Rochdale Equalise Late On To Share SpoilsA late Rochdale equaliser ensured that Ciaran Donnelly's youth side had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Kisimba Kisimba's strike off the post cancelled out Dylan Sumner's effort that for the majority of the game looked to be the match winner.
Blackpool started the game well and put Rochdale on the back foot from the first whistle, winning two corners in quick succession.
The team deservedly took the lead in the fifth minute after a piece of brilliance by Doyle, who played Sumner through to score his first goal for Donnelly’s side since making the step up from the under-16s.
Blackpool continued to probe for a second goal but found themselves restricted to winning corners that Rochdale managed to clear.
Donnelly was then forced to make an early substitution when captain Macauley Wilson was unable to continue due to a knock.
However, the substitution did not disrupt the team’s rhythm as they were inches away from scoring just a few minutes later, Doyle knocked the ball down to Kit Gregory who shot just over the bar.
Doyle, who was dangerous throughout the game, nearly created another opportunity when he outmuscled the defender to play a fizzing low ball into the box that just evaded the path of Gregory.
He also had a strong penalty claim denied when he appeared to be fouled by the onrushing goalkeeper but the referee waved to play on.
The youth team went into the break with the lead and started the second half strongly.
Sumner was close to getting his second goal of the game with a powerful shot but was denied by a great save.
Johnathan Diba-Musangu’s finest moment in goal came a few minutes before the Rochdale goal when he made a fantastic double save to deny Doyle. His heroics proved crucial as Dale equalised with a shot from distance that bounced in off the woodwork.
Despite pressing for a winner, the youth team could not break down a resolute Dale defence.
Assistant Manager John Murphy said: “I thought we had enough to beat them. We went 1-0 up early on and had couple of other little chances, but we let them back into the game really. We need to do better than that, especially nearing the end of the season with no pressure.
“We can motivate them all day long but it’s down to themselves. They should go into each game wanting to do their best regardless of the fixture. It’s down to the individuals to want to win the game.”