The youth team suffered a 2-1 defeat in the North West Youth Alliance to Tranmere Rovers on Saturday morning.
Despite James Harrison equalising just before the break, goals from Ryan Stratulis and Jamie Timlin were enough for the hosts to claim all three points.
With several regular starters missing, a full debut was handed to U16’s midfielder, Luke Byron. Perez Goumou, Ellis Wilson, and Prince Yelegon also came into the starting XI.
Although he started the game, Prince Yelegon was forced off in the early stages after a strong challenge left him unable to continue.
The game eventually started to find its rhythm, though it was Tranmere who nearly struck first through Stratulis - his effort went just wide of the post.
Danny Ventre’s side were putting together some slick, passing moves and one nearly paid off when Jak Wood crossed into Tayt Trusty, only for the midfielder to see his glancing header sneak past the post.
Ten minutes later, though, Tranmere found the breakthrough. A Blackpool corner was claimed by Ben Jones in Rovers’ goal, whose quick distribution found Stratulis. He fancied his chances from range and saw a right-footed strike trickle off the post and into the net.
It didn’t take long for a reply, as James Harrison forced the Tranmere defence into a mistake to pick up a loose ball 30-yards from goal. The on-rushing Jones couldn’t quite mop up after his teammates, leaving Harrison to round him and finish superbly.
Half-time: Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Blackpool
Stratulis started brightly in the second half. He drove in from the right-wing and worked some space to shoot from distance, with Alec McLachlan gathering with ease.
Again, breaking free, Stratulis was given time to move closer to goal, smashing a strike towards the near post, but a solid save from McLachlan denied him.
With no clear-cut chances for ‘Pool since Harrison’s goal, the striker was presented with a chance to put his side ahead but ended up firing high and wide from a tight angle.
Ellis Wilson – looking to build on last week’s performance – managed to pick a long ball up and drive at a one-man Tranmere defence, which then led to him being brought down on the edge of the 18-yard box. Jack Moore’s set-piece deflected off the wall and came to nothing.
Just 13 minutes from time, Tranmere took the lead through substitute, Jamie Timlin. He was able to work the ball from right to left and curl around McLachlan from 12-yards out.
The game almost saw late drama for the Seasiders, as Ellis Wilson came close with a driven effort before Michael Fitzgerald’s header in the dying embers sailed over the bar.
Full-Time: Tranmere Rovers 2-1 Blackpool
Blackpool: McLachlan, Moore, Wood, Goumou, Fitzgerald, Trusty, Matshazi (80’ Daniels), Byron, Harrison, Wilson, Yelegon (11’ Rogers).
Unused subs: Wyllie, Penman.