Blackpool advanced to the Fifth Round of this season’s FA Youth Cup after beating Southampton on penalty kicks.
The first-half saw Southampton in the ascendancy, with Harlem Hale missing the game’s first real chance. The Saints winger fired over on the half volley after he was played in by Javen Siu.
Blackpool’s best chance of the opening exchanges came from Jack Newton. The midfielder curled an effort with his left foot, but it just clipped the top of the crossbar before going over for a goal kick.
Then, the visitors took the lead in the 17th minute. The ball was played into the box from a corner kick, which Blackpool failed to clear, allowing Southampton’s captain, Christophe Klarer, to tap in at the far post.
They nearly doubled the lead soon after through Jake Vokins’ looping ball into the box. The wind caught hold of it, but Craig Thordarson was able to collect the ball on the line to keep the score at 1-0.
Ben Jacobson became the first man into the referee’s book after a rash challenge on Harlem Hale. However, he then redeemed himself with a vital interception in the box, as The Saints had a three-on-one situation.
Hale should have doubled the lead just before the break for Southampton. The ball came into the box from the left side, and his volley went over the bar.
The visitors so nearly got the second on the stroke of half-time. William Smallbone’s long range shot hit the top of the upright and bounced out, with the score staying at 1-0 at the break.
Half Time: Blackpool 0 Southampton 1
Blackpool came out fighting to start the second-half, and soon got the equaliser they were looking for. Fin Sinclair-Smith picked up the ball on the edge of the area, before jinking past a defender and finding the bottom corner to make it 1-1.
The hosts almost completed the turnaround on the hour mark, as Rowan Roache’s deep corner was nearly met by Dylan Sumner, but the midfielder could not get the right contact to steer the ball goal-wards.
The final ten minutes saw plenty of action, with Sumner, Owen Watkinson and Rowan Roache all going close. Fin Sinclair-Smith had a chance to double his tally and seal the game for Blackpool in stoppage time, but his effort went well wide of the far post.
With the scores level at 1-1, the game went to extra time, meaning an additional 30 minutes were to be played.
Full-Time: Blackpool 1 Southampton 1
Southampton started extra time the better side, with Craig Thordarson having to make a smart double save, before Will Avon blocked an indirect free-kick which was goal-bound.
Brendan O’Brien then came on for Nana Adarkwa down the right side. His first main action was to block a certain goal from Enzo Robise on the Southampton left.
Emil Jaaskelainen came on for Owen Watkinson for the second period of extra-time, with Craig Thordarson having to make another good early save.
Dylan Sumner went into the book for a cynical trip, before Thordarson had to make another smart save in the dying minutes to keep out Kornelius Hansen.
With that, the game went to penalties:
- Rowan Roache - SCORED (1-0)
- William Smallbone - SCORED (1-1)
- Emil Jaaskelainen - SCORED (2-1)
- Jake Vokins - SAVED (2-1)
- Brendan O’Brien - SCORED (3-1)
- Jonathon Afolabi - SCORED (3-2)
- Dylan Sumner - SAVED (3-2)
- Michael Obafemi - SAVED (3-2)
- Ben Jacobson - SCORED (4-2)
Final Score: Blackpool 1 Southampton 1 (Blackpool win 4-2 on penalties)
Team: Thordarson; Williams, Avon, Jacobson (c); Adarkwa (O’Brien 95’), Newton, Sumner, Shaw; Roache; Sinclair-Smith, Watkinson (Jaaskelainen 106’)
Unused: Winstanley, Simson (GK), Wainwright
With the victory, Blackpool are through to face Ipswich Town in the Fifth Round (Last 16) of the FA Youth Cup, after they beat Dagenham & Redbridge. In the meantime, the under-18s return to league action on Saturday with a game against local rivals Preston North End.