Rufus And Roache On TargetThe youth team won 2-1 against Bradford City at Myercough College in their first game of the Youth Alliance Northern Cup.
Tyler Rufus and Rowan Roache scored the goals that secured the victory and all three points in the group stage of the competition.
The Seasiders started the match on the front foot and nearly scored after just two minutes, when Dylan Sumner played the ball to Roache who shot just over the crossbar.
Just a few minutes later Roache had another effort on goal, this time testing the goalkeeper and forcing him into a good save.
Blackpool continued to press for the first goal and Sumner turned and shot from the edge of the box but was denied by the goalkeeper.
Ciaran Donnelly’s side looked in control of the match but against the run of play the visitors took the lead through a high ball that was played over the defence, leading to a simple tap-in opportunity.
The Seasiders didn’t let the goal faze them and kept creating chances but could not find a way past the Bradford goalkeeper.
Roache curled a low effort into the bottom corner that was saved and shortly after the winger crossed a corner to Denzel Williams who saw his header palmed away.
Alywn Flynn was the next player to have an effort on goal but yet again Bradford’s goalkeeper managed to keep the ball from going into his net.
Roache came close again when the ball looped up in the air after his shot was saved but the goalkeeper did well to recover and punch the ball over the crossbar to stop it going behind the line.
Half-time: Blackpool 0 Bradford City 1
Blackpool started the second half on the front foot again and hit the woodwork twice in a matter of minutes.
First Roache hit the post from inside the box, before Richards rattled the crossbar with an effort from distance.
Donnelly pressed his team for an equaliser and made an attacking substitution with the introduction of Tyler Rufus as a second striker, which proved to be the crucial moment of the match.
Just three minutes after being on the pitch Rufus levelled the scores when he controlled Jack Sims’ goalkick and scored with a powerful shot from inside the area.
The Seasiders were boosted by the equaliser and added a second goal just moments later. Rufus played a sublime through ball to allow Roache through on goal and he kept his composure to slot past the goalkeeper.
Full-time: Blackpool 2 Bradford City 1
Speaking after the game, Donnelly said: “I am pleased, mainly because we worked all week on playing with more tempo and I thought we did that really well.
“As the game wore on they couldn’t deal with our energy and the way we move the ball around really quickly.”
As well as playing Bradford, Donnelly’s side will also face Rotherham and Morecambe in the group stage of the Youth Alliance Cup.
“It’s interesting to play different teams that aren’t in our league so we don’t know what they’ll be like.
“We’ve got five injuries at the moment but we have a good squad of quality players this year and I think we can do really well.”