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Few Blackpool managers in recent years have complained that the season was ending too early. However, Blackpool are the form team in League Two without a defeat in eight games and with 4 wins from the last five. Had we now been mid-season, the chance of automatic promotion would have been a possibility. As it is, with 8 games to go, the possibility of catching 3rd place Portsmouth is as unlikely as a Donald Trump apology. However, the Seasiders are back to within a point of the Play Offs and the chance of a place in the end of season lottery is now a real possibility. Home form will be key but the trip to Luton in two weeks now looks a crucial one for Bowyer and his side.
What has become clear is that teams are struggling for any sort of form in League Two this season. A convincing win for Stevenage against Portsmouth has put them in a strong position for that final automatic place whilst Carlisle having looked strong for automatic promotion all season now look as if they'll struggle to get in the Play Offs. Goal difference is often as good as an extra point at this stage of the season and Blackpool are in a good position, whilst it won't have gone unnoticed by their rivals that 'Pool have four of the bottom five sides still to play. During a season where support has drained away from Bloomfield Road, next Saturday's £5 admission against Hartlepool will be an interesting test of how supporters currently feel. Whatever the crowd, it'll be more a reflection of fan's feelings towards the team than it ever will be support for the owners.
This game was described by one fan who travelled to Newport as the ugliest game of football they've ever seen played on a pitch that remarkably rivalled FC Rostrovs as the worst of the season. With Potts and Taylor out, this was always going to be a struggle as Blackpool have looked a much better side when both players have been in the team. It was Potts replacement Bright Osayi Samuel who gave the Seasiders the lead with a curling effort that beat the Newport keeper. Another game, another penalty and another Mark Cullen goal followed just after the break before a bundled effort from Alex Samuel gave the home side some hope. However, with 7 minutes of added on time, keeper Joe Day went up for a corner and Blackpool broke and presented Osayi-Samuel with his second of the game. It was another game, as at Plymouth, where the Seasiders had 3 shots on taget and all of them proved crucial.
Whatever fans feelings towards the Oyston family, you have to congratulate this side on their efforts so far this year maybe proving the potential that they had when Bowyer put this team together. There is no doubt the addition of players in January made a difference and ironically the departures of Pugh and Yeates and the injury to McAllister actually seemed to have helped. Of course form at this stage of the season only counts if you see it through to the final game and Blackpool still have some big hurdles ahead, not least they still have to move in to the Top 7.
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