Blackpool secured bragging rights over relegation-threatened Fylde Coast neighbours Fleetwood with a 1-0 victory.

The Seasiders boosted their hopes of a play-off place thanks to Jake Beesley’s first-half effort and a missed Shayne Lavery penalty at Bloomfield Road.

Neil Critchley’s side are three points off the top six.

Beesley nodded home the only goal of the game in the 22nd minute as he got on the end of CJ Hamilton’s fine cross.

Jay Lynch denied the hosts two minutes later when he kept out George Byers’ stinging strike.

After the break, Byers squandered a great chance when he fired wide before Beesley also fluffed his lines.

Lavery, who was brought down inside the box, saw his 77th-minute penalty superbly saved by Lynch.

Charlie Adam’s side failed to take advantage to rescue a point in their survival fight as Fleetwood sit six points off safety with just four games left.

Jordan Rhodes was sent off for the first time in his 17-year professional career as battling 10-man Blackpool clung on for a precious point in a goalless home draw with Portsmouth.

The Huddersfield loan star was controversially dismissed two minutes before the break by referee Edward Duckworth for leading with his left arm in an aerial challenge with defender Joe Rafferty.

The decision looked incredibly harsh on the Seasiders’ 15-goal leading scorer but, to their credit, the hosts dug deep for a hard-fought draw at Bloomfield Road and extend their impressive home unbeaten league run to eight games.

Midfielder Hayden Coulson rifled wide for the home side early on, while Rhodes shot wide from a tight angle.

Rhodes was dismissed just before half-time and the visitors came within a whisker of going ahead when midfielder Abu Kamara’s fierce strike struck a post.

Blackpool goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw thwarted Jack Sparkes with a fine save shortly after the hour mark, before saving from midfielder Owen Moxon in the 80th minute.

Grimshaw denied substitute Kusini Yengi in the dying stages as the hosts showed real character to ensure they maintained their long unbeaten run at home in the league.

Neil Critchley believes Blackpool did not switch on quickly enough in their 1-1 draw with League One play-off rivals Oxford at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool led the game after an 18th-minute goal from Matt Pennington but conceded just three minutes later to Oxford’s Mark Harris.

The result did little for either team, with Oxford sitting seventh, a point off the top six after a five-match winless run, and Blackpool – three without a victory themselves – a further five points adrift.

Critchley said: “We’re disappointed we didn’t take the three points if I’m honest, I thought we started the game well and scored from a well-worked set piece.

“The disappointment is the goal we conceded so soon after and the manner in which we conceded it, that knocked us a little bit.

“After our goal, we didn’t switch on quickly enough, we lost ourselves for a minute or two. It’s uncharacteristic of us in set pieces this season.

“It’s hugely frustrating, Oxford are a good team with good players but we dominated the second half and pushed them back. In the last few games, we’ve not got the points that we deserve.

“We can go anywhere and win, home or away doesn’t matter to me, they’re all tough games in this league.

“I thought the game was a good standard for League One, it was two good teams on show.”

Critchley also confirmed that Jordan Rhodes is unlikely to be ready for Tuesday’s game with Cheltenham after sustaining a rib injury against Charlton.

Oxford were bolstered by returnees as Billy Bodin and Josh Murphy came from the bench to combine for a golden chance in the closing stages.

But the U’s were unable to find a winner which would have moved them into the top six.

Manager Des Buckingham said: “We had a chance at the end of the game, it was an excellent cross by Josh Murphy into Billy Bodin but somehow it’s come off the post.

“To come here, it’s a very tough place, there are not many teams that have left here this season with anything.

“The second half was a bit scrappy for both teams, it was a bit of a fight and they worked with determination.

“Overall, we did enough to have taken three but pleased equally that it was one – Jamie Cumming made a world-class save to make sure we leave here with a point.

“We’re not going to hide behind excuses or the reality of what it is, we’ve been stretched extremely thin over the last two months.

“There’s plenty to come, we are sticking in and around where we want to be because, as you’ve seen today, we are stronger.”

Darren Ferguson was relieved to survive an “unprofessional” second-half wobble as his side held off a fightback from 10-man Blackpool to win 4-2 at Bloomfield Road.

Posh appeared to be cruising as goals from Kwame Poku, Harrison Burrows and Ricky-Jade Jones put them 3-0 up inside an hour against a home side who had Oliver Casey dismissed shortly after the restart.

But the hosts scored twice in the space of four minutes through Kenny Dougall’s header and Sonny Carey, who was first to the rebound when Nicholas Bilokapic parried James Husband’s shot to set up a grandstand finish.

It needed a stoppage-time strike from Ephron Mason-Clark, who had earlier missed a penalty, to make the points safe and Ferguson was left to reflect on a mixed performance.

“We were excellent for 60 minutes and we stuck to the game plan,” he said.

“We were very good and we were dominant. But even at 2-0 we got sloppy, and then a great third goal and you’re thinking ‘game over, just manage it. Can we put a real statement out and put them to the sword?’.

“Then 15 minutes later, we’re hanging on. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. We were all over the place and it was just unprofessional.

“We managed to see it through and a good counter-attack and a great finish by Ephron. Any time you come here and you win, it’s a great result because these will be in the top six, I’m absolutely certain of that.

“We’ve now gone to Bolton away, Barnsley away, these away, Portsmouth away; a lot of teams that will probably end up in the top six, I think, and we’ve come out pretty unscathed.”

Posh climbed to fourth following their victory while Blackpool sit seventh, three points outside the Sky Bet League One play-off places.

Tangerines boss Neil Critchley had nothing but praise for the way his side battled back into the contest.

“I’m proud of a team that’s given absolutely everything in really difficult circumstances,” he said.

“If you’re going to lose a game of football, then lose like that.

“I’m disappointed to lose, obviously. I think we could have started the game better, I thought we were a little bit tentative, which was not the message before the game, but I thought we grew into it.

“Our response to going 3-0 down was magnificent, unbelievable. The players gave absolutely everything. At 3-2, we had them, we felt we could get something out of the game at that moment in time.

“You could see tiredness towards the end and we made a mistake and they scored. So much happened during the game. Even though we’ve lost, I’m still very positive about what I saw in the second half, especially.”

Blackpool maintained their unbeaten start to life back in League One with a goalless draw against Port Vale at Bloomfield Road.

The Tangerines are yet to concede in the league after following up a 2-0 home win against Burton Albion with back-to-back goalless draws against Exeter City and the Valiants.

It was also a welcome clean sheet on the road for Port Vale after losing 7-0 away to Barnsley on the opening day, but it means they are still without a win away from Vale Park since New Year’s Day.

Gavin Massey came closest to halting Vale’s away day woes in the first half when he pounced on some lapse defending, but his powerful shot flew agonisingly wide.

Vale enjoyed a positive first half but at the other end, Sonny Carey saw his effort blocked.

Shayne Lavery, scorer of both of Blackpool’s league goals this season, saw his header tipped away by Vale stopper Connor Ripley in the second half but the hosts were forced to settle for a point.

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