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Match Reports

Report: Late Virtue Strike Salvages A Point

Midfielder On Target In 1-1 Draw At Accrington

21 September 2019

A 92nd minute strike from Matty Virtue saw Blackpool rescue a point to draw 1-1 at Accrington Stanley.

The midfielder struck at the Wham Stadium for the second season running to cancel out a first-half own goal from Curtis Tilt.

Backed by 2,031 Blackpool fans, the Seasiders found it hard to create any clear-cut opportunities throughout the 90 minutes yet plugged away to finally take something from the encounter.  

Unchanged for the fixture, Pool were without Tuesday night’s midweek hero and top scorer Armand Gnanduillet due to injury.

It was Accrington who created the first opportunity of the game, with defender Ross Sykes seeing an 11th minute header saved by Jak Alnwick.

Five minutes later, the hosts took the lead. Curtis Tilt tried his best to deal with a near post cross from Sam Finlay, however his attempt diverted past Alnwick for an own goal.

Joe Nuttall worked himself some space to try and get Blackpool an equaliser but, with Ryan Hardie in support, took the wrong option. The ball eventually still fell for Hardie though, who was denied by Dimitar Evtimov in the Accrington net.

An error from Evtimov moments later presented Matty Virtue with a chance to strike from the edge of the box, though he was unable to find the target.

Ryan Edwards then towered above his man from a corner, only to nod wide as Blackpool continued to search for a leveller.

Yet it could have got worse for the Seasiders when ex-youth player Dion Charles clipped the top of the bar with a header. Seamus Conneely also fired just over after Jak Alnwick had failed to collect a deep cross into the box.

Half-Time: Accrington Stanley 1 Blackpool 0

After a 10-minute period without a change in fortunes, manager Simon Grayson opted to change things for Blackpool. Ollie Turton and Sullay Kaikai were introduced off the bench for Ryan Edwards and Jordan Thompson.

There was no immediate impact though, despite Joe Nuttall seeing a powerful effort blocked by Mark Hughes in the area.

The Seasiders were struggling to get in behind their opponents and watched numerous opportunities break down in the final third.

At the other end, a teasing ball across the six-yard box from Dion Charles just evaded Sean McConville at the back post.

Blackpool continued to try and get something from the game, with Curtis Tilt volleying just over from a free-kick delivery.

As the team committed numbers forward, it left room for Accrington to counter. Sean McConville drifted inside from the left and drilled a shot just past the far post.

With time running out and five minutes of added time going up on the board, Matty Virtue burst into the box and hit a strike in off the post to equalise.

Full-Time: Accrington Stanley 1 Blackpool 1

Team: Alnwick, Feeney, Edwards (Turton 55), Heneghan, Tilt, Husband, Spearing, Virtue, Thompson (Kaikai 55), Nuttall, Hardie (Scannell 79)

Not Used: Sims, Bushiri, Macdonald, Guy

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