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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 3 Blackpool 2

24 November 2020

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Rovers turn on the style in the second half to come from behind and beat Blackpool 3-2 thanks to goals from Cameron John, Reece James and Ben Whiteman.

There was one change for Rovers after Saturday’s draw against Sunderland with James Coppinger returning to the starting XI at the expense of Jason Lokilo.  

Most of the early changes came Blackpool’s way with a free kick cleared by the head of Cameron John and a misplaced pass from Joe Lumley being punced upon by the opposition. Fortunately for Rovers on those instances the Seasiders didn’t make Darren Moore’s side pay the price.   

On the tenth minute Blackpool were awarded a penalty after Brad Halliday upended Gary Madine. It was Doncaster-born Jerry Yates who converted from the spot as he went low to Lumley’s left while the Rovers keeper went in the opposite direction.  

Within minutes of opening the score, Blackpool almost had a second from a free kick with Daniel Gretarsson latching onto the ball but struck wide. From that point onwards Neil Critchely’s side enjoyed the majority of possession and they did well at snuffing out any Rovers attacks with their high line which on a few occasions caught Fejiri Okenabirhie out.  

The first shot on target for Rovers came on the 22nd minute with Reece James going for goal directly from a free kick on the angle from outside of the box. It was easily caught by Chris Maxwell.  

For a centre back, Blackpool’s Gretarsson was always in the mix for some of the visitors’ biggest chances. One shot he had from 30-yards out, which fell into the hands of a grateful Lumley. Then on the 32nd minute he headed just over the bar from a corner kick.  

A quick break away from Blackpool saw them double their lead as Sully Kaikai charged forward, ending up one-on-one with Lumley. He took out Kaikai but the ball landed kindly for CJ Hamilton who thumped the ball into an empty goal. 

Darren Moore’s half time talk worked a treat with Rovers pulling two goals back within seven minutes of the second half kicking off.   

The first goal came from a superbly executed corner routine where Josh Sims played a piercing ball through to Cameron John who slotted past Maxwell. The second came from a neat chip from Reece James who looped the ball over the head of the Tangerines stopper. 

Rovers almost got a third as Sims broke into the box and did all the hard work but his squared ball didn’t reach a red and white top and instead the attack was spoiled by Blackpool. 

A probing ball from Sims then came into the box drew in a foul from Maxwell on Matt Smith. Whiteman from the spot turned the ball into the bottom left corner – identical to the penalty which gave Blackpool their first.  

This forced Critchley’s hand into making a quadruple substitution with 10 minutes to go. One of those changes saw former Rovers striker Keshi Anderson enter the field of play.  

Moore’s side managed to see out the game thanks to excellent defending to extend their unbeaten run in the league to five games.  

Rovers will now enjoy a short break from League One action as they make the journey to the north west to face League Two side Carlisle United in the second round of the FA Cup on November Sunday 29. Kick off 1:30pm.  


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