Goals from Armand Gnanduillet, Sean Longstaff and Jimmy Ryan helped Blackpool move on to 53 points for the season with a 3-0 victory against Northampton Town.
Gnanduillet struck just before the interval to put The Seasiders ahead, before Longstaff found the net from range with his ninth of the season. Skipper Ryan then wrapped up the contest via a wicked free-kick deflection.
Manager Gary Bowyer was forced into a change for the game, with Armand Gnanduillet coming in for Kyle Vassell. The latter, having sustained an injury in the 5-0 victory against Bradford City, just about failed to recover in time.
It was a bright start for The Seasiders, who pinned the opposition back in their own half for the opening 10 minutes. The best chance in that period fell to Viv Solomon-Otabor who saw his 18-yard strike pushed away from goal by Richard O’Donnell. Captain Jimmy Ryan soon followed up with a stinging volley that the ‘keeper also parried clear.
Northampton Town’s first effort came from Sam Foley in the 19th minute, however his curler was picked out of the air by Joe Lumley. The on-loan QPR ‘keeper then got down well to tip a header from Kevin van Veen round the post.
Though Blackpool continued to dominate, it was Lumley who was becoming the busier between the sticks. A counter-attack from the visitors led to Chris Long testing the stopper once again, leading to a super save to keep the effort out.
It took until the 42nd minute for the breakthrough to come, with Blackpool finally making their possession count. Viv Solomon-Otabor did well to slip in Jimmy Ryan down the left and the skipper had time and space to pick out Armand Gnanduillet for a tap in.
Half-Time: Blackpool 1 Northampton Town 0
The Seasiders almost doubled their advantage straight after the interval, when Gnanduillet headed against the post and Nathan Delfouneso’s follow up was cleared off the line.
Clark Robertson went close with a header moments later, however he could only nod Jimmy Ryan’s corner delivery just wide of the post.
Pool were utterly dominant as the second-half continued and added to Gnanduillet’s opener in the 62nd minute. Sean Longstaff picked the ball up 25-yards out from goal and, in typical fashion, blasted it into the back of the net.
The on-loan Newcastle United midfielder could and probably should have made it three just two minutes later, however he was unable to convert Jimmy Ryan’s free-kick from six-yards out and instead watched his effort come back off the post.
The third goal came in the 73rd minute after Viv Solomon-Otabor was fouled. Captain Jimmy Ryan stepped up to take the free-kick and saw it take a wicked deflection off the wall before bouncing into the net.
A weak defensive header allowed Nathan Delfouneso to nip in before the on-rushing O’Donnell in an attempt to score a fourth, though his toe-poke fell wide of the post.
Two of Blackpool’s substitutes linked up well late on to almost carve out another goal, however Dan Agyei was denied by O’Donnell after Mark Cullen had played him in.
Full-Time: Blackpool 3 Northampton Town 0