Life back in League One began with a narrow defeat to Bradford City for Blackpool, as Colin Daniel’s well-taken goal counted for nothing at Valley Parade.
The wing-back cancelled out Nathaniel Knight-Percival’s opener, but Omari Patrick won it for the hosts in the second-half.
He squeezed an effort in from 20 yards and The Seasiders had no reply this time, with Nathan Delfouneso missing two half-chances late on.
It didn’t take long for Blackpool’s first game back in League One to heat up, with Mark Cullen and Kyle Vassell both being denied by last-ditch challenges.
Alex Jones headed Bradford’s first chance over the bar on four minutes, before Colin Doyle fumbled Cullen’s cross at the other end, only to bail himself out on the line.
Moments later came one of the half’s main talking point, as Ollie Turton and Adam Chicksen collided badly, with the latter down for a prolonged period of time and eventually being stretchered off to warm applause from all four sides of Valley Parade.
Blackpool were continuing to press after the delay and Turton’s deep cross from the right was diverted wide by Vassell.
Despite looking comfortable for the majority of the half, The Seasiders fell behind on 42 minutes. A wide free-kick was flicked into the path of Knight-Percival by Nicky Law, and the defender applied the finishing touch at the back post.
However, the dust had no time to settle before Gary Bowyer’s men pulled themselves level. Terrific play saw Daniel play a quick one-two with Cullen and rifle beyond Doyle, into the corner.
Half-Time: Bradford 1 Blackpool 1
The hosts upped their intensity after the break but The Seasiders stood strong, particularly Clark Robertson, who was performing well in the middle of a back three.
Quicker decision making from Vassell could have seen Pool take the lead however, as he led a counter attacked but couldn’t free Cullen, who was free to his right.
And they were punished just before the hour mark, as Patrick bent an effort in at the near post from 20 yards.
It wasn’t long until Bowyer changed his hand, with Viv Solomon-Otabor and Bright Osayi-Samuel replacing Pool’s front two in Vassell and Cullen.
However, it was Bradford in the asendeny and Ryan Allsop made himself big to keep out substitute Dominic Poleon, before Will Aimson denied Patrick a second.
Poleon then fired in the side netting, with the hosts still on top, before Armand Gnanduillet took the place of Callum Cooke.
Poleon’s next chance came minutes later, but this time the striker prodded wide, with Allsop onrushing. Delfouneso then headed Jimmy Ryan’s corner harmlessly wide at the other end.
And the striker nearly found a fortunate equaliser in stoppage time, as Doyle parried Gnanduillet’s effort into him, but Delfouneso knew nothing about it as it cannoned off him and over the bar.
Full-Time: Bradford 2 Blackpool 1