Report: Shrewsbury 2 Blackpool 0
A quick-fire brace from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro condemned Blackpool to defeat at Shrewsbury Town and left them on the foot of the League One table in the process.
The Frenchman produced two deadly finishes in four second-half minutes, after the two sides had competitively battled out 73 minutes of football, without creating much in the way of chances.
Neil McDonald’s men became the first away side to lose a league game at the Greenhous Meadow this season, despite starting with an offensive formation in Shropshire.
Mark Cullen had an effort ruled out for offside and Jack Redshaw volleyed a presentable opportunity wide late on, but it was an afternoon to forget for the disappointed Seasiders.
During an opening period scattered with corners, Tyrone Barnett threatened first, forcing Colin Doyle to get down low and save, before Lloyd Jones cleared, while Sullay Kaikai fired straight at the stopper moments later.
Kwame Thomas then wasted a promising opening for Blackpool and Doyle was being kept busy at the other end by Mark Ellis. Kaikai was next to fire a warning sign when his dangerous cross flew across the face of goal.
Mark Halstead’s first involvement against his former club saw him collect a deflected effort by John Herron from the edge of the box. That was the first sign of promise for The Seasiders, who almost saw Thomas latch onto Cullen’s cross soon after.
A minute before the break Jordan Clark sliced an effort wide, but in truth it brought an end to a pretty uneventful half.
Half Time: Shrewsbury 0 Blackpool 0
While going forward Blackpool offered little in the opening half, they’d looked solid at the back, and that continued after the break with Jones producing a vital block to deny substitute James Collins.
As an attacking threat Pool looked more up to it after the interval, and Herron should have done better than slice wide at the back post, following Brad Potts’ cross.
A succession of Herron corners, the most dangerous of which was headed wide by Jones, then went amiss, before Martin Paterson replaced Thomas for his Pool debut.
The hosts were then let off the hook as Blackpool had an effort chalked off for offside. Potts’ low drive was fumbled by Halstead, but when Cullen slid in with the rebound he was denied by the flag. Henry Cameron then came on for David Norris, as McDonald reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.
At the other end The Seasiders survived a scramble in their own box, as Jones eventually cleared under pressure. But they wouldn’t get away with it the second time of asking, as Larnell Cole charged through Blackpool unopposed and played in Akpa Akrpo to slide home the opener.
And it was game over just minutes later as the same combination sealed The Shrews’ victory. Cole slipped in Akpa Akpro who gave Doyle no chance with another lethal finish.
Those four minutes killed off Blackpool, who should have pulled one back when Redshaw volleyed wide at the back post. Their misery was compounded nine minutes from time when Tom Aldred went down in visible pain and was forced off for David Ferguson.
That would be the final incident of the afternoon as Pool went down to a disappointing defeat in Shropshire.
Full Time: Shrewsbury 2 Blackpool 0