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Blackpool (H) match preview

26 November 2018

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Rovers return to the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday night when they face Blackpool in Sky Bet League One.

Rovers drew 1-1 with local rivals Barnsley on Saturday, with Herbie Kane scoring his fourth goal in four games in the South Yorkshire derby, and they’ll be looking to go one better at home in midweek against the Pool.

Blackpool come into the game at the Keepmoat Stadium off the back of a 3-0 win at home to Burton Albion at the weekend, with second half goals from Armand Gnanduillet, Jordan Thompson and Joe Dodoo sealing three points.

Brief history of Blackpool FC

Blackpool play at the 17,338-capacity Bloomfield Road stadium, which has been their home since 1900.

They are nicknamed the Seasiders after their proximity to the coast, also being dubbed the Tangerines due to their distinctive shirt colour.

The Seasiders were in the Premier League as recently as 2011, being promoted via the Championship play-offs the previous year after a 3-2 win over Cardiff City in the final at Wembley Stadium.

Blackpool were promoted to League One alongside Rovers in 2017, also via the play-offs after beating Exeter City at the national stadium to ensure that they, like Rovers automatically, were promoted back to the third tier at the first attempt after relegation at the end of the previous campaign.

Who’s the gaffer?

Terry McPhillips will be the man in the away dugout when the two sides meet on Tuesday, having taken over permanently in September following a temporary spell at the helm. He replaced Gary Bowyer who departed Bloomfield Road after just one game of this season, and after losing just one of his nine games in caretaker charge, he was handed the job on a 12-month rolling contract.

In all, he has taken charge of 25 games so far, winning 13, drawing seven and losing five, leaving him with a total win percentage of 52 per cent.

Ones to watch

Jay Spearing

The midfielder is a man with Premier League experience, making 30 appearances for Liverpool after coming through the Reds youth academy. He made his Liverpool debut in December 2008, coming on as a substitute against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League, going on to agree a new three-year deal on Merseyside at the end of the 2009/09 season. Spearing left Anfield after a 16-year association with the club, signing for Bolton Wanderers in 2013 after a loan spell the season before. He joined Blackpool in October 2017, initially until the end of the season before extending his contract at Bloomfield Road, and scored his first two Blackpool goals against Bradford City in September this year.

Michael Nottingham

The St Kitts and Nevis international defender signed a two-year deal with the Seasiders after helping Salford City to win promotion from the National League North last season. His promotion from the sixth tier would be his second following another National League North promotion with Solihull Moors. Nottingham is now looking to make a name for himself in the EFL after time in non-league and scored his first goal for the club in the first round of the Carabao Cup against Barnsley, before repeating the feat against Rovers in their 2-1 victory in the second round of the competition.

Mark Cullen

The striker signed for Blackpool in 2015 signing an initial three-year deal, which was extended over the summer. It was Cullen’s goal in the play-off final over Exeter City which would seal the Tangerines promotion back to League One after scoring nine league goals during the regular campaign. Prior to his time at Bloomfield Road, Cullen started his career at Hull City, scoring in the Premier League once for the Tigers, before making a permanent move to Luton Town in 2013, where after scoring 21 league goals in 71 games, and helping them to the Conference Premier title in 2014, he joined the Tangerines.

Who’s the ref?

Sebastian Stockbridge will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Tuesday evening. He has taken charge of 17 games across league and cup competitions this season, dishing out 50 yellow cards whilst brandishing the red card just once so far.

He last took charge of Rovers back in December 2017 for their 1-0 defeat away at Oxford United, whilst he has already officiated a Blackpool game this season, being in the middle for their goalless draw at home with Luton Town back in September.

He will be joined by assistant referees Gareth Mellor and Simon Clayton, with Paul Graham being named as fourth official.

Last time out

Rovers were knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the second round stage earlier on this season, as Blackpool came from behind to progress. Alfie May put Rovers ahead, before goals from Michael Nottingham and Harry Pritchard saw the Tangerines go through, reaching the fourth round of the competition, losing 3-1 to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

You’d have to go back all the way to November 2005 for the last time Rovers came out on top at home against Blackpool, with Paul Heffernan and Michael McIndoe both at the double in a 4-1 win at Belle Vue in the FA Cup first round, with Peter Clarke grabbing a consolation goal in the last minute for the Tangerines.

Tickets for Rovers’ Sky Bet League One clash against Blackpool on Tuesday November 27 are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office. Purchase yours now by either visiting in-store at the Keepmoat Stadium, by calling on 01302 762576, or online at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.


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