Blackpool eased into the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with a comfortable 4-1 win over Lancashire rivals, Morecambe.
Goals from Nathan Delfouneso, Armand Gnanduillet, Matty Virtue and Sullay Kaiaki ensured the Seasiders safe passage into the second round on a cold afternoon at Bloomfield Road.
Armand Gnanduillet had a decent effort five minutes into the match. Following a foul around 40 yards from goal, Sullay Kaikai curled in a lovely free-kick which met Gnanduillet’s head, but the effort was well held by Mark Halstead.
Not even ten minutes had passed when Blackpool took the lead. A scrappy bit of play in the penalty area had the ball bouncing around with Nathan Delfouneso first on hand to dink a looping header over Halstead from just five yards out and into the goal to give the home side a deserved early lead.
Ten minutes later and Morecambe’s captain, Sam Lavelle, hit the crossbar with a fantastic effort after peeling away at the back post following a free-kick. His first time effort with his right foot smashed against the woodwork and bounced clear.
Morecambe lived to regret missing that chance as Armand Gnanduillet made it 2-0 60 seconds later. A corner was whipped in and the frontman used all of his power to rise above everyone else and head home on just 23 minutes.
Despite being behind, Morecambe created chances to score throughout the first 45 minutes and hit the woodwork again just before half-time.
After the ball was cleared away following a cross, Cole Stockton controlled the ball well on the edge of the area and took a shot from distance only for it to hit the far post.
And yet again, the Seasiders made the visitors rue their missed chances as Matty Virtue made it 3-0 two minutes later.
A cross from Gnanduillet on the left hand side was palmed away by Halstead only to fall to Virtue who passed into an empty net.
It was end to end action and the visitors got on the scoresheet in the dying moments of the first half. A shot from Tom Brewitt was fumbled by Alnwick in the Blackpool goal and Cole Stockton was there to smash home the rebound and make it 3-1 at the interval.
Half-Time: Blackpool 3 Morecambe 1
The second half was a much calmer affair, with Blackpool doing well to nullify any threats posed by Morecambe.
The Seasiders did catch the visitors on the counter-attack a few times – Liam Feeney fed a lovely ball into the box from the right, aiming for Gnanduillet but the Morecambe defender just cut it out in time.
Ten minutes from time, Blackpool mustered up a stunning counter-attack involving four players, with Gnanduillet squaring the ball to Sullay Kaikai who hit it first time from just outside the area, but way over Halstead’s goal.
The number ten, who impressed all afternoon, got his goal five minutes from time with a lovely side step past a defender and smashing the ball into the net to get the Seasiders fourth of the afternoon and safely into Monday night’s draw for the second round.
Full-Time: Blackpool 4 Morecambe 1
Team: Alnwick, Edwards, Heneghan, Delfouneso, Spearing, Kaikai, Feeney (Nuttall, 79’), Virtue (Guy, 61’), Gnanduillet, Husband, Macdonald (Turton, 61’).
Subs Not Used: Scannell, Thompson, Tilt, Sims.