Stevenage's trip to the seaside became the football equivalent of getting sand in your chips - as two deflected goals helped sent them to defeat at Blackpool.

Jordan Rhodes and Owen Dale were the grateful recipients in the 3-0 win, the former doing the deflecting while the latter was helped by a fortuitous bounce off Terence Vancooten.

CJ Hamilton then wrapped things up with 11 minutes to go but the game ultimately hinged on a disallowed goal in the second of three added minutes at the end of the first half.

Jamie Reid's strike was ruled out for offside by a ridiculously late flag, preventing the sides going in level.

How much of an effect that would have had can only be guessed at.

Steve Evans made four changes bringing in Nathan and Ben Thompson, Nick Freeman and the available again Reid.

Luther James-Wildin and Dan Sweeney were injured while Dan Butler was serving a one-match ban.

Elliott List was the other to miss out, dropping to the substitutes.

Alongside him on the bench, young Rylee Mitchell came in for the internationally-challenged Krisztian Hegyi while Reece Hannam also made a rare appearance.

The lack of a recognised full-back in the Boro starting XI had various theories about a system bandied about prior to kick-off.

They started with a back five, Nick Freeman on the right and rather surprisingly Jake Forster-Caskey left of a Carl Piergianni, Nathan Thompson and Vancooten.

The alternative defensive line-up was hit twice before half-time as well.

First Vancooten needed treatment after colliding with team-mate Aaron Pressley.

He was able to continue but Nathan Thompson couldn't, limping out of the fray on 25 minutes to be replaced by Finley Burns.

The home side definitely enjoyed the better of the play in the first period with a number of long balls forward causing consternation at times in the Boro back-line.

But for all their pressure, Taye Ashby-Hammond only had one real shot to save, a looping header from Kylian Kouassi that he had to punch clear.

The forward also sent another effort wide while Sonny Carey was twice off target.

The goal was a little bit of a fluke although Stevenage did have the chance to clear but failed to do so.

It left Ollie Norburn with the chance to shoot from the edge of the area but he had screwed his effort wide.

However, it was deflected beyond Ashby-Hammond by Rhodes, although whether he knew anything about it was a different question.

Boro had won a number of corners without getting anything of note towards Dan Grimshaw.

They had looked to have beaten the keeper though in added time, Reid getting onto a knockdown before him and poking it into the net.

And the flag stayed down for a good three or four seconds before the home fans got to jeer and mock the Boro players for their celebrations.

Evans was furious and he sent his side back out with another sub on, Kane Smith replacing Pressley.

That pushed Freeman further forward, playing in behind Reid and Roberts at times.

Blackpool had hit the crossbar before Stevenage made their next substitutions, Kenny Dougall driving an effort from 30 yards out and central off the top of the woodwork.

Boro's next changes saw Hannam come on along with Kane Hemmings and the formation change again to a back four.

Moments later though the Seasiders had a second thanks to another deflection.

Dale caught it well enough but the decisive touch came from Vancooten as he stuck out a leg, the ball pinging off it and high into the net to Ashby-Hammond's right.

Boro were deflated by this point but they were hit by a third by the impressive Hamilton.

Evans had the right wing-back in his Mansfield side and had talked him up prior to the game.

He showed why by cutting into the box and then curling a shot high to the right of Ashby-Hammond.

Match details

Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond, N.Thompson (Burns 25), Piergianni, Forster-Caskey, Freeman, Roberts, Vancooten, Reid (List 85), Pressley (Smith 46), L.Thompson (Hemmings 58), B.Thompson (Hannam 58).

Sub (not used): Mitchell, McNeill.

Booked: Pressley 7, B.Thompson 13, Vancooten 53


Blackpool: Grimshaw, Husband, Pennington, Norburn (Connolly 87), Dale (Weir 87), Carey (Morgan 73), Dougall, Rhodes (Dembele 89), Casey, Hamilton, Kouassi (Lavery 73).

Subs (not used): O'Donnell, Ekpiteta.

Goals: Rhodes 38, Dale 61, Hamilton 79

Booked: Carey 43


HT: Blackpool 1 Stevenage 0

Added time: 8

Referee: Paul Howard

Attendance: 10,516  (including 555 from Stevenage)