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Match Reports

Report: Accrington Stanley 1 Blackpool 2

Spearing Secures All Three Points From The Spot

5 March 2019

An 81st minute penalty from Jay Spearing sent the Blackpool fans into raptures and sealed a 2-1 victory away to Accrington Stanley in Sky Bet League One.

The skipper stepped up from the spot to put The Seasiders back in front after Liam Armstrong had cancelled out Matty Virtue’s opener.

The all-Lancashire affair was an enthralling game for all sorts of reasons and ended in the hosts being reduced to 10 men, with ‘keeper Dimitar Evtimov being dismissed for an incident in the aftermath of Spearing’s winner.

Manager Terry McPhillips made four changes from Saturday’s defeat to Bristol Rovers, handing starts to Antony Evans, Liam Feeney, Joe Dodoo and Matty Virtue.

Inside five minutes, it was the latter who got Blackpool off to a superb start. Virtue took up a good position on the edge of the box and tucked away a Dodoo lay-off with aplomb.

While the away end continued to celebrate, Accrington almost hit back immediately. Jordan Clark had a glorious chance to reply from close range but fired over the bar.

The game was being played at a frantic pace with barely time to pause for breath. Matty Virtue, full of confidence after scoring his first goal in senior football, tried to turn provider with a glorious ball across the six-yard box that was begging for a touch from a team-mate.

Soon after, the hosts found the equaliser. Liam Gibson did well down the left and sent a teasing ball across the box for Luke Armstrong to score.

Gibson then had an opportunity of his own, towering above his man from a corner and powering a header just wide of the post.

Joe Dodoo appealed for a Blackpool penalty on the half-hour mark, feeling that he was tugged back in the area. Instead, the on-loan Rangers man received a caution for simulation.

Antony Evans smashed one across the face of goal from a tight angle, on the back of good work from Armand Gnanduillet, but it failed to unnerve Accrington ‘keeper Dimitar Evtimov.

Half-Time: Accrington Stanley 1 Blackpool 1

Three minutes into the second-half, Jordan Clark managed to get a yard in front of his man to race into the area, however Ben Heneghan made a superb, last-ditch recovery tackle.

The hosts continued to push for the lead and saw a 25-yard effort cannon back off the bar. In the meantime, Blackpool introduced Chris Long off the bench for Joe Dodoo.

Long’s impact was almost instant. He chased down a long kick from Mark Howard, turned a defender and watched his shot saved by Evtimov.

The Stanley stopper was then at it again, this time to deny Armand Gnanduillet from finding the net. Liam Feeney also went close, sending a low drive just wide of the far post.

At the other end, Sam Finlay flashed an effort wide from just inside the area.

Then came the moment that saw Blackpool re-take the lead. Liam Feeney, looking to turn back inside and put a cross in the box, had his legs swept from under him, leaving the referee to point to the spot. Captain Jay Spearing stepped up and smashed the ball down the middle.

In the aftermath of the goal, referee Ross Joyce brandished a red card to Dimitar Evtimov for throwing a bottle back into the crowd. Stanley, now down to 10 men, had to withdraw Jordan Clark and bring on substitute ‘keeper Jonny Maxted.

Chris Long had a late chance to wrap the game up, however The Seasiders still held out to secure the three points and send the 1,823 Blackpool fans home delighted.

Full-Time: Accrington Stanley 1 Blackpool 2



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