The youth team fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat in the North West Youth Alliance on Saturday against Rochdale A.F.C.
In a game that had very few clear-cut opportunities, Luke Nock’s penalty for ‘Dale separated the two sides when the full-time whistle sounded.
Luke Mariette was back from international duty to start, while Joe Strawn returned from injury to feature.
It was the visitors who had the first chance of the game through Joe Wright, who looked lively from the off. He wriggled free to have the first attempt of the game, though Alec McLachlan denied him with an outstretched leg.
Arnold Matshazi, who was starting through the middle, went on a mazy run down the left, twisting and turning to then cross to the back post. However, it evaded everyone and trickled out for a goal kick.
The Seasiders were finding space to try and hurt Rochdale, with Matshazi turning a cross from the left wide of the post before Joe Strawn fired over the bar from Jack Moore’s free-kick.
Wright was seeing a lot of the ball, but as he took another effort on from just inside the 18-yard box, McLachlan held with ease.
The pace of the game started to pick up in the latter stages of the first half. First, Jonny Johnstone thundered a shot inches wide of Ben Chalton’s post. Then, Louie Chorlton squeezed his way in from the left to take aim but saw his effort go well over the bar.
Half-Time: Blackpool 0-0 Rochdale A.F.C.
Rochdale started the half in a similar fashion, with the visitors keeping the majority of possession.
‘Pool started to see more of the ball as the half went on, but as they did, Luke Mariette was left in a heap on the deck after a late challenge from Kacper Mialkowski left the Welsh international clutching his leg. Luke continued after treatment.
The best of the action so far in the second half came from Rochdale when Jack Moore fouled on the byline, leaving the visitors to whip a dangerous ball into the area. After confusion in the back-line caused problems, the Seasiders eventually cleared the danger.
Just three minutes later, Rochdale won themselves a penalty. Chorlton burst into the area where he was met by Michael Fitzgerald, but as he tried to win the ball back for his side, a quick step across and into Chorlton left the referee with no choice but to point to the spot – Luke Nock stepped up and slotted past McLachlan.
As frustration brewed in the ‘Pool camp, Jack Moore saw red for dissent after Nock converted the spot-kick.
Ben Kershaw then went close for Rochdale with a free-kick just outside the area before Luke Mariette looped a ball to Matshazi at the back post, but he was deemed to be offside.
Just like last week, Luke Byron stood out, and he was presented with a chance to cross after stopping Rochdale on the attack. The midfielder drove down the right and looked to put one last cross into the danger zone, but with Chalton off his line, the cross dipped onto the roof of the net and out for a goal kick.
Full-Time: Blackpool 0-1 Rochdale
Blackpool: McLachlan, Moore, Wood (73’ Daniels), Sinclair, Fitzgerald, Trusty, Johnstone (82’ Goumou), Mariette, Matshazi, Strawn (43’ Byron), Harrison (73’ Wilson).
Unused subs: Monks.