas down the left manufactured an opening for Rivers, who composed himself and tucked home his first goal in professional football.
Few could argue that Blackpool didn’t deserve their lead and it’s one they took into the break.
Half Time: Port Vale 0 Blackpool 1
After the interval Pool continued to play on the front foot and Connor Oliver tested Alnwick with a low drive, before the stopper saved at the feet of Paterson.
However, the contest momentarily turned in a flash of excitement from Enoch Andoh, who raced clear of the Blackpool defence and forced a trip from Robertson. Grant made no mistake from the spot, sending Doyle the wrong way to make it 1-1.
Just two minutes later the defender made amends for the foul by scoring his first goal for the club. Robertson met Cubero’s free-kick with a firm header which, via the crossbar and goalkeeper, found its way into the back of the net.
67 minutes in Blackpool made their only change, with ex-Stoke City man Paterson leaving Vale Park to a hostile reception from the home fans, being replaced by John Herron.
The frustration in the stands was building for the hosts, who had substitute Uche Ikpeazu making him a nuisance of himself in the final third. It was Andoh who was next to call Doyle into action, however the goalkeeper saved with ease.
And the stopper wasn’t needed moments later, when Charles Dunne threw his body in the way of Dodds’ powerful strike.
And the significance of Dunne’s block was clear soon after when the referee signalled the end of play at Vale Park and Blackpool were through.
Full Time: Port Vale 1 Blackpool 2