A SOLITARY goal 10 minutes from time by Angel Martinez was enough to condemn Leeds United to another defeat at the hands of play-off hopefuls Blackpool.
United, with little to play for after falling off the promotion pace in recent weeks, had the hosts worried as they held out defensively and created a few chances themselves.
But they were unable to put the ball in the back of the net and paid the price as Blackpool clinched victory when Angel finished a slick move.
Any hopes of a comeback were then effectively dashed when defender Darren O’Dea was sent off for a second bookable offence, to leave Leeds to finish with 10 men for the third time in the last four games.
The Whites were competitive throughout and made a bright start with Adam Clayton and O’Dea both hitting efforts over in the opening stages.
Matt Phillips went close for the hosts when hitting the side netting while Thomas Ince brought a good save out of Andy Lonergan.
Leeds thought they should have had a penalty just before the break when Ross McCormack went down under a challenge from Stephen Crainey, but referee Tony Bates ignored the big shout and the half ended goalless after Danny Webber saw his shot tipped round the post by Blackpool keeper Matt Gilks.
United had to make a change early in the second half when Saturday’s two-goal hero, Billy Paynter, had to go off with an Achilles injury, to be replaced by Luciano Becchio. There was little goalmouth action for a spell before Lomana Lua Lua forced a good save from Lonergan. Home keeper Gilks was then called upon to keep out a McCormack free-kick and Becchio had a half-chance, heading over.
Lonergan came to his side’s rescue again to deny Nouha Dicko, but within a minute Blackpool took the lead through Angel and they held on for a vital three points.
Leeds did have one great chance to equalise when Webber headed a Robert Snodgrass cross wide, but it was not their night and they stay in 12th place in the Npower Championship.
Leeds United 0
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Eardley, Evatt, Crainey, Taylor-Fletcher (Sylvestre 73), Ferguson, Angel, Phillips, Ince (Harris 90), Lua Lua (Dicko 71)
Leeds: Lonergan, Lees, Bromby, O’Dea (sent-off 86), Robinson, Snodgrass, Clayton (Connolly 90), Pugh, Webber (Forssell 85), McCormack, Paynter (Becchio 52).
Referee: Tony Bates.