Report: Stevenage 0 Blackpool 2
Blackpool displayed the grit and determination in their ranks when carving out three brilliant points on the road thanks to goals from second-half substitutes Bright Osayi-Samuel and Mark Cullen.
It wasn't pretty in sodden conditions at Stevenage, but after battling hard to 77 minutes, The Seasiders upped the intensity and edged ahead when Osayi-Samuel curled home a brilliant first goal for the club.
With time running out Cullen capitalised on a defensive slip to smash home his first goal since August and put Pool back in the play-off positions.
Both sides had torrid conditions to deal with at Broadhall Way and it was the hosts who carved out the first opening. Tom Pett breezed beyond Tom Aldred and forced a fingertip save from Sam Slocombe.
Next Slocombe was well placed to save from Harry McKirdy at point-blank range. As for Pool, inevitably it was Kyle Vassell who slipped in Brad Potts for their first chance, but neither Potts, nor Jamille Matt with the following header, could force a save from Chris Day.
Next Danny Phillisirk, who was playing wide left, fashioned another opening for Potts, who set himself but rifled his effort over the bar.
Slocombe, who’d been called into action previously, then had to be alert to claw away a speculative effort from Steven Schumacher. 34 minutes in and there was a first sighting of the Vassell – Matt partnership, as the pair linked up for the former to shoot at Day.
Five minutes before the break Blackpool should arguably be ahead. Great overlapping play, which Kelvin Mellor is becoming known for, saw the right-back cross for Matt, who could only direct wide on the slide.
In first-half stoppage time The Seasiders continued to press but Matt could only head wide from Tom Aldred’s searching cross.
Half-Time: Stevenage 0 Blackpool 0
There was little to report in the opening 15 minutes of the second-half, with both sides competing but failing to test the opposition goalkeeper. Blackpool came the closest when Vassell laid off to Potts, who dragged narrowly wide.
The midfielder was constantly involved and should have done better when heading Andy Taylor’s cross over – with his frustration clear as he beat the crossbar.
Blackpool changes then arrived, with Mark Cullen replaced Matt and Bright Osayi-Samuel quickly followed in place of Philliskirk.
With 15 minutes remaining the game was still waiting for that decisive moment and Fraser Franks thoughts he’d produced with a brilliant effort from range but Slocombe was a match to it, flying through the air to palm to safety.
Finally the deadlock was broken 13 minutes from time. Taylor’s overlapping run and cutback found Osayi-Samuel in space and the youngster picked his spot, bending beyond Day with a great strike.
And the victory was sealed seven minutes later when Cullen showed his predatory instincts by capitalising on a defensive slip and blasting beyond Day to seal the win.
Full-Time: Stevenage 0 Blackpool 2