Blackpool’s youth team finally came unstuck as they exited the Youth Alliance Cup – Northern Section Semi-Finals at Bradford City on Tuesday evening.
Richie Kyle’s side, who last tasted defeat to Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup in December, met their match against a Bantams team who, like Pool, sit top of their North East table having lost just one league game all season.
The two sides were battling for the right to face Hull City in the Northern Final, with the overall area winner set to take on either Portsmouth or Colchester United.
Bradford controlled the early stages at Wheatley Park and were awarded a penalty inside 25 minutes when Dion Charles pulled down Ollie McBurnie in the box.
The striker stepped up to place the resulting spot-kick into the bottom-right corner, sending Connor Hunt in Blackpool’s goal the wrong way to put Steve Thornber’s side in front.
Joe Brennan then doubled The Bantams’ lead before half-time by flicking Niall Heaton’s long throw from the left in at the near post.
Pool nearly pulled one back before the break, though, when Mark Waddington’s volley from Henry Cameron’s corner to the far post was cleared off the line.
And the young Seasiders had the wind in their favour in the second-half as they looked to pull off a comeback, something which they have done in two previous rounds of the competition.
Waddington glanced a free header at the far post wide from Cameron’s corner, before Dom Telford’s fierce drive from the edge of the box was tipped over.
However, Bradford were awarded a second penalty on the hour mark when Dylan Mottley-Henry was felled by Harrison McGahey after bursting through on the inside right.
McBurnie stepped up to fire his spot kick into the bottom-right corner once again, creating a three-goal cushion for his side.
Kyle’s Blackpool believed there was still a way back into the game despite being behind, and George Lomax gave the Tangerines hopes when he guided a free header from Cameron’s corner low into the net.
But Bradford scored a fourth to finish the contest with ten minutes to go, when winger Nathan Curtis cut in from the right and curled a strike into the far left corner, ending Blackpool’s Youth Alliance Cup hopes for another year.
The young Tangerines are back in action on Saturday morning at Squires Gate (11am kick-off) as they face Oldham Athletic in a likely North West title-decider.
BLACKPOOL: Hunt; Thurston, Moulden, McGahey (Clayton, 80), Higham; Cameron (Shaw, 80), Waddington, Staunton-Turner (c), Charles (Ready, 58); Telford, Lomax.
SUBS: Milton, Clayton, Richardson, Shaw, Ready.
BOOKED: McGahey, Waddington, Ready.
GOALS: Lomax, Ready.
BRADFORD: Bentley, Pollard, Jenkinson, Wright, Heaton, King, Mottley-Henry, Stockdill (c), O. McBurnie, Brennan, Curtis.
SUBS: Barker, Z. McBurnie, Webb-Foster, Omolokun, Cissa.
BOOKED: Pollard, Curtis
GOALS: McBurnie (2), Heaton, Curtis.