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Report: Walsall 1 Blackpool 1

Solomon-Otabor's First Goal Secures Point

14 October 2017

Substitute Viv Solomon-Otabor stepped off the bench to secure Blackpool a point in a 1-1 draw at Walsall.

The winger, a 63rd minute introduction, made an immediate impact on the game with his first goal for the club, cancelling out a first-half free-kick from Erhun Oztumer.

Manager Gary Bowyer made two changes from Blackpool’s last league outing, with Callum Cooke joined by debutant Jay Spearing in the side.

Clark Robertson, in search of his first goal of the season, had two great opportunities to open the scoring inside the first 10 minutes. The centre-back was proving difficult to mark from set-pieces and nodded one delivery just wide of the post and the other in a comfortable position to save for the goalkeeper.

Despite the positive start, Blackpool fell behind in controversial circumstances. Colin Daniel, who appeared to have won the ball when tackling Dan Agyei, was penalised for a foul that led to Walsall breaking the deadlock. Erhun Oztumer stepped up from the resulting free-kick and curled the ball into the top corner.

Clearly irate with the decision, Blackpool looked to level matters immediately through Kyle Vassell. The striker spun off his man and fired at goal, only to be denied by Mark Gillespie.

Oztumer almost doubled his goal tally and the team’s advantage with an effort on the half hour mark, as he curled just wide of Ryan Allsop’s post from the edge of the area.

A Blackpool free-kick almost sprung an equaliser minutes later, but Jimmy Ryan’s rasping drive was parried away by Gillespie.

At the other end, Oztumer had another opportunity from a set-piece but this time failed to beat the wall.

The Seasiders had two further chances to level matters prior to half-time, however Nathan Delfouneso headed over the bar, while Callum Cooke could only direct his header into the arms of the ‘keeper.

Half-Time: Walsall 1 Blackpool 0

Three minutes after the restart Nathan Delfouneso worked himself some space down the line and delivered a superb cross that was begging for a touch from Vassell. Unfortunately the striker just couldn’t get reach it.

Curtis Tilt then rose highest from a corner but couldn’t keep his header down as Blackpool continued to push for an equaliser.

Though dictating possession, more than 10 minutes passed without any further opportunities, prompting manager Gary Bowyer to make a double substitution. Sessi D’Almeida and Viv Solomon-Otabor were the players introduced for Jay Spearing and Sean Longstaff.

The impact was immediate, as Solomon-Otabor cut inside from the left and found the net with his first few touches. The goal, his first for the club, levelled the contest and suddenly upped the tempo somewhat.

Blackpool broke forward again a minute later and saw Nathan Delfouneso flash an effort just wide.

In what was quickly becoming an end-to-end encounter, Oztumer hit the side-netting and then watched a strike deflect wide for Walsall.

The home side found the net from the resulting corner and thought they’d re-taken the lead, however Jon Guthrie’s header was ruled out by the referee and his assistant.

Max Clayton replaced Kyle Vassell with 12 minutes of the game remaining but was unable to exert any real influence.

Instead it was the home side who made a late rally and saw Oztumer go close with yet another free-kick.

Full-Time: Walsall 1 Blackpool 1 


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