Report: Blackpool 0 Luton 2
Blackpool were beaten 2-0 by Luton Town in what was only their second defeat at Bloomfield Road this season.
The Seasiders were outdone by a counter-attack in the first-half just as Pool were taking charge of the play. Jack Marriott had the finishing touch to a lightening quick break.
The timing of Luton’s second was damning for Blackpool’s chances of clawing their way back into the game. A mix-up in defence saw Cameron McGeehan nod home just minutes after the break.
Kyle Vassell worked the opposition goalkeeper multiple times for Pool, but unfortunately couldn’t find the back of the net on this occasion.
The first-half took a while to settle down, with both sides locked in a tough midfield battle. Luton’s Olly Lee had the first shot, but fired way over the Blackpool goal.
Both sides were exchanging their own attacks early on, but both defences were refusing to budge. Vassell went in search for his 10th goal of the league campaign, but his chance was eased out for a corner.
The game’s first effort on target came from Pool skipper Danny Pugh. The captain’s hustling in midfield won him the ball, before he unleashed a fierce half-volley from 20 yards which stung Christian Walton’s hands.
Then, with 17 minutes on the clock, Mariott’s solo run and shot for The Hatters looked dangerous but was again blocked and put behind for a corner. Glen Rea rose from the following set-piece, but could only head wide.
Blackpool’s top scorer, Vassell, looked most likely to make the breakthrough for The Seasiders. The in-form striker forced two saves in quick succession from Luton’s young stopper, the second a fine reach to tip over the bar.
As Pool started to ramp up the pressure, however, Luton were beginning to threaten on the counter-attack. The goal came just after the half-hour mark, Luton’s speedy forward Marriott leading the charge of a sweeping breakaway which was finished after he turned Tom Aldred in the Blackpool box. Marriott finished calmly under Slocombe despite the keeper’s best efforts to keep it out.
Jamille Matt found space late on in the half, but could only direct his header straight at the goalkeeper after meeting an Eddie Nolan cross which left Blackpool trailing at the break.
Half-time score: Blackpool 0 Luton Town 1
The second-half started in the worst possible manner for Pool, who conceded within three minutes after the interval. Midfielder McGeehan nodded home comfortably from a James Justin cross after some indecision in the Blackpool backline.
Last week’s heroes Bright Osayi-Samuel and Mark Cullen were brought on to inject some life into Pool and they were looking to have an instant impact. Osayi-Samuel’s bright run through the middle caused chaos in the Luton defence, before Nolan, who replaced the injured Kelfin Mellor, worked the keeper from distance with his left foot.
Cullen, who came on to face his former club, almost brought Blackpool back into the game. He met Andy Taylor’s curling cross but unfortunately could only flick the ball over.
Blackpool fought hard for a way back into the game but unfortunately came up short against a strong Luton outfit.
Full-time score: Blackpool 0 Luton Town 2
By Peter McCarthy