Rufus Goal Enough For VictoryThe youth team beat Port Vale 1-0 in their final home match of the season on Saturday thanks to a goal from Tyler Rufus.
Rufus scored what proved to be the decisive goal in the 13th minute from Rowan Roache’s free-kick, after Elliot Pond had previously been fouled just inside the Port Vale half. Roache's exquisite ball into the box was bundled into the net by the winger.
Roache nearly got a goal himself just a few minutes later when the ball bounced to him at the edge of the box, however his effort was well saved.
The Seasiders weren’t content with just a one-goal lead and continued to press the visitors.
Ben Badu went close with a curling shot from the edge of the box, before Lewis Wainwright attempted a spectacular long-range effort that went just over the bar.
Badu then hit the crossbar with a powerful effort on the half hour mark.
Just before half-time, Roache won a free-kick in a dangerous area and after dusting himself off, he took it and curled the ball just a few inches wide of the top left corner.
Half-Time: Blackpool 1-0 Port Vale
After the break Blackpool continued their solid form from the first-half and Vale did not have a sniff of the goal until the hour mark.
A cutting through ball played a Vale player through on goal but Caleb Richards did great to recover and Jack Sims palmed the ball away for a corner.
The save galvanised Ciaran Donnelly’s side as they pushed on in the game.
Just a few minutes later, Jack Newton flicked the ball into the path of Badu who crossed the ball to Elliot Pond, making his first start since February. The striker saw his shot smothered by a defender.
The final chance of the game fell to Badu who shot from inside the box but was denied by a great save.
Overall, it was a solid win for the youth team ahead of their Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup final against Oldham Athletic on Tuesday.
Full-Time: Blackpool 1-0 Port Vale
After the game, Academy Manager Ciaran Donnelly said: “It was a good performance overall. It was a chance for us to take a look at next year’s squad with a lot of Under-16s and 17s playing in the team.
“We got the ball about well and played some good football. At times it did have an end of season feel to the game but overall I was really pleased with the performance.”