Seasiders Get Pre-Season Underway With A Victory
Goals from Matt Phillips and Thomas Ince meant Blackpool made a winning start to pre-season as they comfortably beat Northern League outfit Penrith 2-0.
The Seasiders put out a strong starting line-up for their first pre-season fixture, with the likes of Matt Gilks, Chris Basham, Isaiah Osbourne and Kirk Broadfoot all being given starting berths for the game at Frenchfield Park.
Ibrahim Diaby was one of a few trialists to also play and it was the midfielder who created the first chance for Blackpool, playing Nathan Eccleston through in the inside left channel, but the striker curled his effort narrowly wide of the far post after cutting inside the full-back.
The striker then had another chance in a similar position – this time dragging his left-footed effort wide of the post, with the keeper a mere spectator.
The home side had their first shot on goal around 15 minutes in, but Gilks was more than equal to the speculative 30-yard free-kick.
Tom Barkhuizen started on the right of the front three and it was the youngster who delivered a well-flighted cross for Caleb Folan, only for the trialist to see his downward header bounce kindly into the goalkeeper’s midriff.
Chris Basham tried his luck before Osbourne scuffed an effort goalwards, which Diaby helped on its way only for the ball to be smothered by the keeper after the ball came back off the post.
As the first-half drew to a close Eccleston found the side netting with a free-kick from 20 yards.
That turned out to be the last action of a first period that Blackpool dominated but had no goals to show for it.
HALF-TIME: PENRITH 0-0 BLACKPOOL
Paul Ince made ten changes at half-time with only Gilks keeping his place as Thomas Ince, Matt Phillips, Barry Ferguson, Angel Martinez, Craig Cathcart, Gary MacKenzie all entered the fray.
Alberto Noguera was also brought on as he played as the most advanced of the midfield trio and it was the Spaniard who was finding pockets of space and linking the play together well.
Ferguson, Ince and Phillips all interchanged well before the latter stabbed the ball towards the bottom corner only for the keeper to divert the ball away with a strong right hand.
Blackpool put together some fine passing moves on a very dry and uneven surface, but would often get crowded out around the edge of the Penrith box as the side from Cumbria looked to keep Blackpool’s chances to a minimum.
In the 65th minute Pool eventually broke the deadlock; Thomas Ince showed the left-back a clean pair of heels, ran down to the byline before pulling the ball back to the far post where Phillips took one touch and smashed the ball into the far corner.
GOAL: Penrith 0-1 BLACKPOOL
Ince was the next to test the Penrith keeper but the shot-stopper stood up well to the winger’s curling effort from a tight angle.
The chances kept coming for Blackpool with Ince, Ferguson and Martinez all threatening before Ince measured one to perfection off a well worked corner, bending a left-footed shot into the far corner.
GOAL: Penrith 0-2 BLACKPOOL
The lay-off for the goal came from Martinez who linked up well with the winger from the short corner.
Martinez, Noguera and Ferguson all linked up well and ensured that Blackpool rarely lost possession for the final ten minutes.
FULL-TIME: PENRITH 0-2 BLACKPOOL