Report: Carlisle 1 Blackpool 4
Brad Potts returned to Brunton Park and bit the hand which used to feed him, as he inspired Blackpool to victory over Carlisle United.
The former Cumbrians man returned from injury to fire The Seasiders ahead, before Jordan Flores blasted home his first goal in tangerine to double their lead.
Substitute Jabo Ibehre reduced the deficit by heading beyond Sam Slocombe, however it counted for little as Sanmi Odelusi pounced on another defensive error to restore Pool’s two-goal lead.
The victory, only Carlisle’s second at Brunton Park this season, was rounded off in style as Kyle Vassell slipped in Nathan Delfouneso to finish with aplomb.
Blackpool began on the front foot in Cumbria and the returning Vassell quickly set up Delfouneso, who was denied by Mark Gillespie. From the resulting corner Kelvin Mellor’s speculative effort fell into the path of Vassell, who tucked home only to be denied by the offside flag.
It was a lively start to proceedings and Carlisle had a chance of their own early on. A hanging cross was dropped by Slocombe, but fortunately Jamie Devitt blasted wide with the goalkeeper rooted to the ground.
A brilliant challenge by Tom Aldred, which stopped Shaun Miller in his tracks, began Pool’s next chance, with Potts eventually seeing his shot deflect into the arms of Gillespie.
Such has been Blackpool’s luck with injuries in recent weeks, they lost another player on 22 minutes. Neil Danns hobbled off, being replaced by Jack Payne.
Aldred himself, who was skipper for the day in Andy Taylor’s absence, was next to threaten and should have done better when he met Flores’ free-kick than heading out for a throw in.
However, the honour of first goal scorer was inevitably left to former Carlisle man Potts, who steamed in unnoticed to slam home Colin Daniel’s cross for 1-0.
The visitors fully deserved the lead and could have added to it before the break, had Vassell’s header not bounced over Gillespie’s cross bar.
Half-Time: Carlisle 0 Blackpool 1
Pool began in the same positive vein after the break and Flores quickly tested Gillespie from range. They had the taste for it and both Vassell and Clark Robertson shot off target soon after.
So when their second goal arrived it was fully merited. Luke Joyce was robbed of possession by The Seasiders, who punished him as Flores strode forward and arrowed a fire effort beyond Gillespie.
Carlisle’s response was Devitt header which was comfortably held by Slocombe. Just after the hour-mark the pantomime villain Potts was withdrawn, being replaced by Odelusi.
That didn’t change alter the pattern of play however and Vassell slipped in Flores soon after, but the Wigan loanee’s effort rolled wide.
However, out of nothing, Carlisle clawed themselves back into contention, as Gary Liddle floated a cross in and Ibehre’s header bounced before creeping home.
That goal lifted the crowd and saw Carlisle begin to exert pressure, with Michael Raynes heading over a Nicky Adams corner.
Blackpool’s counter attacking ability was needed more than ever at this point and Delfouneso set up Vassell to shoot over, after Payne has carried his side up the field.
With their next attack Pool restored their two-goal lead, as Odelusi pounced on another defensive error to knock home his first goal for the club.
And they weren’t finished there, was another Vassell-led counter attack saw the striker slip in Delfouneso, who finished with aplomb underneath Gillespie.
Full-Time: Carlisle 1 Blackpool 4