Blackpool 1 Rotherham United 1: Late goal leaves Evans agitated and bemused

Rotherham United manager Steve Evans admitted seeing victory snatched away late on by fellow strugglers Blackpool at Bloomfield Road was a bitter pill to swallow.

Rotherham boss Steve Evans

The better side in the opening half, the Millers had already seen home goalkeeper Joe Lewis save Tom Lawrence’s penalty before Emmanuel Ledesma finally gave them a 57th-minute lead.

However, they were pegged back six minutes from time as Dom Telford, off the bench for his home debut, squeezed home from close range on the angle to earn a 1-1 draw for the Seasiders.

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“It’s as low as I’ve been all season,” said Evans.

“One of my central defenders (Kari Arnason) didn’t make a basic header as the ball’s come straight down the pitch.

“(Blackpool manager) Lee Clark said to me at full-time that if it was 6-0 at half-time he couldn’t have complained, and if it was six they’d have got away lightly.

“We totally dominated. If it had been 8-0 or 9-0 the Blackpool fans would not have complained or said any different. I had a fan say to me at half-time, ‘How’s it not 5-0?’

“There are no positives from that game. We should’ve beaten them.

“We passed the ball on a horrible pitch that shouldn’t be in the Championship. I feel sorry for the Blackpool fans – their chairman wants to invest in a new pitch.

“But we shot ourselves in the foot, as we have for the last couple of weeks.”

Rotherham were left to rue a host of missed chances, especially in the first half as man-of-the-match Lewis twice denied Lawrence, including low to his left from the spot-kick after the Leicester loanee had been tripped in the box by Seasiders captain Tony McMahon.

Blackpool boss Clark, who witnessed the home fans sporadically chant against chairman Karl Oyston, was quick to pinpoint the goalkeeper’s impact.

“First half Joe kept us in the game, no doubt about it,” he said.

“I’ve known Joe for a long time. When I was assistant manager at Norwich he was there and that’s when we sold him to Peterborough for a big fee. There’s nowhere to hide as a ‘keeper. In the last two games, he’s been terrific.”

Clark was also impressed with the way his side battled back, resulting in Telford’s equaliser.

“We spoke to the players at half-time and said that the luck that deserted us on Boxing Day we probably got in the first half, because they could have been out of sight by then. But the players responded,” said the manager.

Blackpool: Lewis, McMahon, Clarke, O’Dea, Dunne, O’Hara, Perkins (Orlandi 22), Murphy, Mellis (Waddington 69), Eagles (Telford 66), Delfouneso. Unused substitutes: Parish, Lundstram, Foley, O’Keefe.

Rotherham United: Collin, Wootton, Morgan, Arnason, James, Bowery, Frecklington, Smallwood, Ledesma (Revell 72), Lawrence, Clarke-Harris (Newton 78). Unused substitutes: Skarz, Green, Pringle, Thompson, Yates.

Referee: S Duncan (Tyne & Wear).

Man of the match: Joe Lewis.