Kyle's Side Beat Rochdale 3-2Blackpool Youth ended their league campaign with a 3-2 win against title-hopefuls Rochdale at Squires Gate.
Two late goals from the visitors gave the score-line an unfair reflection, after The Seasiders raced into a three-goal lead thanks to strikes from Alieu Njie, Kit Gregory and Ralph Chea.
Rochdale were reduced to ten men before striking two late goals to set up a nervy finish, but Blackpool saw the game out to earn an impressive three points.
Before the game, manager Richie Kyle said his side were intent on spoiling the party for ‘Dale, who might have won the league at Squires had they picked up the three points.
Blackpool went into the game on a run of one defeat in seven, and they took the game to the visitors from the off, Gregory beating two men down the right hand side before firing straight at the Rochdale goalkeeper after nine minutes.
A minute later and Blackpool were nearly in, great link up play between Chea and the industrious Elliot Pond, who saw his curling effort saved from 18 yards.
Njie was tremendous in midfield for Blackpool, and he set up Pond on 19 minutes, a great ball from midfield found the striker, but his first time effort was saved.
Blackpool have made a habit of scoring free-kicks recently, and on 27 minutes they were at it again, this time Njie stepped up and scored with a brilliant effort from a wide angle to give the team a deserved lead.
Njie was running the show, and on 39 minutes he set up the second, beating his man in the middle of the park, he drove forward and played in Gregory, who applied a cool finish to double Blackpool’s advantage.
Joe Moulden had clearly taken a leaf out of former Seasider Charlie Adam's book when his audacious shot from inside his own half looked destined to find the net before the goalkeeper produced a good save right on half time.
Two minutes into the second-half and Blackpool were in dreamland, Chea turning his man inside-out before poking home from 12 yards. At this point you would have been excused for thinking it was The Seasiders who were going for the league, not their shell-shocked opponents.
It became a scrappy affair following Chea’s goal, though. The visitors were trying desperately to get back in the match, hitting the bar from a free-kick, but on 70 minutes they faced an even bigger uphill struggle, as Cowan-Smith was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Credit to Rochdale who kept going, they had the ball in the net on 83 minutes which was ruled offside by the linesman, before Pond raced through at the other end to finally beat the keeper, only to be denied by a last ditch tackle.
Rochdale managed to find two late goals to set up a nervy finish, but in truth Blackpool were always comfortable and were good value for the three points.