Blackpool 2 Hartlepool United 1; Match report, lucky late goal sinks Pools

Lewis Alessandra shoots Pools ahead. Picture by FRANK REID
Lewis Alessandra shoots Pools ahead. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool United were sunk by a lucky late Kyle Vassell winner at Blomfield Road.

Pools cheered on by almost 1,700 fans went ahead through Lewis Alessandra's ninth goal of the season in the 18th minute.

The advantage lasted only three minutes as Bright Osayi-Samuel pulled the promotion-hopefuls level.

After the break, play was end-to-end with sub Vassell clinching an 81st-minute winner.

Liam Donnelly, who missed last Saturday's home defeat to Wycombe with a dead leg, returned at Bloomfield Road.

But it was Kenton Richardson who missed out at right-back with

Nicky Deverdics retained on the left side of the defence.

The first 15 minutes had a lot of volume, courtesy of the massed ranks of Pools fans, but not much in the way of good football.

And the away support were soon in voice to mock the 15th-minute free-kick from Brad Potts which flew miles wide of Joe Fryer's left post.

And the Poolies were soon going berserk after seeing ALESSANDRA fire their team, in front..

Blackpool struggled to clear from Padraig Amond and Alessandra was given time to control, turn and smash a 10-yard shot past Dean Lyness to the keeper's right.

Alas, the lead lasted just three minutes. Nathan Delfouneso's cross found OSAYI-SAMUEL in the box. There were appeals for handball from fans behind goal, but the in-form forward was afforded too much

time and room and picked his spot to beat Fryer to his left.

Pools were denied twice in the 29th minute following a double Lyness save.

First, he came out smartly to black from Lewis Hawkins and then dived low to his right to keep out Amond's shot.

And Lyness was at it again five minutes from the break when he made an acrobatic tip over from Alessandra.

Half-time:

Blackpool 1

Pools 1

The start of the second half was breakneck end-to-end stuff with shots at both ends.

But there was no accuracy, Alessandra and Woods shooting into the away fans, while Osayi-Samuel and Cullen were closer for the home side.

There were 1,685 shrieks for a penalty, just before the hour, one from Thomas and 1,684 from behind the goal after the attacker's Thomas cross was blocked by Jack Payne, but ref Darren England was

unmoved.

It was almost 2-1 to Pools in the 64th minute when Thomas played in Amond, only for Lyness to make another crucial save. And from the resulting corner, Brad Walker's header was nodded clear.

At the other end, Potts had a spectacular shot flash wide before Fryer made a strong save from the midfielder in the 76th minute.

Pools though were undone by a piece of good fortune from sub VASSELL nine minutes from time.

Fryer had made a good save from Vassell down the left, but the forward lobbed the rebound back into the six yard box and it dropped in at the far post

Pools tried to come back with Thomas having two efforts saved from Lyness.

Fryer even went for a free-kick in injury time but Blackpool cleared to survive and keep their promotion run going.

FULL-TIME:

BLACKPOOL 2

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1

Blackpool: Lyness, Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Daniel, Danns (Black 72), Potts, Payne, Delfouneso (Flores 69), Cullen (Vassell 72), Osayi-Samuel

Unused Subs: Slocombe, Aimson, Matt, Odelusi

Goal: Osayi-Samuel 21, Vassell 81

Booked: Danns 64

Pools: Fryer, Donnelly, Walker, Harrison, Deverdics, Featherstone, Hawkins, Woods (Rooney 84), Alessandra, Thomas, Amond.

Unused Subs: Dudzinski, Richardson, Bates, Hawkes, Oates, Rodney.

Goal: Alessandra 18

Booking: Donnelly 35, Featherstone 45, Thomas 74

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 5,374 (away 1684)