RUDY Gestede scored either side of half-time as Rovers edged a full-blooded derby at a windswept Bloomfield Road to record their first win of the Championship season.
Gestede, who now has 11 goals in his last 10 starts, opened his account for the campaign in the 26th minute with a clinical right-footed finish.
And the man of the match doubled his tally two minutes after the restart when he headed in from close range after Craig Conway stood the ball up toward the back post.
At that stage Rovers were seemingly set to go on and record a comfortable victory over their under-prepared but fired-up Lancashire rivals.
But Blackpool dragged themselves back into the contest in the 53rd minute after a shot from Tomasz Cywka squirmed underneath the body of Paul Robinson.
Both teams had chances to score again in what developed into a frantic second half.
However Rovers saw the match out to stretch their unbeaten league run to 14 games – seven of which have been away from home – and bounce back from their shock midweek Capital One Cup exit.
Gary Bowyer made nine changes to the side which started the bitterly disappointing 1-0 home loss to Scunthorpe United.
And it was a good job he did as the hosts – as the Rovers boss had warned beforehand – gave his team a real run for their money.
Pool, whose line-up featured 10 home debutants, went close in the third minute when a misplaced pass from Corry Evans led David Perkins to dragging a 20-yarder inches past the post.
Eight minutes later and Joe Lewis was tested for the first time as Jordan Rhodes, who was otherwise quiet, turned sharply before firing into the goalkeeper’s arms.
But there was nothing Lewis could do to prevent Gestede from breaking the deadlock when he smashed in from 12 yards following a lightning-fast counter-attack which he had started.
Gestede raced away to celebrate in front of the magnificent 2,227 travelling supporters.
And, after Rovers captain Grant Hanley blazed over from a corner, the towering targetman had further reason to cheer after he met Conway’s cross to give Lewis no chance.
Pool’s response to falling further behind was spirited and after Hanley, who was making his 100th league start for the club, and Evans failed to clear their lines Cywka beat Robinson.
And, after Conway sent a drive just the wrong side of the upright, the former England number one almost gifted John Lundstram an equaliser as he allowed the on-loan Everton midfielder’s swerving strike to slip out of his fingers.
Robinson, who to his credit went on to make crucial saves from Nathan Delfouneso, got back to push the ball on to the post with Jason Lowe doing brilliantly to block Ishmael Miller’s follow-up.
The visitors also hit the woodwork after another quick break, led by the jet-heeled Josh King, ended with Evans seeing an attempt deflect on to the upright and go out for a corner.
With the match on a knife-edge Rovers needed to kill the game and Bowyer made the right decision to replace Rhodes with Lee Williamson.
And, with Pool’s threat reduced, Gestede almost put a seal on it in injury-time when he latched on to a long punt downfield from Robinson and sent an acrobatic half-volley past the post.
Bowyer said: “We knew it would present a difficult challenge and it was that but I thought we saw all aspects of our game which was really pleasing today.”
Blackpool: Lewis, McMahon, Clarke, Daniels, Oriol, Cywka (Zenjov 68), Perkins (Davies 88), Lundstram, Mellis (Zoko 46), Delfouneso, Miller. Subs not used: Parish, Dielna, Dunne, Rentmeister.
Booked: Oriol, Zoko.
Goal: Cywka 53.
Rovers: Robinson, Lowe, Baptiste, Hanley, Olsson, King (Marshall 84), Evans, Cairney, Conway, Rhodes (Williamson 76), Gestede. Subs not used: Eastwood, Dunn, Varney, Taylor, O’Connell.
Booked: Olsson, Gestede, Marshall.
Goals: Gestede 26, 47.
Attendance: 12,130 (2,227 away).
Referee: James Adcock.