Report: Gillingham 2 Blackpool 1
Luckless Blackpool went down to a late Bradley Dack winner after a spirited display at League One leaders Gillingham.
The Seasiders had looked good value for the point they were on course to achieve after Ryan Jackson’s own goal, but came away from Kent empty handed.
Doug Loft had gobbled up a rebound to put the high-flying Gills ahead in the first-half, before Brad Potts forced Jackson to turn into his own net.
However, it wasn’t enough, as Dack pounced on a loose ball inside the Pool box and fired beyond Doyle for the winner.
Unfazed by their hosts’ league standing, Blackpool posed the early threat and Henry Cameron’s strike from the edge of the 18-yard box needed pushing over by Stuart Nelson.
In fairness to the league leaders, Colin Doyle had to deny hotshot Dack, after Cody McDonald had already misfired.
But it was left to their captain Loft to do the honours, pouncing on a rebound to put his side ahead, after Doyle had parried Luke Norris’ well-struck free-kick.
Within the space of eight minutes Blackpool should have been level however, when Jim McAlister burst down the left he clipped a cross onto the head of Potts, but the midfielder’s header lacked conviction and fell wide.
An opening for David Ferguson then went begging, while Norris fired across goal for The Gills.
Potts was involved in everything good Blackpool were creating and dragged an effort wide, while Loft almost punished some hesitant Pool defending but blazed over with his snapshot.
Half-Time: Gillingham 1 Blackpool 0
Neil McDonald clearly got into the bellies of his side at the break and they came out for the second-half with renewed belief, and soon after had an equaliser to their name.
The goal was a reward for persistence, as Potts pressured the defender, robbed him of possession and then watched his low cross come off the shins of Jackson and in.
Blackpool deserved their equaliser and could have led had McAlister and John Herron made more of decent openings with Pool in the ascendency.
McAlister was instrumental at the other end keeping Gillingham out however, as was Tom Aldred, with the duo putting their bodies on the line to keep Pool level.
The contest had transformed in the second period and an acrobatic bicycle kick from Potts was remarkably cleared off the line, before Nelson flew off his line to block Lloyd Jones’ follow up.
Midway through the second half McDonald handed opportunities to David Norris and Kwame Thomas, who replaced Herron and Mark Cullen.
The two quickly found their feet and Thomas set up Norris to fire over on 70 minutes.
With 11 minutes left Blackpool added further fresh legs into the equation, with Cameron making way for Bright Osayi-Samuel.
McAlister then fired wide, before The Gills retook the lead undeservedly, with Dack pouncing on a loose ball and firing beyond Doyle.
The Seasiders could have still taken a point home with them however, had Thomas not directed Potts’ cross over the bar in added time.
Full-Time: Gillingham 2 Blackpool 1