TIDE IS TURNING FOR TANGERINES
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.”
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