A brace from Armand Gnanduillet helped Blackpool bounce back in emphatic fashion with a 4-1 victory at Bradford City.
The Seasiders’ top scorer notched his 13th and 14th goals of the season at Valley Parade and was joined on the score-sheet by Matty Virtue and substitute Chris Taylor.
Christoffer Mafoumbi, who answered a call to report back from international duty and replace the injured Mark Howard, once again highlighted his credentials by denying Eoin Doyle a chance to reduce the arrears at 2-0 from the penalty spot.
Manager Terry McPhillips made five changes for the game, with Curtis Tilt recovering from injury in time to join Mafoumbi, Marc Bola, Antony Evans and Nathan Delfouneso in the side.
It was an uneventful start to the game, with neither team creating a dangerous opportunity. Curtis Tilt needed to make a last-ditch challenge to deny David Ball a free run into the box, while Armand Gnanduillet nodded wide inside 15 minutes.
However, Gnanduillet made up for that 10 minutes later and suddenly brought the game to life. The Frenchman rose high to connect with a delightful ball from Antony Evans to score his 13th goal for the season.
Marc Bola almost raced away to double Blackpool’s advantage, only to see his effort loop up with the aid of a deflection.
Liam Feeney then could and probably should have increased the lead, having been slipped in by Nathan Delfouneso. Unfortunately, he curled his strike over the bar.
Half-Time: Bradford City 0 Blackpool 1
Former Pool boss Gary Bowyer made a Bradford change for the second-half, replacing Jack Payne with Jacob Butterfield. Blackpool remained unchanged.
Just five minutes after the interval, Matty Virtue put The Seasiders two goals to the good in spectacular fashion. The ex-Liverpool man drove right through the heart of midfield and unleashed a 25-yard effort that found the bottom corner.
A dramatic six minutes ensured after that strike, with Christoffer Mafoumbi denying Lewis O’Brien on two separate occasions. After making the second save, referee Antony Coggins spotted a foul in the aftermath and awarded Bradford a penalty. Eoin Doyle stepped up and saw his spot-kick kept out by the Congo international.
Bradford heads didn’t drop initially from failing to convert the penalty though, however Doyle missed another big chance to score when firing over at the near post.
A Blackpool change soon followed, as Harry Pritchard came on for Antony Evans. Within minutes, he could have made it 3-0 but poked wide.
It didn’t matter because Armand Gnanduillet found the net again to make it that scoreline. He moved off his man at the back post and nodded in his second of the afternoon.
That goal put Blackpool in a commanding position to see things out and allowed Jay Spearing to leave the field early and be replaced by Chris Taylor.
However, Taylor made sure he got in on the act by firing in a fourth for The Seasiders, latching on to a pass from Delfouneso to find the top corner. The goal was his first for the club.
David Ball pulled a goal back in added time, yet that didn’t dampen the spirits of the travelling Tangerine Army.
Full-Time: Bradford City 1 Blackpool 4