Report: Blackpool 3 Cheltenham Town 0
Blackpool strolled to a 3-0 victory against Cheltenham Town with goals from Mark Cullen, Clark Robertson and Neil Danns and moved up to sixth in League Two.
The Seasiders edged closer to cementing their position in the play-offs with an emphatic victory, starting with Cullen’s fortunate strike with less than 30 minutes gone.
Defender Robertson doubled the lead five minutes later with a confident left-footed strike from 12 yards.
The game was wrapped up when Danns ended a stellar midfield performance with a goal created by Colin Daniel.
Gary Bowyer made two changes to the Blackpool side that defeated top of the table Doncaster on Monday, with Cullen and Daniel returning to the side to replace Ian Black and Will Aimson.
The visitors, with assistant Russell Milton in charge due to Gary Johnson’s recovery from heart surgery, remained unchanged after they went four games unbeaten after their win against Grimsby last time out.
Kelvin Mellor, fresh off being named in the PFA’s League Two Team of The Year, created Pool’s first real effort on goal for Nathan Delfouneso after winning the ball out wide. Delfouneso’s subsequent shot was blocked, however.
Danns twice went close soon after. His late run into the box was found from the left and his header was only to be denied by a great, low save from Scott Brown at the back post.
Then, Danns again latched onto the ball, this time from 20 yards out, and fired a fizzing, low effort across goal. He managed to beat the goalkeeper this time but was unfortunate to hit the post as Blackpool were getting closer to scoring the opener.
And just before the half an hour mark, they did indeed make the breakthrough from Cullen. Daniel’s left-footed cross just evaded the striker at first, but the attempted clearance took a ricochet off Pool’s number nine and found its way into the net for a fortuitous but deserved lead for The Seasiders.
Five minutes later, Blackpool took complete control and found the second goal through defender Robertson. Numerous attempts to stick the ball into the back of the net from Cullen and Tom Aldred were somehow unsuccessful from a corner, but it eventually found its way to the Scottish centre back from 12 yards and he rifled the ball into the roof of the goal.
Half-time score: Blackpool 2 Cheltenham Town 0
Jack Payne let one fly from 30 yards as Blackpool looked to continue their dominance after the interval. His curling, right-footed shot went just over the Robins’ bar, though.
Cheltenham looked to show a greater threat than they did in the first 45, a fantastic last ditch tackle from Mellor stopped Town skipper Kyle Storer from potentially finding the net. Then, Carl Winchester’s shot-cum-cross clipped the crossbar from out wide.
Sam Slocombe also had more work to do after the break, saving a long-range effort from Harry Pell and collecting the rebound.
With an hour gone, though, Pool dominated once more and Danns’ fine performance was capped off with a goal. The goal came through Potts playing in Daniel on the left, who was then to lay the ball on a plate for the onrushing Danns to slot home.
Danns almost turned provider in the next attack, slotting through Potts but another good save from Brown denied a fourth for Bowyer’s men.
At the other end, Slocombe was determined to keep a clean sheet. In what was the save of the match, he stopped what seemed a clear goal from a corner, but Pool’s number one got down, again, to save from close range.
Kyle Vassell, Ian Black and Bright Osayi-Samuel were introduced for the tireless Cullen, Daniel and Danns with 10 minutes to go as Blackpool looked to wrap up the three points.
Mellor went closest in the final stages to make it four, but nevertheless Blackpool kept all three points at Bloomfield in their bid for promotion.
Full-time score: Blackpool 3 Cheltenham Town 0