Victory Guarantees Top SpotBlackpool won the Youth Alliance’s North West league thanks to goals from George Lomax and Dom Telford against Morecambe at Squires Gate on Saturday.
The young Seasiders were also helped by second-placed Oldham Athletic’s 5-5 draw at Wigan Athletic, which made Pool champions on points-per-match with one league fixture left.
After a frustrating first half, Lomax fired The Seasiders in front early in the second period before Telford sealed victory with the last kick of the game.
Ahead of the match, Kyle made one change to the team which was beaten 2-1 by Carlisle United at the training ground three days earlier.
Dion Charles returned to the starting line-up in place of Conor Ready on the left wing, while there was also a spot on the bench for next season’s scholars Macauley Wilson and Elliot Pond.
Blackpool knew a win would seal the North West crown if Oldham failed to beat Wigan, but they found it difficult to break through bottom-club Morecambe’s dogged defence.
Henry Cameron had the ball in the net when he burst in behind the Shrimps’ defence after five minutes, but the winger was flagged offside.
And the visitors almost sneaked in front when a loose pass to Connor Hunt forced the Pool goalkeeper to clear the ball off Morecambe striker Jack Preston, with it landing just wide of the post.
Telford had chances to give the Tangerines a half-time lead, though, when his low drive from Charles’ pullback on the left was parried by Shrimps keeper Maxwell Povey.
Another effort from the striker flashed just wide of Povey’s far post from the left, but it remained goalless at the interval.
HALF-TIME: Blackpool 0-0 Morecambe.
With Oldham 4-1 behind against Wigan at half-time in their match, Pool came out stronger in the second period, sensing their chance to capitalise, and needed just five minutes to break the deadlock.
Lomax latched onto defender Harrison McGahey’s clearance, collecting the ball inside the box before calmly lofting over Povey for his 20th goal of the season.
Captain Sam Staunton-Turner then had the chance to double Pool’s lead on the hour mark when he drove straight into Povey’s gloves on the right side of the box.
McGahey also glanced a header just wide from Cameron’s corner on the left before substitute Ready struck narrowly wide of the far post from the right.
Lomax could even have grabbed his second to finish the contest late on when McGahey drilled across the six-yard box from Cameron’s corner, but the striker was inches away from turning into an empty net.
However, Telford put the icing on the cake in the 93rd minute by collecting a ball over the top before drilling across goal into the far corner, which meant Pool moved out of Oldham’s reach at the top of the table.
The Tangerines will take on Port Vale at the training ground in their final league fixture of the season, on Saturday 12 April (11am kick-off).
FULL-TIME: Blackpool 2-0 Morecambe.
BLACKPOOL [4-4-2]: Hunt; Richardson, Moulden, McGahey, Higham; Cameron, Waddington, Staunton-Turner (c), Charles; Telford, Lomax.
SUBS: Milton, Thurston, Wilson, Ready, Pond.
GOALS: Lomax 50, Telford 90+3.
BOOKED: Cameron, Richardson, Higham.
MORECAMBE [4-4-2]: Povey; McGowan (c), Reynolds, Bailey, Smith; Dunleavy, Lewis, Naylor, Newby; Preston, Woods.
SUBS: Newton, Towers, Hilton, Robert, Hall.
REFEREE: Mr A. Sykes.
Richie Kyle’s side will now turn their attention to the Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup, where they face Preston North End in the semi-finals at Springfields on Wednesday (1pm kick-off).