The Tangerines’ demotion into the third tier was finally confirmed on Easter Monday and that triggered pre-match public displays of fury from fans at the Oyston family’s handling of the club on Tuesday.
Dozens of supporters gathered outside the West Stand 45 minutes before kick-off and hurled eggs at the back of the directors’ boxes before a flare, smoke bomb and firework were tossed into the cordoned-off area in front of the main reception area.
With stewards and police present, the scenes did not descend into violence but the message delivered from those in attendance was clear – they want Oyston to depart a team that this week became the first in the Football League to be relegated.
On the pitch, Jamie O’Hara’s early penalty was cancelled out by Grant Hall’s unfortunate own goal just 20 seconds after the restart as the basement-dwelling Seasiders’ winless run was extended to 13 games.
Some of the supporters who congregated in front of the West Stand did not even walk into a half-empty stadium for the game and they missed their side taking a sixth-minute lead.
Zat Knight got the wrong side of Sheffield Wednesday loanee Gary Madine and tripped him from behind, allowing O’Hara to step up and stroke the resulting penalty into the corner as Adam Federici guessed the wrong way.
The cut-up pitch arguably denied the hosts a second as the ball bobbled away from David Perkins, who had orchestrated a three-on-two break, on the edge of the Royals’ penalty area.
Winger Michael Jacobs then blasted into the side-netting from 25 yards as Blackpool entered the interval with a one-goal lead.
That disappeared 20 seconds after the restart, though, when the Royals made a lightning start to the second period.
Pavel Pogrebnyak made inroads down the left flank and he squared for Yakubu, whose shot back across goal smashed against the unfortunate Hall before going over the line.
Hall stayed on the turf and after woozily returning to his feet, he was replaced by Niall Maher.
Perkins bent an effort narrowly past a post but Joe Lewis and Federici remained largely untroubled, as did Blackpool substitute Elliot Parish when he replaced an injured Lewis, with Pogrebnyak’s header off target the closest either side came to a winner.
The result leaves Lee Clark’s side on 25 points, still one point shy of the lowest points tally ever accumulated by a team in the second tier when there have been 24 teams competing.