Report: Peterborough 5 Blackpool 1
Blackpool’s relegation to League Two was confirmed on an afternoon to forget at Peterborough United, when a 1-0 lead evaporated in a disastrous second-half.
Fleetwood Town’s victory over Crewe Alexandra meant Pool’s result mattered not, but goals from Marcus Maddison, Jon Taylor (3) and Shaquile Coulthirst meant Neil McDonald’s side ended with a comprehensive defeat.
Jacob Blyth’s early header had given The Seasiders a glimmer of hope, but the damage had been done prior to their trip to Cambridgeshire.
Those in tangerine cut lonely figures by the end, as a second successive relegation condemned Blackpool to football in the fourth tier next season.
Knowing it was an uphill task from the outset and that nothing but a win would do, Blackpool started brightly in the searing heat, with Danny Philliskirk testing Mark Tyler in the home goal just five minutes in.
Moments later Tom Aldred nodded a Jim McAlister corner wide of the mark, as Pool continued to threaten.
And they were rewarded for their positive start with the opening goal on 16 minutes. A brilliant cross from Luke Higham was guided home by Blyth at the back post.
With news filtering through that Fleetwood were in the driving seat against Crewe, Blackpool just had to do their job and a fingertip save by Colin Doyle kept them ahead, denying Lee Angol.
Coulthirst then rolled an effort off target, before Maddison skipped through and fired underneath Doyle, only for McAlister to be well-placed on the line to clear.
At the other end some neat football fashioned an opening for David Norris, who was denied when Tyler got down low to save, before Clark Robertson headed his own chance over.
It was all Blackpool in the closing stages of the first-half, as Brad Potts set up Jack Redshaw to blast narrowly over.
In first-half added time Doyle was tested by Maddison, before the goalkeeper kept out a free-kick from the same player just before the break.
Half-Time: Peterborough 0 Blackpool 1
It took just two minutes of the second-half for Peterborough to be given a route back into the game. The referee penalised Norris, despite appearing to get in front of his man, with a penalty the decision. Maddison made no mistake from the spot for 1-1.
Minutes later Redshaw curled into the hands of Tyler, before a dangerous free-kick from Adil Nabi skimmed the roof of Pool’s net.
Keen to keep up their side of the bargain, Potts drilled an effort at Tyler, with Pool unable to scramble home the rebound, before Coulthirst shot on the turn at Doyle.
However, 15 minutes from time Blackpool’s fate was sealed further when substitute Taylor fired in off the post. And like last week against Wigan, another goal quickly followed as Coulthirst blasted home a third.
With the game well and truly over, Peterborough went for the jugular and Taylor played a simple one-two before firing beyond Doyle.
And the midfielder was at it again two minutes later, completing his hat-trick just 14 minutes after taking to the field, as Blackpool's relegation was confirmed.
Full-Time: Peterborough 5 Blackpool 1