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Match Reports

Blackpool 2-2 Walsall

10 February 2018

The Saddlers were denied back-to-back wins after substitute Armand Gnanduillet’s late equaliser rescued Blackpool a draw.

Joe Edwards side-footed Walsall ahead on 28 minutes but the lively Nathan Delfouneso drew the hosts level.

Jon Guthrie restored the visitors' lead from a corner but Gnanduillet struck late to ensure the spoils were shared.

The Seasiders almost broke the deadlock on eight minutes as Curtis Tilt’s far-post header from a corner was cleared off the line by Jon Guthrie.

Gary Bowyer’s men were posing the greater threat, with Kyle Vassell volleying over from Nathan Deflouneso’s flick-on and Scott Wagstaff fizzing an ambitious 30-yard strike wide.

But it was the Saddlers who took the lead on 28 minutes as Joe Edwards coolly side-footed home Kieron Morris’ pull-back from ten yards.

Pool responded positively and could have levelled when Deflouneso’s low cross broke for Callum Cooke, who blazed over.

Delfouneso was proving a thorn in the Saddlers’ side and the ex-Aston Villa man drew the Tangerines level eight minutes before the break.

Receiving possession inside the box, Delfouneso turned smartly away from Luke Leahy before confidently placing a right-footed shot beyond Liam Roberts.

Morris went close to restoring Walsall’s lead just before half-time when he bent a left-footed effort wide of the far post.

After a scrappy start to the second half, Longstaff tried his luck with another long-range attempt which whistled wide.

Blackpool felt they should have been awarded a penalty on 57 minutes when Tilt’s header appeared to strike the hand of Jack Fitzwater, but referee Scott Duncan was unmoved.

Ex-Saddler Dan Agyei came on after 71 minutes and instantly threatened, stinging the palms of Roberts with a rasping drive.

The visitors went back in front five minutes later as George Dobson’s scuffed corner ran through for Guthrie to slot home his first Walsall goal from close range.

Pool almost hit back straight away but Gnanduillet’s looping header was cleared off the line by a stretching Fitzwater.

Gnanduillet wasn’t to be denied with two minutes remaining as he latched onto Agyei’s inch-perfect through ball and finished smartly across Roberts to bring Blackpool level.

The hosts almost won it at the death but Guthrie produced another vital goalline clearance, this time to thwart Clark Robertson from a Jay Spearing free-kick.

 

Team: L Roberts, Kinsella, Fitzwater, Guthrie, Leahy, Chambers, Dobson, Morris (K Roberts 90’), Edwards, Ngoy (Oztumer 68’), Bakayoko (Shaibu 75’).

Subs not used: Gillespie, Cuvelier, Flanagan, Kouhyar.

 

Attendance: 3,404 (625 Walsall supporters).


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