Report: Everton U21s 1 Blackpool 1 (4-5 On Pens)
Blackpool progressed into the next round of the Checkatrade Trophy after a penalty shootout victory over Everton Under-21s.
Armand Gnanduillet opened the scored in spectacular fashion, as his overhead-kick flew home.
The hosts denied them a simple passage through however, as Harry Charsley ran in unmarked and fired his side level.
It was to be decided by penalties and all five kicks went in for The Seasiders, with Gnanduillet firing home the crucial fifth to put Pool through.
Neither side managed to warm up the crowd during a bitterly cold Goodison Park evening early on. Gnanduillet did at least test Everton’s Mateusz Hewelt, but the goalkeeper comfortably parried the effort.
Following that came the first change, as goalkeeper Sam Slocombe made way for Blackpool, being replaced by Myles Boney.
The home side’s first effort on goal came from Charsley, but his strike flew way off target. Bright Osayi-Samuel had The Seasiders’ next effort, but after being slipped in by Michael Cain, the winger blazed over.
It was Charsley who came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the first-half, but the midfielder’s brilliant, curled shot bounced back off Boney’s crossbar.
Blackpool should have punished their hosts on 36 minutes after great energy from Osayi-Samuel, and the winger’s dangerous cross just needed knocking home but Mark Cullen miscued and slid his effort wide.
A minute before the break Cullen set up his strike partner, but Gnanduillet’s header was never testing Hewelt.
Half-Time: Everton 0 Blackpool 0
If they were wasteful in the opening period, Blackpool took no time to stamp their authority on the game after the break. A spectacular overhead kick from Gnanduillet lit up the contest as it flew past Hewelt.
The striker had a taste for it and his header from Mark Yeates’ corner was heading in before inadvertently being directed away by Cullen.
Osayi-Samuel was looking a threat for The Seasiders and followed up a strong run with a powerful effort which sailed narrowly over. That was the winger’s final contribution and he was replaced by Danny Philliskirk soon after.
Keen to grab his chance, Cullen could have made it two on 74 minutes, but the striker’s effort deflected wide for a corner. And he was punished for that miss as Everton equalised with 11 minutes to go, as Charsley fired home when unmarked.
Cain’s curling effort was close to reinstating Pool’s lead, but Hewelt palmed over. In injury time Yeates’ shot was only parried by the goalkeeper but Gnanduillet lost his composure and missed his kick to win it.
Full-Time: Everton 1 Blackpool 1
GOAL: Darron Gibson 1-0
GOAL: Danny Philliskirk 1-1
GOAL: Harry Charsley 2-1
GOAL: Michael Cain 2-2
GOAL: Gethin Jones 3-2
GOAL: Macauley Wilson 3-3
GOAL: David Henen 4-3
GOAL: Mark Cullen 4-4
MISS: Josef Yarney 4-4
GOAL: Armand Gnanduillet 5-4