A late goal from Jon Obika proved to be a cruel blow for Blackpool, as The Seasiders lost 1-0 at Oxford United.
Despite dominating possession for long periods and testing The U’s goalkeeper on several occasions, Pool were made to pay for not taking their chances when Obika struck in the 82nd minute.
The former Tottenham man met substitute Alex Mowatt’s free-kick delivery to divert the ball past Christoffer Mafoumbi in goal.
Manager Gary Bowyer made two changes to the side that recorded a victory at Rochdale on Monday, with Jay Spearing and Sessi D’Almeida replacing Jimmy Ryan and Callum Cooke in midfield.
Gino van Kessel had a great opportunity to open the scoring for the hosts inside 10 minutes. Having charged down a Curtis Tilt pass to run clean through on goal, the forward opted to try and round Christoffer Mafoumbi, despite having a team-mate in support, but was denied by a block tackle from the ‘keeper.
Blackpool had started the game well, constantly pressing the opposition and forcing mistakes themselves.
The Seasiders’ first real chance of the match came courtesy of Clark Robertson, who forced Simon Eastwood to tip over his 25-yard drive. Sean Longstaff then called the Oxford ‘keeper into action again with another strike from distance.
Despite the risk of Oxford pouncing on a few stray passes, Blackpool continued to play some expressive football and almost scored a great team goal in the 27th minute. Nathan Delfouneso and Sean Longstaff linked up well down the left, and the latter then whipped the ball across goal for the supporting Kelvin Mellor. The right-back met the ball first time on the volley, yet Eastwood reacted well to push his strike away from danger.
Wes Thomas snatched at an opportunity at the other end, while Canice Carroll fired straight at Mafoumbi after Blackpool had failed to clear their lines from a corner.
Half-Time: Oxford United 0 Blackpool 0
Sessi D’Almeida almost made the most of a defensive mix-up at the start of the second-half after a clearance struck him. The midfielder then had a great opportunity with a back post header but nodded just wide.
The Seasiders, in the ascendancy for the majority of the game, needed to make more of their opportunities, especially with Oxford set up well to counter. One such attack for The U’s ended in Wes Thomas driving an effort wide of the post.
Simon Eastwood, who was proving to be the busier of the two ‘keepers, was forced to push away a strike from Colin Daniel just after hour mark.
Gary Bowyer introduced Callum Cooke for Sessi D’Almeida in the 67th minute, as Blackpool looked to make more of their opportunities in possession.
Simon Eastwood continued to keep Blackpool at bay though, first with a fine save from a 20-yard Solomon-Otabor drive and then to deny Clark Robertson from just inside the box.
Against the run of play, Blackpool found themselves behind. Alex Mowatt, fresh off the bench, swung a dangerous free-kick into the box that was diverted in by Jon Obika.
The goal prompted The Seasiders to bring on Danny Philliskirk for the final eight minutes, with the forward replacing Ollie Turton.
Further chances didn’t really fall for Blackpool though, allowing the home side to hold on for all three points.
Full-Time: Oxford United 1 Blackpool 0