Blackpool drew 2-2 away at Accrington Stanley, as The Seasiders prepare for Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup tie against Southampton.
The Seasiders started the better side, with Fin Sinclair-Smith hitting the bottom of the left upright in the fourth minute. The visitors continued to keep the pressure on, forcing Nathan Wolland into some very early, smart saves in the Stanley goal.
Blackpool then came under some pressure themselves, with Accrington looking to get a foothold in the game. Both Ben Jacobson and Emil Jaaskelainen were needed to block efforts on goal in a five-minute spell for the hosts.
On the half-hour mark, the visitors were back with the momentum. Firstly, Owen Watkinson won a header in the box, but it fell into the arms of Wolland, before Fin Sinclair-Smith forced the Stanley ‘keeper into another smart save.
The breakthrough came three minutes before the break. Ben Jacobson played the ball into the box from the back, and Owen Watkinson rose to head home before the out-coming goalkeeper could get his hands to it.
Half Time: Accrington Stanley 0 Blackpool 1
Ten minutes into the second-half and the lead could have been doubled. Owen Watkinson got in front of his man but his glancing header, from Fin Sinclair-Smith’s ball in, went wide of the far post.
Emil Jaaskelainen then had a carbon copy chance, but from the other side. Nathan Shaw crossed the ball in from the left, but Jaaskelainen was unable to get the right contact on the ball to score.
Nathan Wolland then made another good save, catching and holding a shot from Dylan Sumner before Blackpool made their first change. Sean Graham came on for Emil Jaaskelainen, seeing Fin Sinclair-Smith move further forward.
With 20 minutes to go, Stanley levelled against the run of play. A long ball saw Harry Waterhouse through on goal, and he slid the ball past the rushing Craig Thordarson to make it 1-1.
Minutes later, and Blackpool had another good opportunity with a free kick on the edge of the box. However, the effort clipped the wall and deflected safely into the grateful arms of Nathan Wolland.
Shortly after, Blackpool took the lead for the second time on the day. Fin Sinclair-Smith got past his man on the right, before whipping a ball into the far post where Nathan Shaw volleyed home from close range, making it 2-1 to the visitors with ten minutes to play.
However, an old face came back to haunt Blackpool. John Jo Morris scored the equaliser with a sublime volley from outside the area. The ball took an age to drop after it was headed out of the box, but Morris volleyed into the far corner to bring Accrington back level.
Blackpool could have won it, but Wolland came to the rescue for Stanley once again. This time, the ball came across the box and fell at the feet of Nana Adarkwa, but Wolland’s outstretched left foot did enough to stop the shot.
The final chance of the game fell to Blackpool, as Fin Sinclair-Smith showed some trickery to get down the left hand side and into the box. Unfortunately, his pull back could only find a defender who was able to clear, with the game finishing 2-2.
Full-Time: Accrington Stanley 2 Blackpool 2
Team: Thordarson; Williams, Avon, Jacobson (c); Adarkwa, Sumner, O’Brien, Shaw; Sinclair-Smith; Watkinson, Jaaskelainen (Graham 64’)
Blackpool’s next fixture comes against Southampton in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round on Tuesday evening. The game is at Bloomfield Road and kicks off at 7pm, with Blackpool knowing they could face an away trip to either Ipswich Town or Dagenham and Redbridge if they are successful.