Blackpool 2-3 Gillingham
Blackpool 2-3 Gillingham

Gillingham picked up their second away win of the League One season on Tuesday evening in dramatic fashion as they defeated Blackpool 3-2 at Bloomfield Road.

Goals from John Akinde, Regan Charles-Cook and Brandon Hanlan ensured the visitors headed back to Kent with all three points, but it didn’t come without some late drama.

Armand Gnanduillet and Nathan Delfounseo, meanwhile, scored for Blackpool.

Gillingham started the game slow and it was the hosts who took the lead as early as the eighth minute when Gnanduillet skipped past Barry Fuller and Tom O’Connor before slotting past Jack Bonham to put his side ahead.

Gillingham struggled to get into the game as the first half progressed. Brandon Hanlan and Ben Pringle wasted good chances, and Gary Madine had an excellent chance to double Blackpool’s lead just before half time, however he could only sky an effort from just yards out with the goal at his mercy.

The second half started with much of the same from Gillingham. Blackpool continued to look the most threatening and defender Ben Heneghan went close with an effort, but, after 70 minutes, the Gills burst into life.

Jordan Roberts, playing in an advanced midfield role on the night, picked up the ball on the half way line on 73 minutes and chipped a peach of a ball through to strike partner John Akinde. 

The big forward closed down on goal and managed to squirm a left footed shot under Pool ‘keeper Chris Maxwell to score his first goal for the club since joining in January and tie things up.

In a complete turnaround, the Gills were ahead just two minutes later through substitute Regan Charles-Cook. A long ball was deflected onto his chest and the midfielder smashed a volley into the back of the net as the Gillingham fans went wild.

The Gills smelt blood and Jack Tucker hit the bar with a header just after, but there were still plenty of twists and turns to come yet.

As the Gills looked to see out the game, Blackpool equalised from nowhere, in stoppage time, when Nathan Delfounseo ran off the back of Barry Fuller to poke home a cross from Liam Feeney. There were calls for offside from the away players, but the flag didn’t go up.

It seemed as if it was going to be another point on the road for Gillingham at that point, but Brandon Hanlan had other ideas.

With 95 minutes on the clock, he sent all related to Gillingham into ecstasy when he headed in Tom O’Connor’s corner to seal a first away win since October.

The play off charge is well and truly on in ME7.

Blackpool: Maxwell, Bola, Heneghan, Spearing (Virtue 46), Feeney, Dewsbury-Hall, Turton, Gnanduillet, Madine (Delfounseo 76), Ronan (Ward 83), Moore.

Subs not used: Sims, Nuttall, Husband, Macdonald.

Goals: Gnanduillet 7, Delfounseo 90. 

Gillingham: Bonham, Ehmer, Ogilvie, Hanlan, Roberts (Mandron 90), Fuller, Akinde, Pringle (Charles-Cook 70), Graham (O’Keefe 46), O’Connor, Tucker.

Subs: Walsh, Willock, Lee, Woods.

Goals: Akinde 73, Charles-Cook 76, Hanlan 90.

Attendance: 6,816 (125 away). 

Referee: Mr. D. Handley. 

picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club