Alan Lewer

RESULT | Southport 1-3 Blackpool

Blackpool eased to a routine 3-1 win against Southport in their first public pre-season friendly. Goals from Kyle Vassell, Armand Gnanduillet and Bright Osayi-Samuel were enough to see off the National League North side, who netted a consolation goal ten minutes from time.

Pool’s starting line-up contained six of their seven summer signings, with Curtis Tilt starting on the bench. A completely different eleven took to the turf in the second period, with every player getting 45 minutes under their belts apart from youngster Rowan Roache who came on towards the end.

The Seasiders started the game brightly and were finding pockets of space in behind Southport’s midfield with considerable ease. Max Clayton was straight into the action in the opening minutes, stinging the palms of former Pool keeper Mark Halstead with a close-range effort before going close with a back-post header.

Ethan Jones had Southport’s first effort of the afternoon, drilling wide after outfoxing Will Aimson with an impressive bit of skill. Halstead was kept busy in the opening stages and was forced into another smart stop to deny Jimmy Ryan’s curling effort.

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Kyle Vassell should have opened the scoring halfway through the first period when he was fed in by a clever through-ball by Ryan, but after tricking the ‘keeper with a dummy his effort was blocked on the line by a recovering defender. Vassell made up for his miss by breaking the deadlock on the stroke of half time, firing home with a clinical finish after being played in by Brad Potts.

The Seasiders doubled their lead five minutes into the second half following an impressive run and pullback from Bright Osayi-Samuel, who laid the ball on a plate for Armand Gnanduillet to tap home. T

he tangerines dominated possession in the second half but had to wait until the 75th minute to add their third, with Osayi-Samuel sending Southport’s substitute ‘keeper the wrong way from the spot after Jamille Matt had been brought down.

Southport managed to find a goal in the final stages through Kaiman Anderson, who slotted past Pool’s trialist ‘keeper after he had made a smart stop.

Pool will split their squad to play two friendlies next Saturday, with Salford City and Radcliffe Borough the opponents.

First half: Williams, Turton, Aimson, Hartley, Anderton, Delfouneso, Ryan, Potts, Daniel, Clayton, Vassell

Second half: Trialist, Mellor, Tilt, Robertson, Taylor, Philliskirk, Des Pres (Roache), Trialist, Osayi-Samuel, Matt, Gnanduillet, Attendance: 904 (465 Blackpool)

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