Richie Kyle believes the youth team’s winning mentality shone through once again on Saturday as they edged out second-placed Oldham Athletic with a 4-3 victory.
The young Seasiders needed an 87th-minute tap-in from Dom Telford to pick up all three points at Squires Gate Training Ground after The Latics had fought back from three goals down.
Blackpool moved eight points clear of Tony Philliskirk’s side as a result, leaving them in pole position to win the North West title.
And Kyle, head of coaching, put it down to their know-how of claiming victory when the moment counts.
“We’ve won a lot of football matches and these lads certainly know how to win games,” said Kyle.
“We’re close now (to winning the league) and we knew it was such an important game. We knew it would possibly come down to this one.
“It’s not done and dusted yet, though. We’ve still got a few games to go, but we’re getting closer and closer.
“We knew a victory would put us in good stead to try and tie this league up.”
Kyle’s side threw away a three-goal lead, given to them by Conor Ready’s double and a Henry Cameron header.
The Latics reduced the deficit with goals either side of half-time before drawing level with ten minutes left, although Telford snatched a late winner to leave Kyle delighted after the difficult conditions at Squires Gate.
“It was a difficult game, although at 3-0 we were comfortable and we looked composed,” said Kyle.
“We looked the better team but they scored to make it 3-1. Then it became difficult in the second half with the conditions, but the lads showed unbelievable character and attitude to get through it, and they know how to win games, I’ve said it all season.”
Ready came into the starting line-up at the expense of Dion Charles, having scored as a second-half substitute in the Youth Alliance Cup defeat at Bradford City.
And Kyle felt the midfielder repaid his decision after scoring the opening two goals.
“It was a difficult one for me because Dion’s been playing really well, but I felt it needed freshening up from Tuesday,” Kyle said.
“Conor Ready has shown excellent attitude in training and when he’s been coming on as a substitute, so I thought he deserved a chance.
“What more can I say when he comes into the team and scores a couple of goals, fair play to the lad.
“It just shows how competitive it is for places at the minute because we’ve got players who can come in and score goals.
“We’ve got a good squad and I’ve said to the lads that it’s not all about the 11. It’s been a squad game, and all season we’ve needed every player.”
The youth team are next in competitive action away to Carlisle United. Details of that game are to follow.