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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

09 December 2023 Venue Bloomfield Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 3 - 0 United

Match report from the Blackpool game

9 December 2023

United headed to the Fylde Coast as they faced Blackpool on their return to Sky Bet League One action after a week without a fixture.

Manager Paul Simpson made two changes from the side that started at Reading last time out – with Alfie McCalmont and Luke Plange stepping into the starting line-up as Jordan Gibson and Jack Armer dropped to the bench.

The opening stages of this clash – the first time the two sides had met at Bloomfield Road since 2016 - were played in blustery conditions and both teams saw early corners taken behind by the swirling wind.

It was Blackpool who saw more of the ball as the game settled into its rhythm and they had the first chance of note on 15 minutes. James Husband’s cross was only cleared as far as the on-rushing Matthew Pennington whose first-time effort from the corner of the area flashed wide of the far post.

And the Seasiders would take the lead just six minutes later – Kenny Dougall crossed from deep and, after the delivery wasn’t cleared, Andy Lyons reacted quickly and sent a cushioned lob home from 12 yards.

That buoyed the hosts who continued to dominate possession, albeit without seriously testing Tomas Holy.

The Tangerines committed plenty of bodies forward as they searched for a second but United defended well and limited their opportunities from open play, with Ben Barclay twice making crucial interceptions to nullify what could have been dangerous moments.

The only clear chances prior to the break came from Karamoko Dembele’s set pieces for Blackpool. First the 20-year-old’s corner was glanced wide by Jake Beesley before he whipped in a free-kick which the stooping Jordan Rhodes met but failed to direct on target.

The Blues, meanwhile, had one half-chance ahead of the interval when Joe Garner latched onto a defensive mistake to pinch possession and feed Plange – but the Crystal Palace loanee was thwarted by a last-ditch Callum Connolly tackle as he looked to get his shot away.

And United started the second half strongly, enjoying some good spells of possession in the opposition half as they sought a crucial goal.

There was almost an early opening when Plange turned his marker on halfway and surged forward, but his pass was cut-out as he looked to play Jack Robinson into the area.

Blackpool remained a threat though and Sam Lavelle had to be alert to step in and dispossess Beesley after a quick counter-attack, while Holy got down well at the near post to parry Lyons’ drive from 18 yards.

The lively Dembele then fashioned himself some space on the edge of the area on the hour mark before slipping in CJ Hamilton, who fired into the side netting from a tight angle.

With some of that early second half momentum fading, Simpson made a triple change as Gibson, Armer and Sean Maguire entered the fray.

And the latter of that trio almost made an immediate impact as he looked to latch onto a tempting through ball from Josh Emmanuel – only for the offside flag to thwart his advances.

But the Blues would find themselves two behind just minutes after these substitutions. Holy did well to claw away Beesley’s header from a Lyons cross, but the loose ball fell kindly to Rhodes who slotted home from close range.

That didn’t deter the Cumbrians though who continued to seek a route back into the game and Gibson twice delivered inviting balls into the box from the right flank – the first narrowly evaded Lavelle before the second was headed wide by Barclay.

Fellow substitute Armer then helped in creating Carlisle’s best chance of the game as his drilled cross found McCalmont at the back post, only for the midfielder to fire over under pressure from a home defender.

United continued to push forward and Robinson played an inch-perfect pass into the path of Gibson who cut back onto his right foot before home stopper Dan Grimshaw gathered his shot at the second attempt.

Gibson then turned provider with his dinked pass setting Maguire away with the forward’s strike deflecting wide for a corner as Carlisle asked more questions of their hosts in the final stages.

But Blackpool would round-off their victory in the fifth minute of injury time. Lavelle did well initially to thwart Hamilton with a crucial intervention before Holy kept out substitute Kyle Joseph - only for Rhodes to once again pick up the pieces and fire home in what was the final action of note.



Blackpool – Lyons 22, Rhodes 67, 90+5



Carlisle United – Barclay 5, McGeouch 43, Robinson 88



Blackpool – Grimshaw, Connolly, Husband, Pennington, Carey (Morgan 77), Dembele (Gabriel 80), Dougall (Norburn 90+2), Rhodes, Beesley (Joseph), Hamilton, Lyons (Dale 90+2). Subs: O’Donnell, Casey

Carlisle United – Holy, Moxon (Armer 63), Lavelle, McCalmont, Garner (Edmondson 77), Robinson, McGeouch (Gibson 63), Mellish, Barclay, Plange (Maguire 63), Emmanuel. Subs: Breeze, Butterworth, Whelan


Match officials

Referee – Lewis Smith
Assistant Referee 1 – Paul Newhouse
Assistant Referee 2 – Paul Stonler
Fourth Official – Steven Rushton


Attendance – 11,848 (away tbc)

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