18 March 2023

Play-off chasing Coventry bring Blackpool crashing back to earth

18 March 2023

Relegation-strugglers Blackpool were brought back down to earth with a bump as they were hammered 4-1 by promotion-chasers Coventry in the Championship.

The Seasiders thumped QPR 6-1 at home on Tuesday night to move within four points of safety but goals from Ben Sheaf, Kyle McFadzean, Matt Godden and an unfortunate own-goal from defender Curtis Nelson condemned Mick McCarthy’s side to defeat at Bloomfield Road.

Sheaf netted his first league goal for almost a year to fire the visitors in front with a clinical 20th-minute finish from edge of the box.

Jerry Yates then equalised from penalty spot, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way after Morgan Rogers was felled in box by McFadzean.

But Gustavo Hamer’s in-swinging corner struck defender Nelson and left goalkeeper Chris Maxwell with no chance in first-half stoppage time.

McFadzean made amends for gifting a sloppy penalty away when he netted five minutes into the second half with a sweet strike into the bottom left corner.

And Godden finished the job with a fine finish late on as Mark Robins’ ambitious team moved within three points of the play-off places.

Rogers headed over in the first minute from Andy Lyons’ pinpoint cross and winger CJ Hamilton clipped the outside of a post with a scuffed shot two minutes later as Blackpool started brightly.

But the Seasiders were then rocked by an unwelcome injury to Jordan Thorniley, who was forced off with suspected concussion after just 10 minutes and replaced by Kenny Dougall.

Sheaf netted the opener and then Viktor Gyokeres’ wicked shot took a big deflection and flew wide of the target as the visitors pushed to double their advantage.

Rogers went sprawling after a clumsy foul by McFadzean 10 minutes before the break and Yates made no mistake from the spot, sending goalkeeper Ben Wilson the wrong way with a neat finish.

Gyokeres came within a whisker of restoring the Sky Blues’ lead a minute later, but Blackpool skipper Maxwell made a fine save to thwart him.

Hamilton let rip with a powerful strike but saw his effort blocked as half-time approached.

Fankaty Dabo forced an excellent save from Maxwell in first-half added time but the keeper could do little as Nelson unluckily deflected into his own net just a few seconds later.

And the Seasiders’ mood didn’t get any better five minutes after the break when Coventry scored again.

McFadzean latched on to a poor clearance from Rogers before smashing home past Maxwell to give the visitors some welcome breathing space.

On-loan Manchester City midfielder Lewis Fiorini tried his best to reduce the home side’s deficit, but his shot flew wide of the target.

Substitute Sonny Carey smashed wide on the hour mark for the Seasiders, while Jake Bidwell went close for Coventry.

And Godden fired home in the 73rd minute with a smart finish to put the contest well and truly beyond doubt.

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