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28 November 2017 Venue Bloomfield Road Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Report: Blackpool 2 Rovers 4

Rovers light up Blackpool with another sparkling display on the road

28 November 2017

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Four different scorers produced four goals as Rovers enacted a sparkling display to earn a fourth consecutive victory, and with it, rose to fourth in League One.

Marcus Antonsson and Bradley Dack seized on defensive mishaps to score either side of Kelvin Mellor's equaliser in the first half before a rampant Rovers took control after the break.

Charlie Mulgrew added a third with a terrific free kick just three minutes before Paul Downing put away a much simpler finish, and although Danny Philliskirk pulled a goal back with time running out, the visitors held on for an important three points on the road again.

Tony Mowbray made two changes from the XI that started against Bristol Rovers at Ewood Park just three days earlier. Coming in at Bloomfield Road were one-time Blackpool loanee Danny Graham - who impressed off the bench on Saturday - and Elliott Bennett - another to have started as a substitute on the day.

Swapping places with the duo were Joe Nuttall and Corry Evans, who could both be utilised off the bench for Mowbray if required.

An attacking start from both sides led to Sean Longstaff sending a strike whistling past David Raya's left-hand post before Richie Smallwood tested Ryan Allsop with a low drive inside the opening three minutes.

It was certainly an encouraging beginning for the neutrals in attendance and ex-Rover Nathan Delfouneso turned well but shot just wide from close range just a few moments later.

The hosts came close again on 14 minutes with Delfouneso seeing his shot blocked before Longstaff's follow up went wide after Raya initially beat away Ollie Turton's cross-shot.

But Rovers took the lead on 25 minutes when Antonsson latched onto Kelvin Mellor's loose pass back to tuck first time past Allsop and into the bottom right hand corner for his fourth goal in his last four games.

However, the lead lasted only four minutes as Mellor made up with his earlier mistake with the equaliser; towering above his man to loop a header past Raya after getting on the end of a Jimmy Ryan free kick.

The Rovers goal was coming under some real pressure and the visitors were grateful to Ryan Nyambe to get a block in on a Colin Daniel shot inside the box.

The next attempt came a moment later when Derrick Williams was on hand to hack off the line as Rovers struggled to deal with a flurry of home corners.

Rovers managed to ride the storm out and created some opportunities themselves. 

Peter Whittingham nearly celebrated his 500th career league start with a goal but his corner was clawed clear by Alsopp before Bennett saw his volley smothered prior to Downing heading wide when well placed.

But a moment later - on the stroke of half time - another defensive howler led to Dack adding to his goal tally; closing down a clearance before calmly slotting past Allsop to hand Rovers the lead at the break in fortuitous fashion.

Rovers flew out of the dressing room and Allsop flicked over a Danny Graham header just seconds into the half. Moments later, Mulgrew - for the time being, at least - couldn't continue his good form, with his powerful, 25-yard free kick going just a few inches over the bar as Mowbray's men looked to increase their advantage.

Ten minutes into the half a superb counter attack started by a Raya kick found Antonsson, who cut in on his right, curled goalwards but his the post before being cleared.

Another counter attack led by Bennett's charge into the Blackpool half resulted in Dack seeing his effort well blocked by the on-rushing Allsop.

However, Mulgrew did get himself on the scoresheet for the third consecutive game; his whipped free kick nestling nicely in the bottom corner to bag his seventh of the campaign.

Confidence was flowing through the Rovers players and Downing grabbed his first goal of the season three minutes later, tapping home from two yards after Graham's header was saved.

But Gary Bowyer's side weren't done yet and substitute Philliskirk gave the hosts a chance of taking something from the game when he pulled one back with 15 minutes remaining.

Rovers were getting greedy and went hunting for more goals and Antonsson forced Allsop into action at the other end with eight minutes remaining.

Substitute Joe Nuttall headed wide but Rovers saw the game out in a comfortable and professional manner to pick up a crucial victory before a break from League One action with Crewe Alexandra head to Ewood Park in the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Tickets remain available for the game - see you there.

BLACKPOOL: Allsop, Mellor, Aimson, Anderton (Menga 69), Ryan (Philliskirk 70), Longstaff (Cooke 76), Solomon-Otabor, Turton, Daniel, Delfouneso, Spearing.
Subs not used: Williams, Taylor, D'Almeida, Gnanduillet.

Goals: Mellor (29), Philliskirk (75).
Booked: Ryan.

ROVERS: Raya, Nyambe, Downing, Mulgrew, Williams, Smallwood, Whittingham (Harper 79), Bennett, Antonsson, Dack, Graham (Nuttall 75).
Subs not used: Leutwiler, Ward, Caddis, Evans, Samuel.

Goals: Antonsson (25), Dack (45), Mulgrew (63), Downing (67).
Booked: Smallwood, Williams.

Referee: Andrew Madley

Attendance: 5,302 (2,217)

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