Blackpool made it through to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup, thanks to a penalty shootout victory over West Bromwich Albion.
An entertaining 120 minutes ended 2-2 after goals from Jerry Yates and Gary Madine were cancelled out by Semi Ajayi and Matheus Pereira. But Chris Maxwell was the hero, saving three penalties in the shootout to give Blackpool a wonderful victory.
With 20 minutes gone, Conor Gallagher had a good opportunity for West Brom. The midfielder found space on the left hand side to release a shot from the edge of the area, which whizzed past Maxwell’s far post and out for a goal kick.
At the other end just moments later, Grant Ward whipped in a great free kick from the flanks to the back post. Bez Lubala was there to meet it, with his header falling to Dan Ballard, but the Arsenal loanee’s acrobatic effort went high and wide of the goal.
West Brom’s Matheus Pereira then had a good effort from a free kick from 25 yards away. The powerful effort was well saved by Chris Maxwell, who held on well to the strike.
The Seasiders were matching their Premier League opponents and took a deserved lead five minutes before the break. Bez Lubala did well on the left hand side to drill a cross in from the byline, which was missed by Dan Kemp, but tucked away at the back post from Jerry Yates to give Blackpool a half-time lead.
Half-time: Blackpool 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
The visitors were much more aggressive and forceful in their play for the second half, and found the equaliser just six minutes after the restart.
A corner kick was played short, with the cross then whipped in with Semi Ajayi rising highest to head the ball into the bottom corner, past the outstretching Chris Maxwell.
Despite their opponents equalising, Blackpool were still threatening West Brom in an effort to go back in front. Ollie Turton played a fantastic cross in from the right on the hour mark, which defied all the defenders, only for Jerry Yates to lose his footing at the final moment to miss a good opportunity from six yards out.
Minutes later, the Seasiders were back in front thanks to Gary Madine.
A blistering counter-attack caught West Brom unawares, with Dan Kemp’s pass to Jerry Yates perfectly timed. Madine, to his left, was calling for the pass which Yates duly delivered, leaving Madine free to take a touch and tuck the ball home to complete a wonderfully moved passage of play and give the Seasiders the lead again.
West Brom weren’t letting the tie go though, and equalised with just ten minutes remaining thanks to a penalty kick. A cross in from the left was blocked by Ollie Turton, with the refereeing deeming it to have hit his hand. Up stepped Matheus Pereira, who tucked it past the diving Chris Maxwell, despite Blackpool’s number ones best efforts to make a save.
With just five minutes to go, Matty Virtue, who had only just come on as a substitute for Dan Kemp, had a really good effort from the outside of the area go just wide of the post.
That was the final real chance of the match, with neither side able to find a winner. The tie went into extra-time.
Full-time: Blackpool 2 West Bromwich Albion 2
The start to extra-time was frantic, with both sides looking for a crucial third goal. Matty Virtue, who was impressing since coming on, had another effort from the edge of the area go wide.
Sullay Kaikai then saw his powerful effort from distance go over the goal, after possession was well won back from Grant Ward.
Despite the flurry of chances, it remained all-square at half-time in extra-time.
Half-time in extra-time: Blackpool 2 West Bromwich Albion 2
With time running out, West Brom loaded forward looking for the winner. Kyle Edwards had a powerful effort from just the corner of the penalty area brilliantly saved by Chris Maxwell with ten minutes of extra-time remaining.
With no break in the deadlock in extra-time, penalties were needed to deide who reached round four of this season's Emirates FA Cup.
Full-time in extra-time: Blackpool 2 West Bromwich Albion 2
David Button made a wonderful save from Blackpool' first penalty, diving well to his right to tip behind the penalty.
Kamil Grosicki gave West Brom the advantage, dispatching his effort well.
Kenny Dougall scored his effort into the top corner, to make it one apiece.
Chris Maxwell brilliantly tipped behind Kyle Edwards' penalty kick to make it even after two penalties each.
James Husband stepped up for Blackpool's third penalty, and dispatched it well.
Maxwell was there again, forcing a wonderful save from Darnell Furlong's effort to give the Seasiders the advantage.
Then, up stepped Gary Madine, who smashed the ball into the net to make it 3-1 to Blackpool.
Jake Livermore dispatched his penalty to make it 3-2, with Sullay Kaikai then agonisingly hitting the post with his spot-kick.
Chris Maxwell though was there to save Pereira's effort, to send Blackpool through to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Team: Maxwell, Turton, Ballard (90’ Ekpiteta), Gretarsson (90’ Mitchell), Husband, Ward (115' Robson), Dougall, Kemp (81’ Virtue), Lubala (75’ Kaikai), Madine, Yates
Subs not used: Sims, Gabriel, Thorniley, Woodburn