Report: Doncaster 1 Blackpool 1 (7-8 On Pens)
Dean Lyness made two fine penalties saves to help Blackpool into the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy after a shootout victory over Doncaster Rovers.
Armand Gnanduillet had given The Seasiders a deserved lead at the break with a thumping finish, after latching on to Mark Cullen’s knockdown.
Doncaster levelled through their talisman Andy Williams, whose thumping header flew past Lyness for 1-1.
Cullen twice had the ball in the net only to be denied by the offside flag as the game entered a penalty shootout, where Luke Higham scored the crucial kick.
It was Blackpool who mustered up the first shot on goal, but after piecing together a smart one-two with Cullen, Gnanduillet couldn’t hit the target with his low shot from range.
Powerful running from Mark Yeates kept the momentum in Pool’s favour and when he received the ball back off Bright Osayi-Samuel he forced Marko Marosi to save down low.
It was all Pool and when Osayi-Samuel’s cross wasn’t converted by Cullen they had another chance. Will Aimson’s header from Michael Cain’s corner was cleared off the line, before Gnanduillet’s downward header from Cain’s return forced a stunning one-handed save from Marosi.
Doncaster’s first attempt came from Alfie Beestin, but the midfielder’s low effort was comfortable for Lyness to keep out.
However, it was the visitors who took a deserved lead on 24 minutes. Cullen’s knockdown was clinically dispatched by Gnanduillet, who drilled underneath Marosi for 1-0.
Pool were impressing in South Yorkshire and Gnanduillet nodded Cain’s cross over soon after, before Yeates linked up with Danny Philliskirk and shot at Marosi.
Half-Time: Doncaster 0 Blackpool 1
The Seasiders continued their positive display into the second-half and thought they’d doubled their lead when Cullen headed in Yeates’ cross, but the strike was ruled out for offside.
They were hit by the sucker punch minutes later as well, as Williams thumped a header beyond Lyness after connecting with Niall Mason’s cross.
Blackpool came close to instantly retaking the lead, but both Osayi-Samuel and Gnanduillet couldn’t convert chances which came their way.
Then Cullen wasted a golden opportunity, as the striker’s latched onto a great ball from Yeates, only to scissor kick harmlessly off target. At the other end Williams volleyed into the arms of Lyness.
Blackpool were still impressing however and Gnanduillet headed over from Yeates’ cross soon after. And Cullen once again had the ball in the net soon after, but was flagged offside after netting following a save from Osayi-Samuel.
With 19 minutes remaining Jack Redshaw made his long-awaited return from injury and took the place of Gnanduillet. And soon after Henry Cameron was back involved for the first time since August, taking the place of Osayi-Samuel.
Ten minutes from time Paul Keegan curled a free-kick inches wide of Lyness’ right-hand post, before the goalkeeper held a header from Will Longbottom.
Then, with six minutes to go, a moment to remember for Rowan Roache, who made his senior debut when coming on for Cain.
There would be no further action however and the match would go to penalties and after Lyness twice saved from 12 yards, it was left for Higham to score the crucial goal.
Full-Time: Doncaster 1 Blackpool 1 (7-8 on pens)