Seasiders Beat Preston 4-1Blackpool reached the Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup Final with a 4-1 win at rivals Preston North End on Wednesday.
Goals from Harrison McGahey, Sam Staunton-Turner, Dom Telford and George Lomax fired the young Seasiders into the showpiece event against Oldham Athletic at Bloomfield Road.
North End got back into the match when Jack Ryan reduced their deficit to 2-1 going into half-time, but spectacular strikes from Telford and Lomax saw Pool over the line in the second period at Springfields training ground.
Having wrapped up the Youth Alliance’s North West league title on Saturday, Richie Kyle, Head of Coaching, opted to name the same side which beat Morecambe 2-0 at the weekend.
However, he was forced to bring off defender Rowan Richardson after 13 minutes when the full-back suffered a nosebleed.
Mitch Clayton was the replacement, and it was the midfielder in front of him, Dion Charles, who had the first effort on goal when the winger blasted over from Henry Cameron’s pullback.
The Tangerines’ strong start was rewarded with a penalty after 20 minutes, when Lilywhites defender George Gray bundled over Telford when the striker was played in by Charles.
McGahey stepped up to place the resulting spot-kick into the bottom-left corner, sending goalkeeper Tom Quinn the wrong way to put Pool in front.
Striker George Lomax then had the ball in the net for Blackpool again seven minutes later, but he was judged to have fouled Quinn when jumping with the keeper.
However, the young Seasiders got their second goal through a sublime passing move involving Lomax on the half-hour mark.
The striker flicked defender Joe Moulden’s pass forward into the path of skipper Staunton-Turner on the inside right, and after the midfielder burst forward, he hit a powerful strike low across goal to double Pool’s lead.
Lomax forced a strong hand from Quinn soon after when he cut in from the right and unleashed a fierce strike.
Although The Tangerines’ dominance came to a halt a minute before half-time, when Ryan turned Jordan Scott’s pass through the centre past Connor Hunt at his far post.
HALF-TIME: Preston 1 Blackpool 2
Nick Harrison’s side were looking to level the match after the break although the chances went Blackpool’s way, with Charles blasting over the crossbar from one of the clearest openings on the edge of the box.
And Pool restored their two-goal cushion on the hour mark when Telford hit a low strike from the edge of the area into Quinn’s far corner.
McGahey could easily have had his second seven minutes later but his blast from the edge of the box rattled the crossbar at the top corner, with Quinn beaten.
Cameron then cut in from the right but turned his effort low into the goalkeeper’s hands at the near post.
However, Lomax put the icing on the cake with a stunning finish five minutes into added time, by latching onto McGahey’s long ball forward and hitting a first-time, looping half-volley over Quinn from outside the box to seal the win.
Kyle’s side will take on Oldham, who are second in the North West table, in the cup final at Bloomfield Road, with the date to be announced in due course.
FULL-TIME: Preston 1 Blackpool4
BLACKPOOL: Hunt; Richardson (Clayton, 13), Moulden, McGahey, Higham; Cameron (Rowley, 80), Waddington, Staunton-Turner (c), Charles (Ready, 61); Telford, Lomax.
SUBS: Milton, Clayton, Rowley, Ready.
GOALS: McGahey, Staunton-Turner, Telford, Lomax.
PRESTON: Quinn; Gray, Sampson, Roscoe, Anderton; Robinson, Scott (Livesey, 75), Holmes, Pritchard (Magolis, 70); Ryan, Forbes (c).
SUBS: Bunclark, Dalton, Hagon, Magolis, Livesey.