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Focus On - Blackpool

28 December 2020

By Gerry Prewett.

There has been a total of 38 meetings between the clubs over the years and the record is very even with 15 wins to the Gas, 14 to the Tangerines and 9 draws. The first game took place at Eastville on 28 September 1974, in the old Division 2, and the newly relegated away team headed back up the Motorway with both points (just two for a win in those days). Paul Hart, Micky Walsh and substitute Stuart Parker scoring for Blackpool and Bruce Bannister scoring a penalty for Rovers. The return match at Bloomfield Road on 15 March 1975 saw a battling 0-0 draw.

It took Rovers 4 attempts before they recorded a home win over Blackpool, a 2-0 victory on 21 January 1978 with goals by Bobby Gould and Paul Randall.

The 4-0 victory on 2 March 2019 was the biggest score Rovers had recorded against the Tamngerines. The Gas took a sixth-minute lead when Liam Sercombe's low cross from the right corner of the box took a deflection into the path of Jonson Clarke-Harris, who fired home from close range.

It was 2-0 on 37 minutes as Ollie Clarke's pass put Clarke-Harris in on the left and the striker thumped an unstoppable shot across goalkeeper Mark Howard into the far corner. The big striker completed his treble on 68 minutes, lashing in the rebound after Clarke's volley had brought a brilliant save from Howard.

Liam Sercombe completed an emphatic win in stoppage time, shooting low past the Blackpool keeper from substitute Alex Jakubiak's cross-field pass.

Last season’s fixture on 15 February was a breakthrough result for Ben Garner as his team recorded their first victory in 15 attempts. Things didn’t look good from the start with Connor Ronan breaking down the right and crossing for Gary Madine to net with a fierce first-time shot from 12 yards. The game was dominated by a strong wind and driving rain.

But the visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 43rd minute when Ben Heneghan was shown a straight red card for a sliding challenge from behind on Jonson Clarke-Harris.

Rovers equalised in the 73rd minute with a breathtaking strike from centre-back Alfie Kilgour, whose shot from 35 yards arrowed into the top corner for one of Rovers goal of the season nominations.

Josh Ginnelly then won it for Rovers eleven minutes later, the substitute got the decisive touch to a Jonson Clarke-Harris shot from distance to wrong-foot goalkeeper Chris Maxwell.

Matty Virtue missed two second-half chances for Blackpool and at the death substitute Nathan Delfouneso failed to beat Rovers keeper Jamal Blackman one-on-one.


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