Report: Blackpool 2 Exeter 0
Blackpool got the new campaign off to the perfect start as goals in either half were complimented with a clean sheet, as Exeter City were comfortably dispatched of at Bloomfield Road.
It took Kyle Vassell just 19 minutes to take his fine pre-season form into the league campaign, latching onto a brilliant ball from Colin Daniel and firing home.
The second came through a Troy Brown own goal, but owed much to the fantastic cross from transformed winger Brad Potts.
The visitors twice struck the woodwork in a more even first-half, but the second goal killed off the game as a contest, so Pool began on the right note.
Starting on the front foot in the searing heat, Bright Osayi-Samuel was causing all sorts of problems down the left but his low cross couldn’t be turned home by Danny Philliskirk. The striker was injured in his attempts to convert the cross and, despite trying to run off the knock, was eventually forced off for Daniel.
If the Port Vale man felt aggrieved to not start, he reacted in the best possible way. Vassell’s knock back allowed Daniel to play a delicious through ball to the striker, and Vassell was composed in his finish, which took a large nick off Bobby Olejnik, who couldn’t keep it out.
In fairness, Exeter were the better side from that point and Ollie Watkins headed onto the outside of the post. Nevertheless, Potts wasted a golden opportunity to increase Blackpool’s lead but, after showing great desire to get on the end of Osayi-Samuel’s cross, headed wide from close range.
Competitive football was well and truly welcomed back on 38 minutes when a committed tackle from Will Aimson sparked a mass brawl involving all 22 players, with Danny Pugh and Craig Woodman eventually booked for their involvement.
On the stroke of half-time The Grecians came within a lick of paint of an equaliser, as Jake Taylor’s flick came off the inside of the post and across the face of goal, as Pool were let off the hook. Right at the end of the half the lively Osayi-Samuel stung the palms of Olejnik.
Half-Time: Blackpool 1 Exeter 0
After the break it was his team mate Andy Taylor who tested Sam Slocombe, but the goalkeeper adjusted brilliantly to turn the header over for a corner. Moments later the game was put beyond Exeter, as Potts’ devilish cross was turned into his own net by Brown.
The only blot on the copy book was injuries to Vassell and Osayi-Samuel which followed, but neither looked overly serious. Substitute Mark Yeates came close to making it three on more than one occasion, while Potts was denied by some desperate Exeter defending.
The visitors won corner after corner late on, but the Blackpool defence were equal to everything thrown at them and saw out the victory reasonably comfortably.
Full-Time: Blackpool 2 Exeter 0