The under-18’s battled hard to earn three points in the Youth Alliance on Saturday, narrowly beating Port Vale away from home.
Danny Ventre’s side are in a rich vein of form, having made it four games unbeaten in the league – scoring ten goals in the process.
Rob Apter’s deflected strike gave the Seasiders an early lead in the opening ten minutes, before Brad Holmes doubled the Seasiders’ lead just six minutes later.
Port Vale weren’t for lying down, and they battled right until the final whistle, earning themselves a goal through Eden Bailey.
It was the hosts who started on the front foot, winning a corner early on. However, the Seasiders defended solidly and cleared the danger.
Then, just four minutes later, the deadlock was broken. Ewan Bange was able to poke the ball back into Apter’s path for a snap-shot. His effort – which was initially travelling wide of the post – took a deflection off a white shirt and trickled over the line to give ‘Pool the lead.
Ventre’s men were starting to get into the groove. Holmes forced his way into the area powerfully before striking a shot straight at Joe Collinge, who saved well.
Holmes’ persistence then paid off. Matty Liptrott hunted the ball down superbly, intercepting the ball from Ammar Dyer at left-back. He then ventured into the area to square to Holmes. His initial shot at goal was blocked, but if at first you don’t succeed, you try again, and that’s just what he did, powerfully striking past Collinge and into the bottom corner.
The Valiants came forward looking for a response when their strong appeals for a penalty were waved away by the referee and play continued.
A third nearly came for the Seasiders after Holmes’ dipping effort was somehow turned onto the post by Collinge to keep his side in the game.
Just before the interval the hosts looked to half the deficit, though Taz Chibaya shot high over the bar from a quickly taken free-kick.
Half-time: Port Vale 0-2 Blackpool
Blackpool came out flying in the second half. Liptrott again found himself free in the 18-yard box looking to thread a ball through to Bange, but Collinge came and gathered.
Vale then controlled the game for a short spell, which eventually sprung Charlie Monks into life. He was quick off his line to sprint and smother the ball, denying Dyer inside the area.
A quiet second half came to life in the last 15 minutes, with the hosts pulling a goal back through Bailey. A ball played into the box found the number nine, who tapped in from close range.
Right at the death, Monks was on hand to produce another terrific save, keeping out Abdi Osman.
Then, as the referee kept looking at his watch, Bange attempted the spectacular. He saw Collinge off his line to lob the ball over him from the halfway line, but his effort struck the outside of the post.
Full-Time: Port Vale 1-2 Blackpool
Blackpool: Monks, Goumou (Turner 85’), Moore, Sinclair, Fitzgerald, Liptrott (Tshola 61’), Apter, Trusty, Bange, Mariette, Holmes.
Unused subs: McLachlan, Matshazi, Harrison.