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Report: Bristol Rovers 3 Blackpool 1

Late Sweeney and Harrison Goals Secure Victory For Home Side

23 September 2017

Late goals from Ryan Sweeney and Ellis Harrison saw Bristol Rovers end Blackpool’s seven-game unbeaten run with a 3-1 victory at the Memorial Stadium.

The home side recovered from falling behind to a Kyle Vassell goal early on to equalise through Billy Bodin, prior to adding further goals in the final stages of the encounter.

Manager Gary Bowyer named the same side that recorded a 3-1 victory against Oxford United last time out.

Blackpool started the match immediately on the front and saw Viv Solomon-Otabor and Kyle Vassell have strikes on goal quickly blocked by defenders.

At the other end, Colin Daniel was well positioned at the back post to head the ball away from the lurking Ellis Harrison.

Some nice link-up play between Kelvin Mellor, Sean Longstaff and Ollie Turton allowed the latter to receive the ball on the edge of the box, only to fire over the bar.

It didn’t take much longer for Blackpool to find the net though, as Kyle Vassell remained composed just inside the box to fire in off the post for his fourth goal of the season.

The Seasiders’ record for finding the net from outside the box gave Callum Cooke encouragement to shoot from 20-yards, yet his strike deflected behind for a corner that came to nothing.

Billy Bodin had Colin Daniel back peddling with a mazy run for the home side but was unable to keep his shot down.

Another opportunity came soon after, as Byron Moore got the back of his ex-Crewe team-mate Ollie Turton but couldn’t keep his strike down, either.

Kyle Vassell had an opportunity with a free-kick when Callum Cooke was bundled over, though the striker couldn’t repeat his heroics of last weekend and instead drilled the ball straight at Slocombe.

Bristol Rovers then equalised five minutes before half-time when Billy Bodin man a run off his man to meet the ball in the box and drill it past Ryan Allsop.

The goal lifted the home crowd, who thought a dangerous free-kick had been awarded on the stroke of half-time. Byron Moore was instead booked for simulation, though.

Half-Time: Bristol Rovers 1 Blackpool 1

The home side made a double substitution at half-time, bringing on Ryan Sweeney and Liam Sercombe for Byron Moore and Joe Partington.

It was Blackpool who had the first good opportunity of the second-half though, after Kyle Vassell was fouled just inside the box. Colin Daniel stepped up to take the free-kick but blasted it straight in to the wall.

A well-directed Tom Nichols header at the other end had Allsop scrambling across his goal to push the ball away from danger.

Gary Bowyer made a change himself just after the hour, introducing Nathan Delfouneso for Viv Solomon-Otabor. Former Blackpool youth team striker Dom Telford became Bristol Rovers’ final change shortly after.

Sessi D’Almeida was then brought on for Blackpool to add more drive in the middle of the park, with Sean Longstaff tiring a little.

Billy Bodin had a sight on goal from distance as he searched for his and Bristol Rovers’ second of the game. Allsop was well positioned to save his strike, though.

Sessi D’Almeida was bundled off the ball 25-yards out from goal with 10 minutes of the match remaining, yet Jimmy Ryan’s free-kick only found the wall.

Dom Telford looked destined to give Bristol Rovers the lead when he cut inside and picked out the top corner, but Curtis Tilt just managed to head the ball over the bar.

It proved to be a warning sign for Blackpool though, as Ryan Sweeney headed in soon after to put the home side in front.

With Blackpool now pushing for an equaliser, Ellis Harrison raced clear to add a third for the home side in injury-time.

Full-Time: Bristol Rovers 3 Blackpool 1

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