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Match Reports

Report: Blackpool 3 Oxford United 1

Vassell Hits Brace In Victory

16 September 2017

A stunning free-kick from Kyle Vassell wrapped up a 3-1 victory for Blackpool against Oxford United this afternoon.

The striker found the net in the 93rd minute to fully secure the three points, after a goal from James Henry had potentially set up a nervy finish.

Vassell’s goal was his second of the match, with powerful first-half efforts from Blackpool’s number seven and Callum Cooke putting The Seasiders in to a commanding position.

Manager Gary Bowyer made just the one change to his starting line-up from Plymouth, with Sean Longstaff restored to the side in place of Sessi D’Almeida.

Blackpool, as has become the norm in recent weeks, started on the front foot and saw Clark Robertson head a corner over the bar inside two minutes.

It didn’t take long for the lead to come though as Kyle Vassell, 25-yards-out, took a touch and then drilled a thunderous effort that hit the inside of the post before finding the net.  

The Seasiders had a great chance to go further ahead when Callum Cooke slipped Sean Longstaff in, however the midfielder’s strike was kept out by Simon Eastwood.

Blackpool did soon double their advantage though, as Cooke picked the ball up 25-yards out and fired it low into the bottom corner.

Shooting from distance was quickly becoming the theme of the season, with Cooke’s the eighth goal Blackpool have scored in Sky Bet League One from outside the area.

Kyle Vassell, despite having Sean Longstaff in space, almost added to that tally with another rasping hit but Eastwood got across goal to push his strike away.

A delighted free-kick from Jimmy Ryan should have resulted in a third prior to the half-hour mark, yet Longstaff unfortunately nodded wide.

Ricardo Silva was the first player to be yellow carded when he fouled the counter-attacking Kyle Vassell. Longstaff opted to go for goal with the free-kick but curled it just wide.

Further long-range strikes from Cooke and Longstaff were saved by the visiting ‘keeper prior to the half-time whistle being blown by the referee.  

Half-Time: Blackpool 2 Oxford United 0

Oxford, in search of a way back in to the encounter, were committing numbers forward immediately after the interval but watched Ryan Ledson fire straight at Allsop and another opportunity spurned by a misplaced pass.

Gino Van Kessel had a great chance to pull one back when getting on the end of a teasing cross, but the Oxford man knocked the ball wide of the post.

Blackpool introduced Nathan Delfouneso just before the 70th minute as a replacement for Viv Solomon-Otabor, in an effort to get the visitors on the back foot again.

It was Blackpool’s second goalscorer, Callum Cooke, who also ensured an important third goal was scored, however a fine save from Eastwood denied him a brace for the afternoon.  

Kyle Vassell then had a glorious opportunity with a diving header from six-yards out, yet diverted the ball wide.

The forward, still looking for a goal that would fully wrap the game up, raced clear moments later, knocked the ball past two defenders but was then denied by a fantastic recovery tackle.

At the other end, a well-timed challenge from Colin Daniel stopped a threatening attack from Oxford.

A goal did come for Oxford with a minute of normal time remaining, as James Henry reacted quickest to a rebound to find the net.

It set up a tense finish, with five additional minutes going up on the board, but Vassell had the final say.

The forward stepped up to take a free-kick in the 93rd minute and rocketed it into the back of the net.

Full-Time: Blackpool 3 Oxford United 1



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