Blackpool 2 Portsmouth 3
By Editor
Saturday 11 Nov 2017 19:08:00
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Whilst the Oyston family didn't turn up today (maybe the least surprising fact of the day), Gary Bowyer's side failed to turn up for much of today's game. The surprisingly good start to the season has been replaced with form which will see Blackpool heading straight to the other end of the table and at a time when attention is focused on events off the pitch. At the start of the season it was Sean Longsatff's goals which were pushing Blackpool towards the top 6 - the fact he spent another afternoon on the bench meant he couldn't come to the Seasiders aid again. Nor could Kyle Vassell who remains injured or Clark Robertson who is in similar shape. The absence of these key members of the squad are costing 'Pool who seem a pale imitation of the side from the start of the campaign.

Whilst the official attendance today was announced at over 5,000, Pompey fans looked as if they out-numbered and definitely out-sang their seaside rivals. Indeed the only packed house was at the Excelsior where Blackpool supporters gathered to discuss the monumental events of the last 5 days. When the Oyston family do go, they leave behind a manager and team that could do with some January investment. The fact is that Gary Bowyer's summer signings up front have been wholly inadequate. Philliskirk is as useful as a wet fart, Delfouenso is a decent squad member but not a starter, Quigley is completely out of his depth and Clayton isn't what is needed right now. It would have been a brave man who would have bet on Cullen and Vassell going the full season injury free and so, despite today's two goals, there seems a real lack of quality up front. Jimmy Ryan and Jay Spearing, whilst quite different as players, seem to cancel each other out in midfield whilst Colin Daniel continues to disappoint at left back and why is Ollie Turton being favoured to Kelvin Mellor at right back? And let's not even get on to Ryan Allsop ....!

If those who commit to stay away until the Oyston's leave had seen the first hour of today's game, they'll hope standards improve when they return. It was a poor offering from both sides with Blackpool never really threatening the Pompey goal and at the other end the visitors huffing and puffing but offering little. A neutral would have called this as a likely goalless draw at half time and so what came in the second half was a surprise. The name Brett Pitman will always ruffle a few feathers at Bloomfield Road and he continued that today as the striker, who was once top of Ian Holloways' hit list, took advantage of a stray ball from a saved effort from Allsop and he struck it in to the Blackpool net. Then saw the arrival of Dolly Menga who's 19 minute debut was so noticable it won him Man of the Match. His ball to Otabor saw the winger put the ball in the Pompey net for the equaliser. Allsop pulled off another decent save (oh the irony) from Pittman minutes later but the ball fell to Close to give the visitors the lead again. 'Pool got back on level pegging from a free kick which Hawkins headed in to his own net. Just as the game seemed to be heading for a draw the referee (sadly not Ben Toner) gave a stupid free kick to the opposition from which Pitman left unmarked headed past Allsop and whatever we write can't do justice to how bad the keeper's effort was to save it.

This season, after scraping in to the Play Offs and winning promotion via the back door, is all about stability and getting to that 50 point total as quickly as possible. With the news that the Oyston family could be gone in time for next season, retaining their place in this league is so vital for the club's future. Hopefully the injured players will return sooner than later but Bowyer will need help in the New Year - the question is will he get it and, if so, where from?

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