Duncan Watmore the hero as Middlesbrough seal late win at Blackpool

Middlesbrough substitute Duncan Watmore struck a dramatic 93rd-minute goal to hand his side a 2-1 win at Blackpool.
Chris Wilder, manager of Middlesbrough. (Photo by John Early/Getty Images)Chris Wilder, manager of Middlesbrough. (Photo by John Early/Getty Images)
Chris Wilder, manager of Middlesbrough. (Photo by John Early/Getty Images)

Watmore charged in to slide home Isaiah Jones’ low cross to cap a frantic finish on the Fylde coast.

Blackpool thought they had earned themselves a point when sub Shayne Lavery struck to make it 1-1 in the 91st minute, but Watmore was on hand to stun the hosts.

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Boro consolidated their place in the Championship play-off places thanks to a fifth win in six games.

After a cagey opening spell at Bloomfield Road, Boro missed a gilt-edged opportunity in the 10th minute.

Neat build-up helped free skipper Paddy McNair down the right, and as he crossed in low, Slovenian striker Andraz Sporar somehow side-footed off target from inside the six-yard box.

Boro were clearly the more composed in possession in the early stages, but it was Blackpool who threatened next when wing-back James Husband saw a shot deflected wide.

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There was precious little other goalmouth action as the half-hour mark passed.

It was at that point that Husband headed across goal towards Jerry Yates, but his close-range effort was blocked and cleared by the Boro defence.

Back came Chris Wilder’s men in the run-up to the interval, with Sporar seeing a goal-bound strike blocked by home skipper Marvin Ekpiteta.

Two minutes later Boro missed another terrific opportunity.

After Richard Keogh’s attempted clearance was deflected into the path of Onel Hernandez, he charged clear, only to be thwarted by Dan Grimshaw’s smart save.

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Blackpool almost struck just three minutes after the restart.

Callum Connolly found himself in plenty of space on the edge of the Boro box, but his well-struck shot flicked off Dael Fry and drifted inches wide.

The game was threatening to burst into life, and it almost did when Seasiders’ striker Gary Madine saw his looping shot from a tight angle bounce against the far post.

The tempo had definitely been lifted by both teams and in the 58th minute Boro went agonisingly close when Hernandez fired narrowly wide after playing a smart one-two with McNair.

Boro finally made the breakthrough right on the hour mark.

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It was that man Sporar again, who cheekily back-heeled home his third goal in three games from close in after meeting Jones’ low cross.

Stunned Blackpool went in search of an immediate response, but they were unfortunate when Connolly saw another strike from 20 yards drag wide.

A combination of Madine and Ekpiteta then somehow failed to bundle home sub Josh Bowler’s corner at the far post.

Connolly then saw a glancing header strike the post with time running out.

Then came the frantic finish as Watmore followed Lavery’s close-range finish in such dramatic fashion.