Report: Blackpool 0 Mansfield 1
Blackpool suffered a narrow 1-0 home defeat to Mansfield Town in their first game of 2017.
The hosts went behind after 30 minutes after Matt Green ran free and saw his effort deflect home.
Kelvin Mellor went closest for The Seasiders as he had a clear header cleared off the line in the first-half.
Substitute Mark Cullen almost scored a dramatic late equaliser in injury time, but could only fire wide of the goal.
Blackpool’s first game of the 2017 was a little slow to settle, with both side’s midfield exchanging early possession. The first real effort on goal was from Pool’s Michael Cain, who was replacing Jack Payne and struck a free-kick just over the Mansfield crossbar after Brad Potts was brought down.
Five minutes later, Chris Hamilton gave the Blackpool defence a scare as he was brought down by an outrushing Sam Slocombe. Fortunately for The Seasiders, the free-kick did little to worry Blackpool any further.
Gary Bowyer’s men then had their first effort on target, and he would have been disappointed not to have seen it in the back of the net. Right-back Mellor found himself with yards of space from a set-piece, but had his header was cleared off the line.
Mellor again was looking for the breakthrough on 28 minutes, this time fizzing the ball just wide of Jake Kean’s goal from just over 20 yards out.
Steve Evans’ side made it 1-0 just after half-hour mark on the clock through Green. Robertson was caught on the ball in the middle of the field and left the striker to run through at goal. A backtracking Danny Pugh did his best to block the effort, but could only divert it past Slocombe to put The Stags a goal ahead.
Half-time score: Blackpool 0 Mansfield Town 1
After the break, Bowyer made two changes to get Pool back into the game. Bright Osayi-Samuel and Jamille Matt replaced Armand Gnanduillet and Danny Philliskirk as Blackpool began to push for an equaliser. Andy Taylor went closest early in the second 45, seeing his free-kick punched way by Kean.
Matt tried the spectacular with an overhead kick shortly after, but again the Mansfield goalkeeper comfortably saved.
The substitutes continued to pressure the opposition. Blackpool’s powerful striker raced clear towards the goal, but had his protests waved away by referee Robert Jones after he looked to have been brought down by Kyle Howkins.
Cullen was brought on to replace Kyle Vassell late on and saw a referee decision of his own turned away, this time after Cullen went down inside the penalty area. Again, the referee was not entertaining the appeals from the Seasiders.
In the last attack of the game Cullen was inches away from earning a point for Pool, but saw his volleyed effort go agonisingly wide as Blackpool failed to find a late equaliser.
Full-time result: Blackpool 0 Mansfield Town 1