POND’S OWN GOAL SETS SEASIDERS OFF SWIMMING
L LADY Luck shone on Blackpool in their derby day victory against Fylde Coast rivals Fleetwood, but Seasiders boss Neil McDonald insists it was no more than they deserved.
Blackpool failed to register a single shot on target, but ended a seven-match losing streak thanks to Nathan Pond’s first-half own goal settling this clash.
It was the first-ever league meeting between the two local teams, and McDonald urged his players to now kick on after getting back to winning ways.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, we deserved it,” he claimed. “We’ve played better in games and lost so why shouldn’t we take all the plaudits because we won one-nil?
“We’re on a winning streak now. Everyone mentions the losing streak all the time, and we take the criticism on the chin. But let’s see what sort of headlines we get this week after not playing well but winning.
“We’ve stood firm on what we’re trying to do.
“We just haven’t had that luck, we’ve been on the wrong side of the fine line.
“But we’re not out of the muck, we still have to keep on working hard to make sure we get results like this but with better performances.”
In their last meeting, an FA Cup tie, Blackpool were a Premier League team and Jamie Vardy scored for then Non-League Fleetwood in a 5-1 defeat.
Since then, they have been on totally different paths, with Fleetwood’s rise through the leagues bettered only by Vardy’s journey to international football and the Premier League history books.
But McDonald insisted pre-match the form book – with Fleetwood resurgent under Steven Pressley after a difficult start to the season – went out the window for the derby.
And so it proved, despite Fleetwood having the better chances, leaving Pressley scratching his head as to what had gone wrong and how his side had lost this clash.
“There’s no doubt we deserved more from the game than we got,” he said. “Ultimately you have to score goals to win games and we didn’t do that.
“I’m obviously extremely disappointed for everybody for the result but we deserved more.
“There were several moments where the game could have swung in our favour, but in terms of the outcome we certainly didn’t deserve to lose.”
Those moments included Joe Davis’ shot, on 14 minutes, being headed off the line by Hayden White as the visitors pressed early on.
Pond turned Brad Potts’ inviting cross into his own net on 17 minutes though, to lift the home side. Jack Redshaw should have doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time, after a defensive mix-up, but shot wide with only Chris Maxwell to beat.
Fleetwood were a different team after the break though, with Pressley admitting the goal had set them back before regrouping at the interval.
David Ball raced on to Jimmy Ryan’s through ball on 47 minutes, but saw his shot across goal deflected wide before Ryan’s effort was saved by Dean Lyness on 55 minutes.
David Henen went closest to levelling two minutes later, catching Lyness out from a tight angle only for the ball to cannon clear off the frame of the goal.
Substitute Nick Haughton then stung Lyness’ palms with a powerful strike on 84 minutes but Fleetwood could not find an equaliser.
And Pressley urged his players to turn the frustrating defeat into a positive as they bid to climb clear of relegation trouble.
“We have to use these feelings we have in the dressing room as motivation going forward,” added Pressley, whose side sit 18th in League One and just two points away from the relegation zone.
“We’ve taken two steps forward but now a step back.
“We have to gain more momentum, we have to be more clinical and if we want to be a good team we can’t lose these games.”
As for Blackpool, they are still in the relegation zone but are now just a point away from the safety of 20th, and after snapping a seven-game winless run against the Cod Army they will be hoping for more of the same from here on in.
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