Youth Team Report: Bolton Wanderers 1 Blackpool 4
It was a terrific performance from the young Seasiders on Saturday, as the U19’s came out triumphant against Bolton in the Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup.
John Murphy’s side started the game well and with intent after being told to go out there and do things right, dominating possession in the early exchanges.
The hosts were trying to frustrate Blackpool by pressing high in the middle of the pitch, however the midfield partnership of Luke Mariette and Tayt Trusty were on hand to stop any real Bolton attacks taking shape.
A lot has been made of right-back Jack Moore’s set-piece ability and he was at it once again when he gave the Seasiders the lead in the 14th minute. A superb strike from a free-kick, giving the rest of the Blackpool team the platform to carry on for the rest of the game.
The tempo of the game was always there, you could tell it was a cup tie, with challenges flying in left, right and centre.
The second goal came from a counter-attack. A poacher’s finish from James Harrison, with the winger latching onto a loose cross to tap the ball in at the far post.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Blackpool could so easily have made it three when striker Johnny Johnston’s effort was smartly saved by the Bolton goalkeeper.
Half-Time: Bolton Wanderers 0 Blackpool 2
After the break, the young Seasiders didn’t let up and wanted to finish the game off. A couple of early chances led to panic in the Bolton defence and soon the rewards for Murphy’s side came. Johnston, who was unlucky not to have got on the scoresheet before the interval, finally got his goal in the 59th minute.
The ball was thrown out early from Blackpool keeper Alec Mclachlan, then from a nice piece of passing play put Johnston through on goal and the striker buried his shot out of the Bolton ‘keeper’s reach.
After going three goals up and seemingly putting the game beyond Bolton’s reach, left-back Tyler Hill made what he thought was a tackle in the box which the referee saw different and awarded a penalty. The penalty was scored and that gave the home team a slim chance of a revival in the match.
The contest now became more of an end-to-end match and it was all about how Blackpool kept control of the tie and command of the lead.
When Jake Daniels made way for Arnold Matshazi in the 64th minute, that substitution gave Johnston more licence to run at the young Trotters’ defenders, which he duly did.
The run of the number nine was spotted and as the Bolton keeper rushed off his line, Johnston tucked it round him to score his second and grab a brace for the match.
A brilliant and positive performance, echoed by the coaches at full-time.
Into the hat for the next round!
Full-Time: Bolton Wanderers 1 Blackpool 4
Words by Callum Insull