LIVE MATCH UPDATES: Peterborough United 2, Blackpool 2: Posh off the top again as poor home form continues
Peterborough United were knocked off the top of League One after twice failing to hold onto the lead against Blackpool at the ABAX Stadium (September 29).
A first-half header from Rhys Bennett - his first goal for the club - and a superb second-half strike from substitute Mark O’Hara looked to have given Posh the points, but the slick-passing visitors twice levelled through Arnand Gnanduillet and Nathan Delfouneso to claim a point they thoroughly deserved.
Both sides also struck the crossbar in a contest that followed a dull first hour with a breathtaking final 30 minutes.
Portsmouth’s win at Rochdale sent them back to the top of the table.
Posh picked the same starting line-up that played with such attacking dynamism away from home at Gillingham, but reproducing that form at the ABAX Stadium has been more difficult.
Indeed Posh laboured through the first-half, failing to win enough possession or to keep hold of the ball when they did have it.
But, for once, Posh are a threat from set pieces this season and it was a crude foul by combative midfielder Jay Spearing on Siriki Dembele which led to the only goal of the half on 27 minutes.
Colin Daniel took the free kick short to Dembele who delivered a fine cross onto the head of Bennett enabling the centre-back to become the first player to breach Blackpool’s defence on their travels this season.
Delfouneso had missed a great chance to open the scoring after a sliderule pass by Spearing on 19 minutes, the former Aston Villa player shooting straight at Posh ‘keeper Aaron Chapman.
And after the goal, Pool centre-back Curtis Tilt struck the crossbar with a header from a corner.
The visitors found enough space in midfield to carry a constant threat as Posh struggled to get their ball players into the game.
The second-half started as a scrappy affair, but burst into life with three goals in eight minutes.
Blackpool equalised on 59 minutes, breaking superbly after an Ivan Toney shot had been charged down on the edge of the area. Within seconds the ball had been transferred the length of the pitch enabling Delfouneso to cross for Gnaduillet to tap home.
Within a minute Posh striker Ivan Toney had smacked the crossbar from 20 yards before Posh boss Steve Evans sent on substitute Mark O’Hara, a move that had an immediate positive impact with the big Scot lashing home from the edge of the area.
But two minutes later Pool levelled again with a superb passing move that ended with a great finish from Delfouneso from the edge of the penalty area.
Both sides had good spells in the final stages with Jordan Thompson missing a sitter for the visitors after another superb move and Jason Naismith’s 97th minute half volley being brilliantly tipped away by visiting ‘keeper Mark Howard.
Posh finished the game well on top, but couldn’t buy a break against a strong, resolute back four.
Posh: Aaron Chapman, Jason Naismith, Colin Daniel, Rhys Bennett, Ryan Tafazolli, Alex Woodyard, Jamie Walker (sub Jason Cummings, 80 mins), Marcus Maddison, Siriki Dembele (sub Joe Ward, 76 mins), Matt Godden (sub Mark O’Hara, 62 mins), Ivan Toney.
Unused substitutes: Mark Tyler, Callum Cooke, Josh Yorwerth, Louis Reed.
Blackpool: Mark Howard, Ollie Turton, Ben Heneghan, Curtis Tilt, Marc Bola, Jay Spearing, Callum Guy (sub Michael Nottingham, 72 mins) , Liam Feeney (sub Ryan McLaughlin, 77 mins), Nathan Delfouneso, Armand Gnanduillet.
Unused substitutes: Miles Boney, Paudie O’Connor, John O’Sullivan, Joe Doodoo, Marc Cullen.
Goals: Posh - Bennett (27 mins), O’Hara (64 mins).
Blackpool - Gnanduillet (59 mins), Delfouneso (66 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Maddison (foul), Walker (foul), Daniel (foul), Bennett (foul).
Blackpool - Spearing (foul), Heneghan (foul).
Referee: Carl Boyeson 7
Attendance: 6,269 (266 Blackpool).