Jerry Yates bags yet another brace as Blackpool beat Preston North End to claim the derby spoils

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Jerry Yates scored his THIRD brace in just four games to earn Blackpool the derby spoils against fierce rivals Preston North End with a thrilling 4-2 win.
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The striker bagged twice, either side of a Charlie Patino strike and a late CJ Hamilton goal, to get Michael Appleton’s side back to winning ways in both side’s biggest game of the season.

It was some physical effort from the hosts, who looked to be flagging at one point and struggling to stay in the game. But the Seasiders rallied to earn the derby win, despite Preston’s late pressure.

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Ryan Lowe’s side were arguably the better side and certainly played the better football, but they were unable to capitalise on their periods of pressure.

The Seasiders, by comparison, were ruthless in front of goal when the chances came their way.

For the second game running, Appleton made four changes to his side.

Jordan Thorniley and Gary Madine, rated as 50/50 before the game, were both fit to start despite carrying slight niggles.

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Jerry Yates has now scored THREE braces in just four gamesJerry Yates has now scored THREE braces in just four games
Jerry Yates has now scored THREE braces in just four games

Marvin Ekpiteta returned from suspension to take Rhys Williams’ spot at centre-back, while James Husband replaced Luke Garbutt at left-back.

Liam Bridcutt came back into the side in place of Callum Wright, while CJ Hamilton made his first league start of the season in place of Theo Corbeanu.

Jordan Gabriel (knee), Kevin Stewart (calf and fractured foot), Lewis Fiorini (hamstring) Keshi Anderson (quad) and Jake Beesley (fractured foot) all remain sidelined through injury.

Shayne Lavery, meanwhile, served the second game of his three-match suspension.

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Despite being ruled out through injury prior to kick-off, defender Liam Lindsay started for PNE in place of Andrew Hughes.

It was the only change Ryan Lowe made to his side from their midweek 1-0 win against Huddersfield Town.

It meant former Pool loanee Ben Woodburn kept his place in the starting line-up on his return to Bloomfield Road.

The game kicked off to a cauldron of noise and it was a predictably fast start to the game, with both sides snapping into early tackles.

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Liam Bridcutt was brought into the Blackpool side for his defensive nous and we saw an early sign of that when he made an important block to deny Emil Riis’ shot.

It was an otherwise uneventful start to proceedings though, although the head-strapped Lindsay did volley well over for the visitors from the edge of the box.

Blackpool had to wait until the 15th minute for their first half opportunity, as CJ Hamilton couldn’t quite get Jerry Yates’ deep cross under control at the back post.

Hamilton continued to be Blackpool’s biggest threat in the early stages, with his pace causing Jordan Storey and Brad Potts problems down the left flank.

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Going the other way, meanwhile, Potts tested Maxwell with a powerful low shot with Maxwell initially spilled before claiming at the second attempt.

The encounter continued to feel a little flat after losing all the intensity and tempo of the opening exchanges, with the atmosphere dropping off as a result.

The Seasiders were almost punished for being far too relaxed on the ball in their own area, with both Marvin Ekpiteta and Liam Bridcutt almost giving the ball away seconds after Chris Maxwell had saved from Woodburn.

Believe it or not, the depleted home side were dealt yet another injury blow on the half-hour mark when Bridcutt was forced to hobble off, with Sonny Carey replacing him.

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But seconds later, those of a tangerine persuasion were delirious as the in-form Jerry Yates gave Blackpool the lead.

The striker was lurking at the back post after a crossed free-kick had been headed back towards the far post, doing well to nod home from close range. Bloomfield Road erupted as a result.

The hosts were a little fortunate to escape a minute or two later though when Maxwell made a hash of Ben Whiteman’s awkward long-range effort, which bounced just in front of the former PNE man before he palmed it away back into the six-yard box. But fortunately for Pool, Marvin Ekpiteta was there to head behind.

Maxwell was forced to make another important stop when Woodburn’s shot deflected and looped straight to Riis. But Pool’s shot stopper stood tall to make an important save and keep his side in front.

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Blackpool’s lead didn’t last much longer though, as Preston were awarded a penalty eight minutes before the break when Ekpiteta brought down Riis in the box. Whiteman stood up and calmly slotted the ball down the middle to level the scores.

Neither side created a great deal before the referee blew for half-time, although the dangerous Hamilton did fire over from an awkward angle with the last kick of the half.

Ekpiteta made an important block to deny Riis after being guilty of giving the ball away and being spun in behind by the same player.

Nevertheless, it was Preston that continued to look the more likely as the Seasiders struggled to keep hold of the ball for sustained periods of time.

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Appleton blamed his side’s defeat to Hull in midweek on fatigue and a lack of energy and it soon became abundantly clear they had little more to give as the second-half wore on, with PNE continuing to dominate.

Blackpool looked to be running out of ideas and were resorting to percentage football; playing the ball up to Madine and picking out the channels.

It was this route that led to a chance for James Husband, who fizzed a shot just wide after a partial clearance had fell to him just outside the Preston box.

Preston, like Blackpool in the first-half, were forced into a change themselves midway through the second period when Bambo Diaby replaced the injured Greg Cunningham.

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The North Stand knew their players needed rallying and they responded in kind for one final push.

Amazingly, it worked within an instant, as Blackpool restored their lead in the 68th minute.

It was a goal out of nothing, not that the home side will care, as Patino picked out the bottom corner with a rifled effort from range.

The Arsenal loanee celebrated his first goal at Bloomfield Road by immediately running over to the away end and shushing the away fans.

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PNE responded well though and almost levelled straight away as Whiteman looked to pick out the bottom corner, only for Maxwell to fling himself across goal to make the save.

The goal saw the energy levels and confidence flow back to the previously lifeless Seasiders, who enjoyed a spell of pressure as they hunted for a late third to kill the game.

Blackpool were forced into another change 10 minutes from time when Rhys Williams replaced Jordan Thorniley, who hobbled off with a knock.

Despite suffering another blow, it didn’t deter the Seasiders as they pressed ahead and bagged a third in the 81st minute.

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It was that man Yates once again, bagging a THIRD brace in just four games. It was some goal too, producing an instinctive header to glance the ball past Freddie Woodman after Patino had curled in sublime cross.

With just a minute remaining though, PNE ensured a nervous five minutes of stoppage time when substitute Ched Evans appeared to divert the ball home in off the post.

Preston piled on the pressure in the dying seconds, even sending up goalkeeper Freddie Woodman for a corner. Blackpool took full advantage to put the game to bed as the utterly superb Hamilton raced from one end to the other before rolling the ball into the back of the empty net - sending Bloomfield Road delirious yet again.


Blackpool: Maxwell, Connolly, Ekpiteta, Thorniley (Williams), Husband (Thompson), Bridcutt (Carey), Dougall, Patino, Hamilton, Yates, Madine

Subs not used: Grimshaw, Wright, Poveda, Corbeanu

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PNE: Woodman, Storey (Evans), Lindsay, Cunningham (Diaby), Potts, Whiteman, Ledson (Maguire), Fernandez, Woodburn (Brady), McCann (Browne), Riis

Subs not used: Cornell, Johnson

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Attendance: 13,632