Report: Blackpool 2 Cheltenham 1
Kyle Vassell came off the bench to inspire Blackpool to victory over Cheltenham Town in the Checkatrade Trophy at Bloomfield Road.
Trailing at the break through James Jennings’ tap in, Blackpool turned it around in the second-half with two goals from the former Peterborough United striker.
Vassell levelled things up by stroking home Mark Yeates’ cross, before he turned into an open goal after good work from Mark Cullen for the winner.
Much-changed Blackpool started brightly and Yeates was denied by some brave Cheltenham defending, before Cullen headed over when he should have hit the target.
Captain for the evening Yeates sliced wide moments later and then put a cross right onto the head of Cullen, who headed over from six yards out.
Cheltenham’s first sight of goal came through Koby Arthur, but the striker fired across goal and wide. That was only the warning sign and soon after Harry Pell raced through and squared for Jennings to apply the simplest of finishes.
Armand Gnanduillet was next to come close for Pool, but was denied by Calum Kitscha before Jonny Smith lobbed the Blackpool goal, after spotting Myles Boney off his line.
35 minutes in Brad Potts had a low effort kept out, before the same man’s effort was cleared from almost on the goal line, with Cullen unable to turn in the rebound.
Half-Time: Blackpool 0 Cheltenham 1
Gary Bowyer changed his hand at the break, bringing on Jack Payne and Vassell, who went on to change the game. They took the place of Gnanduillet and Potts.
It took nine minutes for the home side to haul themselves level, as good industry from Yeates down the left fashioned an opening for Vassell, who swept home underneath Kitscha.
And less than two minutes later the turnaround was complete. Yeates was again involved, slipping in Cullen, whose low crossed was turned home by the man of the moment Vassell at the back post.
The Robins weren’t finished there however and Daniel Parslow blazed over after outmuscling Vassell from a corner. Danny Whitehead then saw a deflected effort roll narrowly wide of Boney’s net.
At the other end Vassell was presented with a fine opportunity to claim the match ball, but volleyed wide from 12 yards, while Boney denied substitute Danny Wright in the Pool goal.
With the result far from home and dry, Asa Hall drilled wide of the mark, before Boney produced a fine reaction save from Arthur late on the preserve the win.
Full-Time: Blackpool 2 Cheltenham 1