After a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Owen Watkinson scored the perfect hat-trick to help the under-18s secure all three points in the North West Youth Alliance against Wrexham.
Watkinson stepped off the bench 25 minutes from time and within two minutes scored his first, which was swiftly followed by a left-footed strike and then a right-footed thunderbolt into the top corner.
His introduction broke the deadlock in the encounter and helped the side back up last weekend’s victory against Preston North End.
It was the Seasiders who had the first real chance of the game. Nathan Shaw played in Sean Graham on the right wing, he worked the ball into the box and shot towards goal, but Wrexham were there to clear for corner. From that set piece, the home side cleared.
Wrexham then tried to put Blackpool under pressure. Matty Sargent whipped a wide free-kick into the box towards the red shirts, but Sam Kellett came and collected comfortably.
The hosts came forward again, only to see the attacker brought down in the area, but the referee waved away the protests and awarded a free-kick to the Seasiders.
After a flurry of chances, the home side nearly had the first goal of the game. A cross came in from Dylan Allshorn into the area, and from that cross the ball fell to Bobby Beaumont who had the simple task of slotting the ball into the net, but he got it wrong and fired over.
Blackpool were looking to regain control with a chance from Sam Maddox. Shaw played a quick free-kick to Maddox on the edge of the 18 yard-box, who then shot but that was cleared away.
The visitors then hit the woodwork. Will Avon played a diagonal ball to Graham, he slotted a ball through to Shaw and he shot, only to see his effort cannon back off the post.
With five minutes to go, Blackpool looked to get the opener. A loose pass from the Wrexham defence allowed Andy Kanga to pick up the ball, he played in Ewan Bange, but his shot was straight at the keeper.
Wrexham then had the ball in the back of the net. A free-kick was crossed into the area which was met with a well-timed header, but as the home side went to celebrate, the referee disallowed the goal for offside.
Half-Time: Wrexham 0 Blackpool 0
After the interval Wrexham got the second-half underway, from which they created a half chance. A cross from Allshorn flashed across the face of Blackpool’s goal, but no one in a Wrexham shirt could get on the end of it and the ball went out for a goal kick.
Blackpool had their first corner of the half which Wrexham cleared. Then not long after, the home side won a free-kick just outside the area. Sargent took it, but the Blackpool wall stood firm as the ball was smashed against the line of blue shirts and the danger was cleared.
Then came Owen Watkinson’s introduction for Blackpool after 12 weeks out with a hamstring injury.
After the substitution, Max Rogers picked the ball up and turned towards goal, he shot but his effort went just wide of the post.
Then the visitors scored the first goal of the game. Shortly after being introduced Owen Watkinson headed in to the net. Shaw got down the left, turned his man and crossed towards the penalty spot where Watkinson was waiting to give pool the lead.
Moments later, Watkinson scored his and Blackpool’s second goal of the game. Rogers played the ball out to Nathan Shaw, he then threaded a through ball to Watkinson and as Ben Tinkley rushed out he slotted left footed past him.
Wrexham then tried their luck from long range, but the effort went wide of Sam Kellett’s post.
Ten minutes from time, Watkinson’s perfect hat-trick was complete. After being introduced a few minutes earlier, Sky Sinclair played a ball to the edge of the 18-yard box where Watkinson was waiting, he turned and rocketed a shot into the top corner.
Although Blackpool had three, Wrexham were still searching for a goal. First a ball which was flicked on from a cross towards goal was collected by Kellett, then Jake Bickerstaff found a way through Blackpool’s defence towards goal, he tried chipping Kellett, but that went wide of the post.
With one-minute left on the clock Kanga tried a dipping shot from range, but that went wide.
Full-Time: Wrexham 0 Blackpool 3
Blackpool: Kellett, Williams, Winstanley, Maddox, Avon (Turner), Ravenscroft (Rogers), Graham, Shaw (Sinclair), Bange, Kanga, McGladdery (Watkinson).