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Club News

New to League One: Blackpool

2 June 2017

We continue our look at the new teams coming into Sky Bet League One for the 2017-18 season focusing on Blackpool who returned to the third tier at the first attempt after winning the League Two play-off final at Wembley Stadium.

They triumphed over Exeter City by two goal to one at the national stadium to return to the third tier at the first time of asking after finishing in the final play-off place on the last day of the regular season. 

The Tangerines overcame Luton Town in the play-offs by 6-5 on aggregate with a dramatic 95th minute winner to set up the tie at Wembley.

The side endured an indifferent start to the campaign, beating the side they'd eventually win promotion against on the opening day 2-0 before not winning in the next four league games. Despite a mixed bag of results, they were one of the first sides to lower Doncaster's sails as they emerged 4-2 victors at Bloomfield Road.

Four league wins from five in November and December added 12 much-needed points to the tally as the side ended 2016 in eighth place and still very much in the mix for the play-offs.

A goalless draw on New Year's Eve would spark the start of a ten match run without a win in all competitions, with their next victory coming on February 11th as they emphatically beat Carlisle United 4-1 away from home. Prior to that match, they had slipped as low as 14th in the table and eight points adrift of a play-off place.

March proved to be the turning point as the side emerged from the month unbeaten with five wins and a draw from six games. Astonishingly, that saw Blackpool put themselves in the driving seat for a play-off place, surging them to fifth in the table and also a manager of the month nomination for Gary Bowyer - missing out to Accrington Stanley's John Coleman.

A couple of defeats and a draw to start April soon put them out of the mix once more, but three wins from their final four games slotted them into seventh place - fending off competition from as many as eight teams at one point vying for a top four finish.

The side took the ascendancy of a 3-2 lead into the play-off semi-final second leg and were at one point 3-1 down on the night and 5-4 on aggregate, with Luton looking the most likely to reach the final.

A goal from Armand Gnanduillet on 76 minutes looked to have sent the tie to extra time before a cruel own goal six minutes into stoppage time put Blackpool to Wembley and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Iron will meet Blackpool for the 37th and 38th times, pending any further in cup competitions, with United searching for their tenth win against the side following a run of four successive defeats. Scunthorpe last beat Blackpool in 2006 courtesy of a 90th minute winner from Billy Sharp at Glanford Park.

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