The under-18’s picked up a big three points on Saturday, as they beat Shrewsbury Town 3-1 in the North West Youth Alliance.
A hat-trick for Brad Homes saw the Seasiders run out comfortable winners on the road, despite Callum Wilson pulling a goal back for the hosts.
It was Shrewsbury who got the first-half underway and who had the first chance. Ben Crompton whipped a free-kick into the area, but the linesman had his flag up for offside against the Shrews attackers.
Having soaked up the early pressure, the Seasiders took the lead through Brad Holmes. Arnold Matshazi played a pass down the channel for Holmes, who broke the offside trap to cut in from the left onto his right foot. He then lined his shot up and fired past Jaden Bevan into the bottom corner.
Just six minutes later, both Holmes and Blackpool had their second of the game. Holmes used his strength well to roll the defender and run into open space on the edge of the area, lining up a shot once again to fire past Bevan superbly.
A third almost went in for the Seasiders after Rob Apter hit a terrific shot which was heading into the back of the net, only for Bevan to get two strong hands behind the ball to parry away.
Looking for a way back into the game, Shrewsbury had a few chances of their own. Consecutive corners almost paid off, as Charlie Caton rose to meet Crompton’s set-piece, but his header went well over the bar.
The Seasiders tried for a third before the break through Ewan Bange. The 6 ft 6 striker found his way through the Shrewsbury defence to shoot towards goal, however Bevan was there to deny him.
HT: Shrewsbury 0-2 Blackpool
The second half didn’t start in the best fashion, as Aaron Turner received lengthy treatment for a head injury, but moments later, play resumed, and Turner re-entered the field of play.
Shrewsbury had a few half chances at the beginning of the second 45 minutes. Tom Bloxham shot high over the bar before Caton went close moments later, after a dangerous cross into the area flashed past him.
Despite those chances, it was Blackpool who pulled further clear. Holmes and Bange were left two on one as the latter brought the ball forward at full pace, Holmes held his line well leaving Bange to slide him in on goal, Holmes took a couple of touches before firing under Bevan for his hat-trick.
Jenson Cooper went close with an effort, which McLachlan held onto well. Then, ten minutes from time, the hosts pulled a goal back.
The Shrews won a free kick on the edge of the area after Tayt Trusty brought his man down. The shot forwards deflected off the wall and into the path of Callum Wilson, who from close range, struck past McLachlan.
Jack Moore was then substituted after a heavy challenge before Max Rogers went close with a well-hit volley, but Bevan denied him.
In the dying embers of the game, Matthew Liptrott’s venomous shot whistled inches over the crossbar, leaving Bevan to collect the ball for a goal kick.
With eight minutes added on at the end of the 90, Danny Ventre’s side defended fantastically to see the game out and claim all three points.
Starting XI: McLachlan, Moore (Strawn 85’), Wood (Goumou 56’), Turner, Fitzgerald, Liptrott, Trusty, Matshazi (Rogers 59’), Apter (Yelegon 74’), Bange, Holmes (Harrison 65’).