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Match Reports

Report: Blackpool 2 Oxford United 1

Pool Hold Firm To Maintain Winning Start

17 August 2019

Blackpool held firm and maintained their winning start to the season with a 2-1 victory at home to Oxford United.

The Seasiders survived some relentless second-half pressure from the visitors to stay top of the early Sky Bet League One table thanks to goals from Ryan Edwards and Armand Gnanduillet.

The Seasiders took the lead with just five minutes on the clock. Defender Ryan Edwards got a yard on his man inside the box and powered a thumping header past Oxford ‘keeper Simon Eastwood.

A lung-busting run from fellow centre-half Curtis Tilt almost set up the chance to counter and score a second, however he was unable to beat the first man with his delivery.

As the 20-minute mark approached, the visitors created their first opportunity. A ball across the box wasn’t dealt with and that allowed Josh Ruffels to test Jak Alnwick in the Blackpool goal. Fortunately, the on-loan Rangers man stood up to the test and parried his effort away.

Another chance soon followed for The U’s. Jamie Mackie made a nuisance of himself in the area and managed to nip in ahead of Tilt, only to head over from six-yards.

Some superb deliveries from Liam Feeney down the right were just crying out for a vital touch. Curtis Tilt tried his best to reach one of them, yet the ball just evaded him.

With Oxford continued to push for an equaliser, Jak Alnwick had to be at full stretch to parry away a curler from James Henry, while Jamie Mackie was unable to convert from the rebound.

Next to go close for the opposition was on-loan Liverpool man Ben Woodburn, who struck the post with a low drive from 20 yards.

Then, in first-half stoppage time, Blackpool had the chance to double their advantage. Armand Gnanduillet’s chased down a superb ball over the top from Liam Feeney and was bundled over in the area by John Mousinho. The striker stepped up and converted from the spot to put the Seasiders 2-0 up.

However, that two-goal cushion last just two minutes, as Oxford rallied to reduce the deficit prior to the referee blowing for half-time. Josh Ruffels was the goalscorer.

Half-Time: Blackpool 2 Oxford United 1

Two minutes in to the second-half, Jordan Thompson felt Blackpool should have had another penalty. The Northern Ireland international went down under pressure from James Henry and quickly asked the question of referee Darren Drysdale. The official waved his appeals away, though.

At the other end, Jak Alnwick was once again called into action, this time to push away a drive from Ben Woodburn.

The Seasiders made a double change just after the hour mark, bringing on Michael Nottingham and Harry Pritchard for Rocky Bushiri and Jordan Thompson.

Despite that, it was the visitors who continued to threaten. Jamie Hansen came within an inch of levelling when his header rattled the bar.

Blackpool continued to scramble while Oxford banged on the door, shooting from distance whenever they got within 25-yards of goal.

Ball after ball went into the Seasiders’ box but the players remained resolute to see out the time remaining, plus six minutes of added time, to make it maximum points from the opening three games of the season.

Full-Time: Blackpool 2 Oxford United 1

Team: Alnwick, Feeney, Edwards, Tilt, Bushiri (Nottingham 63), Anderton, Turton, Thompson (Pritchard 63), Kaikai, Delfouneso (Guy 79), Gnanduillet

Not Used: Mafoumbi, Shaw, Devitt


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