Blackpool survived a scare at home to Solihull Moors, as Jay Spearing’s extra-time penalty setup an Emirates FA Cup third round tie with Arsenal.
The skipper stepped up to seal a 3-2 victory after the Vanarama National League side had pegged The Seasiders back to force an additional 30 minutes of action.
The hosts had earlier been two goals to the good thanks to Armand Gnanduillet and Joe Dodoo, however a brace from Adi Yussuf made this replay a real cup encounter.
Manager Terry McPhillips opted to make two changes to side for the replay, with Curtis Tilt and Armand Gnanduillet all returned to starting line-up.
It was the visitors who were first to threaten, as defender Liam Daly sent a downward header just wide of the post inside two minutes.
However, Blackpool responded by taking the lead in the 10th minute. Armand Gnanduillet was the scorer, smashing in on the volley to register his ninth goal of the season.
The Seasiders needed Mark Howard to preserve that advantage moments later, when a strike took a ricochet and found Adi Yussuf eight yards out. Luckily, the Pool stopper raced off his line to deny the forward with his feet.
That save was made all the more crucial when Joe Dodoo scored Blackpool’s second at the other end. The on-loan Rangers man slid in to convert a cut back from Marc Bola down the left.
Dodoo’s evening ended prior to the half-hour mark though, having defended a free-kick at the other end that left him injured. The forward hobbled off to be replaced by Nathan Delfouneso.
Solihull then grabbed themselves a lifeline on the back of some poor defending from Blackpool. A long throw into the box was allowed to bounce and Adi Yussuf managed to glance the ball into the bottom corner.
The approach from the visitors was proving to be a direct one, with the long balls and aerial battles proving problematic for The Seasiders’ back five.
Half-Time: Blackpool 2 Solihull Moors 1
Six minutes into the second-half, the away side equalised from the penalty spot. Jay Spearing was adjudged to have fouled a Solihull man while making a clearance, which paved the way for Adi Yussuf to level matters.
Now aiming to restore their lead, Jordan Thompson had a shot from distance for Blackpool, only to see Ryan Boot save it.
At the other end, Jamey Osborne clipped the outside of the post with a strike from just outside the area.
Jay Spearing made a welcome burst through midfield to counter, however Thompson ended up firing wide under pressure.
A real cup tie, Blackpool were now having to muster a response to constant aerial pressure from Solihull. Every flick on was causing issues inside the box.
A well-timed tackle from Donervon Daniels prevented Danny Wright from registering a shot on target, while Adi Yussuf fired wide on the volley.
Both sides pushed for a winner in regular time, but extra-time was to be required to find a winner.
Full-Time: Blackpool 2 Solihull Moors 2
With plenty of tension and drama in the first period of extra-time, it wasn’t until the 105thminute that a key incident occurred. Armand Gnanduillet was adjudged to have been caught by a stray boot, leading to Jay Spearing converting from the penalty spot.
HT in Extra-Time: Blackpool 3 Solihull Moors 2
Blackpool had Curtis Tilt to thank just four minutes after the restart for preserving the slender advantage, as he made a crucial block on the line.
Armand Gnanduillet had the chance to put the tie to bed when he raced clear down the right, only to be denied by the ‘keeper.
Jordan Thompson had a similar opportunity with a minute to go, yet he was unable to beat the covering defender with his shot.
In the end, it didn’t matter, as Blackpool saw the result out.
AET: Blackpool 3 Solihull Moors 2