Match report: Blackpool 4 Doncaster Rovers 2

A disastrous three minute spell at the start of the second half saw Rovers implode and slump to a disappointing defeat at Blackpool.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 22nd October 2016, 3:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 1:44 pm
Blackpool v Doncaster Rovers

An own goal inside the first minute gave Rovers a dream start but it turned sour, particularly just after the break.

Brad Potts equalised after 25 minutes before Kelvin Mellor put Blackpool in front before half time.

And by 48 minutes, Rovers were 4-1 down as Potts and Kyle Vassell struck early in the second half to put Blackpool out of sight.

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Tommy Rowe gave Rovers hope on 66 minutes with a penalty but missed another four minutes from time as Blackpool saw out the game in relative comfort.

Darren Ferguson made two changes to the side that beat Colchester United the previous week.

Mathieu Baudry was handed his full league debut for Rovers in place of Joe Wright while Harry Middleton replaced Liam Mandeville.

It meant a shift in system with Ferguson opting for the 3-4-3 formation he previously used in the Checkatrade Trophy clash with Mansfield Town.

James Coppinger and Tommy Rowe played either side of John Marquis with Baudry, Andy Butler and Niall Mason making up the back three.

The system switch gave Rovers incredible fluidity, with Rowe and Coppinger able to drop back into midfield when the team was out of possession.

But there was plenty of disjointed football when they had the ball and they lacked the cohesion and slick passing play that has become their trademark this term.

And there seemed to be uncertainty at the back and rather slack defending would lead to their downfall.

Rovers could hardly have wished for a better start as they took the lead with just 40 seconds on the clock.

Coppinger beat his man on the byline and cut a pass back which Taylor smashed into his own goal at the near post.

There was very little between the sides following Rovers' electric start. The hosts had the better of the possession but lacked the quality to make it count.

Jamille Matt saw a shot deflected over the bar after a dangerous low cross from Potts.

At the other end, Rowe darted onto Coppinger's pass into the box but his attempt to control the ball sent it straight through to Blackpool keeper Sam Slocombe.

Rovers uncharacteristically switched off at the back as they conceded an equaliser on 25 minutes.

Jordan Houghton conceded a free kick which Kyle Vassell took quickly, sliding a pass into the unmarked Potts who took a touch and rifled past Marko Marosi at the near post.

Uncharacteristic as it may have been in recent weeks, it provided a taste of more to come.

The goal gave Blackpool a lift and they had the edge for the remainder of an energetic half.

And Rovers being caught flat-footed at the back once again saw the hosts take the lead six minutes from the break.

Full back Mellor had the time to peel away at the back post to meet a Josh Payne cross and side-foot a lob over Marosi.

If Rovers started the first half in the perfect fashion, the opening moments of the second could hardly have played out in more stark a contrast.

Within three minutes they found themselves 4-1 down after a catastrophic start.

Liam Mandeville came off the bench to replace Harry Middleton at the break, though Rovers remained in a 3-4-3 formation.

Before any alterations could take effect, Rovers found themselves further behind.

Danny Pugh laid off a free kick 30 yards out and Potts smashed a piledriver beyond the reach of Marosi.

Within moments, Blackpool found their fourth.

Marosi was caught late as he cleared out a ball out and began limping. Vassell spotted the this and, after receiving a quick pass out of midfield, picked his spot in the far corner which Marosi simply could not reach.

The Rovers keeper limped off in the aftermath to be replaced by Ross Etheridge.

Rovers switched to a 4-4-2 diamond in a bid to get back into the game.

And they went close to reducing the deficit when Butler rose to meet a Coppinger corner but saw his powerful header deflected just over the bar.

But Rovers did give receive a lifeline on 66 minutes. Rowe was tripped as he turned into the box and he stepped up to slot the penalty into the bottom corner.

Blackpool dropped deeper in an attempt to see out the game and it proved difficult for Rovers to break them down.

If Rovers needed any indication it was not to be their afternoon, they got it four minutes from time.

Marquis was wiped out by keeper Slocombe as he darted through with referee Dean Whitestone pointing to the spot.

Rowe stepped up and again put his spotkick to the left but Slocombe parried it away to atone for his error.

Time had run out for any comeback and Rovers were left with a rare licking of wounds.

Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor, Daniel, Pugh, Payne, Potts, Vassell, Matt (Cullen 73). Subs not used: Boney, Nolan, Cain, McAlister, Philliskirk, Gnanduillet.

Rovers: Marosi (Etheridge 51), Baudry, Butler, Mason, Blair, Middleton (Mandeville 46), Houghton, Rowe, Coppinger (Calder 79), Marquis, Rowe. Subs not used: Wright, Garratt, Keegan, Beestin.

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)