First-half goals from Rowan Roache and Owen Watkinson helped Blackpool book a place in the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory at Ipswich Town.
Blackpool started the better side, and went ahead after just six minutes. Rowan Roache’s effort was deflected off the top of the wall past the helpless Mitchell Ware in the Ipswich net.
It could have been two moments later, when Owen Watkinson looked to find Roache in the box, but the ball was blocked well by the sliding Ross Marshall.
The hosts then had a penalty shout turned down, as Idris El Mizouni went down too easily, and the referee waved play on.
As Ipswich maintained pressure, Blackpool countered to score their second. Rowan Roache carried the ball forward, before finding Owen Watkinson in the box, with the striker chesting the ball down before prodding it past the ‘keeper to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
It was nearly 3-0 on the half hour mark, as Nana Adarkwa got past Corrie Ndaba down the right. His ball across goal was deflected and well saved by Ware in the Ipswich goal.
There were no real clear-cut chances in the remaining 15 minutes of the first-half, with Tom Williams’ back post clearing header the best action, as Blackpool went into the break two goals to the good.
The hosts started the second period of play well, with El Mizouni trying to hit one from long range, but Jack Newton got across to block the shot.
Half-Time: Ipswich Town 0 Blackpool 2
Blackpool nearly countered to great effect once again, as Nathan Shaw brought the ball forward down the left. He then found Fin Sinclair-Smith, who jinked inside the defender, but Tristan Nydam made a goal-saving block to keep Ipswich in the tie.
The home side made their first change before the hour mark, with Albert Wilson coming on to replace Ben Knight down the hosts right side.
Owen Watkinson came close to making it 3-0, but his close range effort was saved well by Mitchell Ware at his near post.
The hosts then made their second change of the game, with Armando Dobra being replaced by Lounes Foudil, before El Mizouni became the first man in the referee’s book for dissent.
Owen Watkinson then became the second man in the referee’s book because of a show of dissent. There was even some pushing and shoving between both teams, but the referee was able to calm everything down before things escalated.
Ipswich had a succession of corners, but The Seasiders were able to keep the ball away from their goal. As Blackpool looked to counter from the last corner, Nathan Shaw was brought down my Tristan Nydam, with the Town midfielder going into the book for the foul.
With Ipswich starting to gain momentum, Blackpool made their first change. Nana Adarkwa came off, to be replaced by Brendan O’Brien.
Ipswich made their final change with eight minutes to go, as Steven Cahill replaced the cramp-riddled Tristan Nydam. Town should have got one back from the next passage of play, but Ross Marshall headed well over the bar from close range.
Emil Jaaskelainen replaced Owen Watkinson in Blackpool’s second change, and was immediately brought down by Ross Marshall, earning the Ipswich centre-half a yellow card.
As the clock hit 90 minutes, Craig Thordarson saved a point-blank header to keep Blackpool two goals to the good. The officials added on five minutes of stoppage time.
Blackpool made their final change a minute later, with Will Dunne coming on to replace Fin Sinclair-Smith, as Ipswich continued to press for a goal to keep them in the game.
Craig Thordarson was booked late on for time-wasting and Corrie Ndaba missed a late header, as Blackpool held on for an historic win.
Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers, who meet on Tuesday 6 February, will now do battle to face The Seasiders in the next stage of the competition.
Full-Time: Ipswich Town 0 Blackpool 2
Team: Thordarson; Williams, Avon, Jacobson; Adarkwa (O’Brien 80’), Newton, Sumner, Shaw; Roache; Watkinson (Jaaskelainen 86’), Sinclair-Smith (Dunne 90’)
Unused: Simson, Wainwright