It was derby day delight for the youth team, as they ran out convincing 4-1 winners over Preston North End in the North West Youth Alliance on Saturday morning.
Despite going a goal down early on, the Young Seasiders fought back to claim all three points in the West Lancashire derby.
Brad Holmes equalised with a left-footed strike before Michael Fitzgerald added a second just before the break.
The under 18’s came out for the second half full of life, and it paid off. Rob Apter grabbed his first of the morning with a 25-yard strike before adding his second with a clever finish inside the 18-yard box.
Preston started the brighter of the two sides winning a corner in the opening five minutes, but Blackpool did well to clear the danger.
The early pressure paid off for the hosts, as Jacob Holland-Wilkinson latched onto Lombard’s goal kick to finish smartly past Monks.
Although the Seasiders found themselves a goal down, Danny Ventre’s side stepped their game up to pull level just ten minutes later.
Rob Apter found space on the edge of the area to glide past his man and feed Holmes in. The striker worked the ball from right to left to unleash a shot past Lombard and into the back of the net.
Holmes’ goal settled his side, which then allowed the number nine to run in behind the Lilywhite’s defence to cross towards Luke Mariette in the six-yard box, though his header whistled just past the post.
Apter, fresh off first-team duty, looked in the mood. This time, he plucked the ball out of the air with a fantastic touch, teasing Lombard in the Preston goal. Apter saw the ‘keeper off his line and tried to lift the ball over him, but Lombard was alert and recovered well.
Superb work from Prince Yelegon won his side a corner 10 minutes before the break, but little did he know, Blackpool would add a second.
Jack Moore floated the set-piece into the danger zone where Michael Fitzgerald was waiting, and with no hesitation, he connected perfectly and volleyed into the net.
With just minutes to go until the break, Tayt Trusty went close with a volley before Monks was on hand to deny Dooley from distance.
Half-time: Preston North End 1-2 Blackpool
The hosts came out for the second half with a point to prove. After Preston had a corner cleared, Blackpool went from strength to strength.
Holmes wanted more goals, however, Lombard had other ideas and stood firm to keep him out.
Just a minute later, Apter stunned everyone with an unstoppable left-footed strike from distance, leaving Lombard watching the strike ripple the net.
Preston showed glimpses throughout the half. Leigh went close, hitting the outside of the post with a powerful strike.
Moore’s crossing was causing problems, as Sky Sinclair met his latest corner with a huge leap, but he headed over.
Everything was going right for Ventre’s men. Holmes managed to win possession back in the middle of the park to poke a ball through to Apter, and with only the ‘keeper to beat, he made no mistake and added his second of the morning.
Moments later, Holmes raced through on goal and slotted past Lombard, though he looked up to see the linesman’s flag up for offside.
Although there were just seconds left on the clock, it didn’t stop the Seasiders from wanting more.
Joe Strawn, who covered every blade of grass, was instrumental to the Seasiders winning the midfield battle, and because of that, Apter was in on goal again, but Lombard got two strong hands behind the ball to prevent a fifth.
Full-time: Preston North End 1-4 Blackpool
Blackpool: Monks, Moore, Wood (78’ Penman), Sinclair (81’ Squires), Fitzgerald, Strawn, Trusty (81’ Tshola), Mariette, Apter, Yelegon (81’ Harrison), Holmes.
Unused subs: McLachlan