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Youth Team Through To FA Youth Cup Semi-Finals

Under-18s Beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2 At Ewood Park

6 March 2018

Rowan Roache scored a penalty in the second minute of stoppage time to send Blackpool through to the last four of the 2017/18 FA Youth Cup.

The visitors had taken the lead through Fin Sinclair-Smith’s strike, but two goals put Blackburn in front. Will Dunne then equalised with four minutes to go, before Roache tucked home from the spot to give The Seasiders the victory.

Rovers had gone down to ten-men earlier in the second-half, when George Wilson was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Jack Newton.

The first effort on goal came from Rowan Roache, who fired a free-kick just over the top of the bar. The free-kick came from a Blackpool break, after Rovers themselves had seen a set piece cleared away.

After a sustained period of pressure from the visitors, Blackburn finally had a meaningful attack. Brad Lynch jinked past Tom Williams, and took the ball into the Blackpool box, but could only fire straight into the arms of Craig Thordarson.

Matthew Campbell was then forced into action with a double save. Nathan Shaw had the first effort, from outside the box. The Blackburn ‘keeper saved low to his right, but his parry found Owen Watkinson. Campbell got up to save from the on-rushing Blackpool striker to keep the scores level.

Jack Newton was booked in the 21st minute, after a late rash challenge on John Buckley in the middle of midfield. The referee had allowed advantage to be played before coming back to deal with the incident.

Blackpool then came close through Fin Sinclair-Smith. The midfielder took a touch round his man, before firing a shot off the crossbar from 20 yards out. Nathan Shaw tried to get on the rebound, but the ball bounced away from the winger.

Immediately after that, Blackburn countered, with Jack Vale getting free down the right. The winger’s ball into the box was parried out by Craig Thordarson, before Tom Williams got in the way of the next effort on goal. A crazy thirty seconds, but still no score by the half-hour mark.

Sinclair-Smith then came close again. Blackpool got down the left thanks to some good play from Rowan Roache and Nathan Shaw, with the latter’s ball in falling to the midfielder. Sinclair-Smith’s first shot was blocked, with the rebound going over the bar.

Just a minute later, and Rowan Roache had a golden opportunity. Fin Sinclair-Smith clipped the ball in from the right, with Roache arriving into the box late. He took a touch, but couldn't quite get the right contact with his second touch, and the ball went harmlessly wide of the near post.

The action started to come thick and fast towards the end of the second-half, with Blackburn then coming close. Will Avon got in the way to block Hayden Carter’s effort, which rolled safely into Craig Thordarson’s hands.

The final action of the first period saw Blackburn come close. George Wilson cut inside onto his left foot and advancing into a shooting position. He fired just over the bar, with the referee then blowing the whistle for the end of the first half.

Half Time: Blackburn Rovers 0 Blackpool 0

The first action of the second-half sees Blackburn attack, with a ball slid through for Hayden Carter, but Will Avon slides across to get there in the nick of time and stop the ball reaching the Blackburn striker.

Blackburn get the first shot away of the second half, with Jack Evans’ effort from outside the area being easily saved by Craig Thordarson down to his right. The home side almost got in again a minute later, but Hayden Carter’s touch evades him and Tom Williams is able to clear the ball away.

Seven minutes later and Blackpool should have gone in front. Ben Jacobson’s effort from distance went past Matthew Campbell and hit the upright, with Owen Watkinson then blazing the rebound over the bar.

Blackpool opened the scoring ten minutes into the second-half through Fin Sinclair-Smith. Dylan Sumner played a wonderful cross-field ball to find Rowan Roache, who got past a defender before playing the ball into the box. FSS headed onto the bar, before tapping home the rebound to make it 1-0.

Three minutes later, Blackburn went down to ten men. George Wilson went straight through Jack Newton, and the referee did not hesitate to brandish the red card.

Soon after, the referee cautioned Dylan Sumner. The Blackpool midfielder brought down John Buckley as Blackburn tried to counter. Rovers wanted to play it quickly and did put the ball in the net, but the referee had none of it as he was showing Sumner the yellow card.

Rovers then got back on level terms in the 62nd minute. A deep corner swung in from the right side was met by Hayden Carter at the back post, with the ball sneaking past Craig Thordarson. Immediately after, the hosts made a change, with James Connolly coming on for Flavien-Enzo Boyomo.

Halfway through the second period, Jack Newton had to be withdrawn, with the effects of that harsh challenge still showing. Brendan O’Brien came on in his place for the visitors. Just a minute later, Nana Adarkwa also had to come off through injury, with Sam Maddox coming on in his place.

Matthew Campbell was called in to action on the 72-minute mark, after Nathan Shaw had played a cross-field ball to Rowan Roache on the right. The midfielder’s dinked cross almost went over the Rovers’ ‘keeper and in at the far post, but Campbell was alert to the danger.

Moments later, and Blackburn made it 2-1, despite having ten-men. The ball fell to Jack Vale on the edge of the box, and his curling effort found the top corner, with Craig Thordarson having no chance.

Craig Thordarson then made a save to keep Blackpool in the tie. He got across well to stop Brad Lynch’s curling shot with an outstretched left hand. The Blackburn winger then came off, to be replaced by Daniel Pike. The visitors also made a change, with Will Dunne coming on for Tom Williams, in an attacking move.

Five minutes from time, Owen Watkinson nearly made it two apiece. Rowan Roache’s clipped ball into the box was met by the striker, but his header from 12 yards out went narrowly wide of the far post.

A minute later, and the scores were level. Will Dunne rose highest amongst a group of players to head home from close range from Rowan Roache’s delightful cross into the box.

Blackpool so nearly took the lead with a minute to go, as Rowan Roache’s ball into the box deflected into the hands of the scrambling Matthew Campbell.

Owen Watkinson had another chance to score as the ball fell to him, but a great block stopped the ball from crossing the line. However, Watkinson then went for the rebound and was fouled, giving the visitors a penalty.

Rowan Roache stepped up and scored from the spot to make it 3-2 to Blackpool in the second minute of four added on. Two goals on six minutes turned the game in its head again.

Kyle Connell then came on for John Buckley as Rovers made their final change with two minutes to go.

Full-Time: Blackburn Rovers 2 Blackpool 3

Goals: Sinclair-Smith (55’), Dunne (87’), Roache (pen 90+2’)

Team: Thordarson; Williams (Dunne 78’), Avon, Jacobson (c); Adarkwa (Maddox 68’), Sumner, Newton (O’Brien 66’), Shaw; Roache, Sinclair-Smith; Watkinson

Unused Subs: Maddox, Simson, O’Brien, Dunne, Jaaskelainen

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