Poor End To 2012 For Blackpool Youths
Blackpool Youth were on the wrong end of a 5-1 score-line against Lancashire rivals Preston North End at the weekend.
After a fairly even first half The Seasiders were very much in the game at the interval, with the score 2-1 to the visitors.
But a poor second half performance and strong display of finishing from North End, culminated in a heavy defeat for John Hills’ side.
Blackpool made a slow start and were punished with Preston scoring twice in the opening five minutes.
The first goal came after only one minute courtesy of Brandon Zibakia and the Lilywhites doubled their lead four minutes later.
Hills was extremely frustrated with the start his side made to the match and believes the disappointment of exiting the FA Youth Cup in midweek may have played a part.
"The lads were gutted in midweek after the cup game and they had a hangover from the defeat I think. We started sloppily and were always on the back foot from then on," said Hills.
The Tangerines responded well and were unfortunate not to reduce the deficit after ten minutes.
Deon Charles, in his first start since returning from injury, was tripped in the penalty area but referee Mr Cox waved play on. The Seasiders continued to probe though and on the 20-minute mark they did pull a goal back.
Mitchell Clayton’s free-kick quite fortuitously fell to Alex Gardikiotis, who found Louis Cross in the box and the midfielder fired home from close range.
Hills said the half-time whistle came at a bad time for Pool as they were growing into the game and an equaliser was looking likely.
“We were the better team after we scored and looked likely to equalise. Had we got it before half-time it would have been a very different game."
Preston came out strongly in the second half and scored their third goal after 53 minutes.
Gardikiotis was dispossessed in midfield and Preston broke quickly to create a chance for Ryan Croasdale who made no mistake from ten yards to restore the visitors two-goal advantage.
Zibakia increased Preston’s lead after he was sent clear with a through ball before placing the ball into the bottom right-hand corner past the helpless Connor Hunt.
Zibakia caused Blackpool problems throughout the game and completed his hat-trick four minutes after scoring his second.
The impressive striker powerfully barged his way through Pool’s defence and hammered the ball into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
The game drew to a close with neither side creating any more chances of note. Blackpool now head into the Christmas break and Hills has urged his side to improve in 2013.
“Mistakes have been a big problem for us this season and cost us games. The second years especially have got a big couple of months after Christmas. They’ll be feeling a bit of pressure because decision time is coming, but they have got to show me more consistency.”
Team: Hunt, Fraser (Johnston-Schuster 80), Clayton [c], Waddington, Staunton-Turner, Cross, Charles, Gardikiotis, Lomax (Ready 71), Cole, Rowley (Blackett 66).
Subs (not used): N’Daw and Shaw.