Blackpool 2-1 Exeter Player Ratings: praise for Potts

Taylor and Aldred lift the trophy – bbc.co.uk

Blackpool are back in League One after a 2-1 Play-Off Final victory over Exeter, with Mark Cullen and Brad Potts combining for both goals. How did players on both teams rate.

Blackpool

Sam Slocombe – was not tested as much as he should have been, only facing two shots on target, but got down well to stop Watkins early on. Three promotions at his first three clubs now. 5

Will Aimson – a little timid in the first half but was much improved after the break. 6
Tom Aldred – reluctant to attack the ball in his box and it became clear early on that his evening would be cut short. 4
Clark Robertson – left no ground behind him, but this at times allowed him to be dominated in the air by Wheeler. 5

Kelvin Mellor – didn’t have many chances to show his well-known attacking qualities but made some good interceptions. 5
Jack Payne – dropped too deep at times in the first half, but some of his long-range passes were excellent. 6
Neil Danns – stepped up a level after taking the captain’s armband off the injured Aldred and bossed the midfield in the second half. 8
Brad Potts – Scored the opener and assisted the winner. Had a quiet spell in the first half but when he played well, so did Blackpool. 8
Colin Daniel – not a natural left-back, he had awkward moments when Blackpool moved to a four-man defence and was partially at fault for the goal. Looked more comfortable in the second half. 5

Mark Cullen – great hold-up play for Potts’ goal and showed good movement for his own. Much like in the semi-final, he came up trumps at key moments. 8
Kyle Vassell – couldn’t always sustain his early pressing but offered a good outlet in the second half and had a hand in the winner. 6

Bright Osavi-Samuel (on 31) – was key to Blackpool’s game management in the second half. He carried the ball up the pitch and won free-kicks. 8
Ian Black (on 62) – did a super job of tidying things up in midfield and forcing Exeter sideways. 8
Jordan Flores (on 75) N/A

Exeter City

Christy Pym – the first goal was well-placed but had little power and he perhaps committed too early for the second. Thwarted Vassell late on. 3

Jack Stacey – a few surging runs but was a tad rash at times and Exeter looked fragile down their right. More at home further up the pitch. 4
Troy Brown – distribution could have been better in the first half and struggled to handle Cullen at key moments. 4
Jordan Moore-Taylor – no shortage of passion but was drawn away from his zone by Vassell for the winner. 5
Craig Woodman – some excellent crossfield balls to Wheeler, two of which leading to Exeter’s better openings including the equalizer. Unlucky to be taken off. 7

Jake Taylor – Looked composed on the ball and impressed in the first half. Needed to be more inventive after the break. 5
Lloyd James – offered balance but played one too many sideways and backwards passes which disrupted the rhythm. 4
Ryan Harley – got into good areas in the first half and had some decent efforts. Waned in influence later on but was one of the better players. 6

David Wheeler – strong in the air despite being 5’11”. Scored the equalizer and was at the heart of Exeter’s best attacking play. 7
Ollie Watkins – posed a threat in the first half with his clever runs and forced a good save from Slocombe. Starved of service in the second half. 6
Joel Grant – withdrawn early in the second half and was anonymous in the 57 minutes he had been on the pitch. 3

Reuben Reid (on 57) – did not offer the physicality to enable Exeter to go direct.
Pierce Sweeney (on 58) – did not do too much wrong. Part of effectively a back two when Exeter had to chase the game.
Lee Holmes (on 71) – did not provide the inspiration Exeter were looking for.