Portsmouth boss John Mousinho refused to be too downbeat despite his side being forced to settle for a goalless draw against 10-man Blackpool.

Pompey’s lead at the top of Sky Bet League One was cut to five points as they failed to get past the Seasiders, who were forced to dig in after Jordan Rhodes was dismissed just before half-time.

But Mousinho took plenty of encouragement from the way his side played even though they were unable to break down a resolute Blackpool side, who extend their unbeaten home league run to eight games.

“We’re disappointed with the point,” said Mousinho. “We wanted to come here and win the game regardless of whether we were playing 10 or 11 men.

“The context that we played against 10 men for the best part of 50-55 minutes and created plenty of chances as well, we’re gutted that we didn’t win it.

“There were a lot of pleasing points. We created quite a few openings. When you create as many chances as we have and their goalkeeper comes away with man of the match, I can’t complain too much.

“Blackpool have one of the best home records in the league. They beat Bolton here. They sit in and defend really well.”

Mousinho felt the red card shown to Rhodes for a raised arm on defender Joe Rafferty was harsh, but believed Blackpool still deserved to be reduced to 10.

“I thought the red card was harsh. Jordan Rhodes leads with his arm. We’d have been aggrieved if it was us,” Mousinho added.

“I thought the challenge on Callum Lang is far worse and that’s a straight red. That was the worse challenge of the two.”

That was a view echoed by opposite number Neil Critchley, who was delighted with a point given his side’s numerical disadvantage.

“I’m really pleased we’ve picked up a point,” he said. “You’d be pleased before the game with where they are in the league, but obviously we’ve gone down to 10 men quite early on.

“I think it’s a harsh sending-off. It really puts you behind the game and gives you a mountain to climb.

“I’m really pleased of the way the boys have dug deep to get something out of the game. We showed great character, especially after having a man sent off.

“We had some chances and, on another day, could have nicked it, but we take the point. They had their chances, of course they did. We had to defend well. They are one of the best teams in the league for a reason.

“The crowd were fantastic and really got behind us when we needed them. You fill the crowd with passion and it really helps. When everyone’s together it’s brilliant.”

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 is desperate for Jordan Rhodes to stay at Blackpool after the veteran striker bagged two goals in their 3-0 win against Carlisle.

Rhodes signed on a season-long loan from Huddersfield last summer but the Terriers have the option to recall him next month.

Rhodes is bang in form and took his season’s tally to 13 on Saturday, while Huddersfield need all the help they can get in their battle against relegation from the Championship.

No decision has been taken but manager Critchley is determined to make the most of the 33-year-old and has urged his young forwards to learn all they can after he scored twice in the second half.

“I felt we were comfortable and the second goal was a real bit of quality from Jordan. That settled us down and we were comfortable,” said Critchley.

“We watch Jordan and try and learn from him and he’s a good example to our strikers who have not had his career. They should be aspiring to achieve what he’s done.

“His positioning inside the penalty box and his patience, his movement, cleverness and ability to finish off both feet or his head is outstanding. We’re delighted he’s here and we really want that to continue for the year.”

The Seasiders went ahead through Andy Lyons, who chipped Tomas Holy after the Carlisle goalkeeper fumbled a cross.

Blackpool dominated and deservedly added a second when Rhodes reacted quickest to a rebound in the box.

The Scottish striker then took his tally to 13 for the season with a clinical finish late on.

“It was a good finish from Andy Lyons and good cross for the second goal, it was a good all-round team performance,” Critchley added.

“When teams come here and want to frustrate you, it becomes doubly difficult. The first goal can be crucial, and we got it.”

Carlisle were toothless as they succumbed to their 11th league defeat of the season.

Alfie McDermott and Jordan Gibson had their best chances but they were comfortably outplayed and manager Paul Simpson admits they do not have the quality required at this level.

“There was a difference there,” he said.

“I’m really disappointed with our performance, but it’s not through a lack of effort. It’s through a lack of quality – that’s my opinion on it.

“We’ve been poor on the ball today, poor in our decision-making, but I think they’ve tried to do the right things. That’s the base we should expect.

“We’re short. We have to get through to January and it’s as simple as that.

“Everybody has to react in the right way and we’ve got two home games coming up that we have to do properly.”

Jack Marriott salvaged Fleetwood a dramatic late point in a six-goal Lancashire derby thriller at Highbury.

The Cod Army looked set to secure bragging rights against their neighbours for the first time in five years after a quick-fire first-half burst.

Blackpool had a great early chance when Jordan Rhodes’ strike rattled the crossbar after just six minutes.

Promise Omochere opened the scoring for the hosts after 13 minutes after he was left in plenty of space to pick his spot.

And Lee Johnson’s side doubled their lead five minutes later as the Seasiders made a mess of clearing a corner, with Marriott poking home the rebound.

Blackpool goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw kept the deficit at just the two when he kept out Shaun Rooney with his feet.

Sonny Carey turned the game on its head with a three-minute brace early in the second half.

The 22-year-old, who opened his league account for the season last time out, curled home a nice strike in the 48th minute before quickly firing in a second effort from the edge of the box.

Shayne Lavery completed the turnaround in the 65th minute after being played through by Rhodes.

But Marriott’s stunning 90th-minute strike secured a precious point for the strugglers.

Charlton came from behind to score two late goals in their 2-2 draw at home to Blackpool.

The visitors struck first after 34 minutes. James Husband crossed into the middle of the area for Jordan Rhodes to connect first time past keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer.

Blackpool almost doubled their lead seven minutes after the interval. A bout of pressure saw a fierce strike by Sonny Carey tipped onto the bar by Maynard-Brewer.

The visitors looked out of sight on 70 minutes when substitute Karamoko Dembele stole the ball from defender Michael Hector to fire home.

But Charlton stunned them with two goals in as many minutes. First, Alfie May diverted home on 82 minutes after great work by Chuks Aneke.

Then Corey Blackett-Taylor sent the Valley into raptures with a superb curled effort to earn a share of the spoils.

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