Blackpool boss Neil Critchley hailed match-winner Sonny Carey as his side kept their outside hopes of a play-off finish alive with a 1-0 win over Cambridge.

Carey scored the game’s only goal with a superb curled finish after half an hour to leave the Seasiders six points off sixth-placed Oxford with four games remaining.

The home side passed up a number of other chances to make it more comfortable but Critchley was pleased with the way his side broke down a resolute Cambridge defence, with United scrapping for survival in League One.

“I thought we were good in the first half against a team who are defensive,” he said. “That’s how they’ve got their results lately, by defending deep.

“You have to be patient, work your openings, work the play and we did that. We produced quality that we haven’t produced in games recently.

“It was nice to see Sonny pass it into the bottom corner. That’s the quality he’s got.

“In the second half, we deteriorated, got a bit edgy and we needed the second goal to calm us down. We didn’t get it.

“They had a moment where they hit the post on the break, but we got over the line so I’ll take that.

“In the second half, we had loads of situations where we win the ball back and we failed in that final pass. Maybe we were lacking a bit of confidence or there was a bit of anxiety.”

Blackpool welcome neighbours Fleetwood to Bloomfield Road on Tuesday before travelling to already-relegated Carlisle, results which could have big implications for Garry Monk’s Cambridge.

The U’s sit five points above the drop zone with five games left to play but Monk was encouraged by his side’s second-half performance, which saw Gassan Ahadme and Elias Kachunga both go close to rescuing a precious point on the road.

He said: “In the first half they made it difficult for us. We weren’t quite dealing with wide areas where they were moving their central players out wide. They overloaded us there and it pinned us back a little bit, but we still defended well.

“At half-time, we spoke about that and needing to show a bit more composure on the ball. There were moments where we could have shown more composure, but in the second half we did just that.

“The second-half performance I was really proud of, we were so close to getting our just rewards. I was really pleased with the second half, I thought it was a good response to going a goal behind and we were unlucky not to come away with a point.

“In the second half, I thought we were the better team. We built attacks better, and nearly came away with a point.”

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley was left frustrated after his side were forced to settle for a 3-3 draw in a thrilling Lancashire derby against Fleetwood.

Sonny Carey’s brilliant brace cancelled out early goals from Promise Omochere and Jack Marriott.

Shayne Lavery seemingly secured the bragging points for the Seasiders, but Marriott popped up with a dramatic last-gasp equaliser.

Critchley said: “It’s really difficult to know where to start because there are so many incidents in the game.

“My overriding feeling is that it’s two points dropped and it’s a game we should have won.

“I don’t know how many shots at goal we had, or chances that we created but it’s numerous and as the away team.

“At 3-2 we’ve got ourselves into a winning position after giving ourselves a mountain to climb first half.

“It’s a game we should see out. Even when they equalise we’ve still almost gone on to win the game.

“It’s a difficult one to sum up. We created chances. We constantly got into the final third in the first half and failed.

“We conceded two really poor goals, but if we keep conceding twos and threes it’s going to be difficult to win games of football.”

The Cod Army made a fast start and looked set to land a first Lancashire derby win for five years.

But they eventually had to come from behind to earn a point.

Boss Lee Johnson said: “The boys are disappointed and I’m disappointed.

“Ben Heneghan, to give an example, had told the lads we should have had nine points this week and instead we’ve got five, which is not a disaster.

“We’ve started a bit of an unbeaten run, but we need to deal with oppositions’ spells better.

“I thought there was a lot of character on the pitch, from both teams. And the fans really made it that derby atmosphere, and I love that.

“I want to see that against Exeter when we play them at home. We can create that with our spirit on the pitch and our spirit off the pitch.

“The spell that we conceded three goals, you ask whether they were fantastic or if we were poor. We felt we should have defended those much better.

“They threw caution to the wind, they had bright, busy players but we should have dealt with it better. We can coach it.

“We’ve started to score goals regularly which is really positive. It’s a sign that we’re improving, but it’s a sign we can’t get ahead of ourselves at anytime in any match and we need to stay focused.”

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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