The Seasiders Lose After Extra Time
Luckless Blackpool were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup after Bolton Wanderers progressed with the help of extra time.
Alex Samizadeh had put the home side into an early lead, playing to the whistle and firing home despite appeals for a foul by Denzel Williams.
It was the Blackpool central defender who had Ciaran Donnelly’s side level after the break, as he met Rowan Roache’s delightful cross with a thumping header at the back post.
However, with extra time forced and penalties beginning to look likely, Bolton scored the decisive winner, as Cameron Moore reacted quickest to turn home after Dennis Politic had hit the post.
Blackpool’s young side had held their own in the opening stages, but cruelly it was the hosts who took the lead with their first attempt. After appearing to be thwarted by Williams after racing clear, Samizadeh recovered to fire high into the net, beyond Jack Sims.
Donnelly’s side were actually playing the better football, with Finlay Sinclair-Smith and Ben Badu impressing going forward, but Pool were failing to turn possession into chances and Harry Brockbank fired a warning sign when shooting over for Bolton.
It was the lively Samizadeh, who has been on Bolton’s first-team bench this season, causing Pool problems but Sims was equal to his effort on 43 minutes, palming away to safety.
Soon after Jack Earing curled a free-kick narrowly wide as The Seasiders went in for the break behind.
Half-Time: Bolton 1 Blackpool 0
The visitors started the second period much improved in the final third and a marauding run from Dylan Sumner created openings for Roache and Christian N’Guessan, who were both left frustrated by solid Bolton defending.
The Seasiders were struggling to find a breakthrough and were grateful to watch Cole Lonsdale’s free-kick sail harmlessly over the bar.
At the other end the lively Sinclair-Smith once again showed his quick feet to fashion himself an opening but watched his right-footed effort dip too late to trouble Jake Turner.
70 minutes in Donnelly freshened his hand, bringing on Ralph Chea for Liam Robinson. And the winger was instantly involved, forcing Turner to turn his powerful effort out for a corner.
From the resulting set piece Blackpool were rewarded for their efforts with an equaliser. Taken quickly by Roache, the striker floated over a delightful cross which was met by a thumping header from Williams for 1-1.
Both sides had openings straight after the goal, with Sims saving from Samizadeh and Sinclair-Smith having a shot deflected wide.
Sims was proving vital to his team as the half wore on and again excelled to deny substitute Politic with 11 minutes to go. As for Pool, Roache’s influence was becoming more noticeable and the striker flicked over his marker’s head before volleying over.
Seconds later Chea had his own chance but delayed taking on the shot and eventually lofted over the bar.
With a minute to go the tiring Sumner was replaced by Will Dunne and the substitute nearly stole the headlines in the third minute of stoppage time, but his brilliant header was turned behind by the outstretched arm of Turner.
Full-Time: Bolton 1 Blackpool 1
Extra time began with both side probing but failing to really test each other – a glancing Politic header, comfortably save by Sims, being the only moment of note, alongside a cross-cum-shot by Badu which flew just off target.
Extra Time Half-Time: Bolton 1 Blackpool 1
With 15 minutes remaining Pool went for the winner and Chea’s long range effort had to be saved by Turner. However, it was Bolton who took the lead for a second time, against the run of play.
Politic rattled the post from the edge of the box and Moore reacted quickest, turning into an unguarded net with Sims rooted to the floor. That goal knocked the stuffing out of Pool, who had Sims to thank to keeping it to 2-1, denying Luca Navarro.
With four minutes remaining Alwyn Flynn took the field in place of Jack Newton, who’d left nothing out on the pitch. Late on Navarro hit a Pool post and Sinclair-Smith dragged an effort wide as Blackpool were eliminated from the FA Youth Cup.
Extra Time Full-Time: Bolton 2 Blackpool 1