TIDE IS TURN­ING FOR TAN­GER­INES

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Scott Hunt

BLACK­POOL made it four games un­beaten with vic­tory over pro­mo­tion-chas­ing Gilling­ham and man­ager Neil McDon­ald be­lieves they may have fi­nally turned a cor­ner.

Jack Red­shaw’s penalty on the stroke of half-time was enough to se­cure the win which moves Black­pool five points clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

It is now three clean sheets in a row at home for Black­pool who pre­vented League One’s top scor­ers from reg­is­ter­ing a sin­gle shot on tar­get.

McDon­ald be­lieves their home form is be­com­ing a real strength but has urged his side to keep work­ing to pull away from trou­ble.

“We’ve come out win­ners, kept our run go­ing and our home form is be­com­ing spe­cial,” McDon­ald said. “It was a good at­mos­phere. The fans can see that we’ve hope­fully turned a cor­ner. We’re still not out of trou­ble, there’s still work to do but we’re try­ing our best. They are free-scor­ing but we kept ev­ery­thing quiet and sim­ple and they didn’t re­ally bother us. It was good de­fend­ing from all of the team. The play­ers are cer­tainly get­ting their re­wards for the hard work they’ve been do­ing.

“We still need points to push us up the league and keep us out of trou­ble.”

Af­ter an un­event­ful open­ing, Gilling­ham were awarded a free­kick in the 27th minute which Luke Nor­ris whis­tled just over from 20 yards.

Black­pool threat­ened from a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion af­ter 42 min­utes, but Mark Yeates’ 25-yard free-kick was com­fort­ably pushed away by Stu­art Nelson. But the hosts did lead on the stroke of half-time when Yeates was up­ended by Max Eh­mer in the area and Red­shaw slot­ted home from the spot.

Black­pool started the se­cond half brightly, hav­ing a penalty shout waved away be­fore Mark Cullen’s turn and strike from three yards went just wide.

Su­perb de­fend­ing from Tom Al­dred de­nied Gilling­ham an equaliser af­ter 57 min­utes as he flung him­self across the goalline to keep out Eh­mer’s ef­fort.

The Seasiders then launched a ter­rific coun­ter­at­tack with Cullen pick­ing out Red­shaw, who volleyed wide from 18 yards.

Gilling­ham pushed for an equaliser in the clos­ing stages but failed to test Colin Doyle through- out the game, and man­ager Justin Ed­in­burgh high­lighted a lack of qual­ity from his side while be­liev­ing the pitch and win­tery con­di­tions at Bloom­field Road ham­pered his play­ers.

“We prob­a­bly lacked that lit­tle bit of in­ven­tive­ness and qual­ity in the fi­nal third and one lack of con­cen­tra­tion cost us,” Ed­in­burgh said.

“The pitch wasn’t con­ducive to the way we wanted to play, but for ef­fort and com­mit­ment we’ve given all we can.

“It was just that lapse in con­cen­tra­tion lead­ing up to the penalty. The in­evitable hap­pens if you’re not on the front foot and we were pun­ished. “We were on the front foot se­cond half but we just didn’t have enough to open them up.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age

SEE­ING RED: Jack Red­shaw is mobbed af­ter scor­ing from the penalty spot just be­fore half-time

SPOT ON: Jack Red­shaw beats Stu­art Nelson from 12 yards

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