Blackpool vs Coventry City. Sky Bet Championship.
Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackpool and Coventry at Bloomfield Road as goals from Ben Sheaf, Kyle McFadzean and Matty Godden sealed a comfortable win for the Sky Blues.
Saturday 18 March 2023 19:06, UK
Relegation-strugglers Blackpool were brought back down to earth with a bump as they were hammered 4-1 by promotion-chasers Coventry in the Championship.
The Seasiders thumped QPR 6-1 at home on Tuesday night to move within four points of safety but goals from Ben Sheaf, Kyle McFadzean, Matt Godden and an unfortunate own-goal from defender Curtis Nelson condemned Mick McCarthy's side to defeat at Bloomfield Road.
Sheaf netted his first league goal for almost a year to fire the visitors in front with a clinical 20th-minute finish from edge of the box.
Jerry Yates then equalised from penalty spot, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way after Morgan Rogers was felled in box by McFadzean.
But Gustavo Hamer's in-swinging corner struck defender Nelson and left goalkeeper Chris Maxwell with no chance in first-half stoppage time.
McFadzean made amends for gifting a sloppy penalty away when he netted five minutes into the second half with a sweet strike into the bottom left corner.
And Godden finished the job with a fine finish late on as Mark Robins' ambitious team moved within three points of the play-off places.
Rogers headed over in the first minute from Andy Lyons' pinpoint cross and winger CJ Hamilton clipped the outside of a post with a scuffed shot two minutes later as Blackpool started brightly.
But the Seasiders were then rocked by an unwelcome injury to Jordan Thorniley, who was forced off with suspected concussion after just 10 minutes and replaced by Kenny Dougall.
Sheaf netted the opener and then Viktor Gyokeres' wicked shot took a big deflection and flew wide of the target as the visitors pushed to double their advantage.
Rogers went sprawling after a clumsy foul by McFadzean 10 minutes before the break and Yates made no mistake from the spot, sending goalkeeper Ben Wilson the wrong way with a neat finish.
Gyokeres came within a whisker of restoring the Sky Blues' lead a minute later, but Blackpool skipper Maxwell made a fine save to thwart him.
Hamilton let rip with a powerful strike but saw his effort blocked as half-time approached.
Fankaty Dabo forced an excellent save from Maxwell in first-half added time but the keeper could do little as Nelson unluckily deflected into his own net just a few seconds later.
And the Seasiders' mood didn't get any better five minutes after the break when Coventry scored again.
McFadzean latched on to a poor clearance from Rogers before smashing home past Maxwell to give the visitors some welcome breathing space.
On-loan Manchester City midfielder Lewis Fiorini tried his best to reduce the home side's deficit, but his shot flew wide of the target.
Substitute Sonny Carey smashed wide on the hour mark for the Seasiders, while Jake Bidwell went close for Coventry.
And Godden fired home in the 73rd minute with a smart finish to put the contest well and truly beyond doubt.
Blackpool's Mick McCarthy:
"It looks awful at the end of it with the scoreline. I'm not sure Gyokeres should be on the pitch having punched Callum Connolly, I've just seen the referee and he's said he's not punched him.
"He gave him a right and a left then he followed through with his foot as well.
"We got back at it with a deserved penalty and in my view we should have got another one. He's saying it's not a penalty as well.
"I think it's more of a penalty than the first one. He says he's kicked the floor, but he's kicked the floor because of he's caught Jerry's leg as well as the push.
"As he's gone to swing, it only takes a little bit to put you off. It's a penalty for me but I may as well be arguing with that step over there.
"It's opinions isn't it, and ultimately it's the opinion of the referee that counts.
"All our tiny little mistakes end up with us being 2-1 down before half-time and changing the narrative of the game.
"The timing and the manner of the goals killed us. We never really got back into the game second half. It was a real poor performance."
Coventry's Mark Robins:
"They should have had a second penalty. It was a definite push in the back and I've seen those given all season and that would have made it difficult. They didn't give it and we got away with that one.
"It was a good result and I think we played really well.
"It was a well-worked first goal, it was the first time we stretched them. We contrived to become sloppy and a bit ragged when we've been crisp with the passing.
"We could have been 2-1 down without them even doing anything and that would have been frustrating. They set up some traps and we fell into them with our own sloppy play.
"Thankfully we got back on it and found the opportunities and we took the chances. They were great goals, the atmosphere was excellent and our 4,000 supporters were outstanding."