Late defeat for Blackpool in FA Youth Cup

Blackpool U18 boss Ciaran Donnelly
Blackpool U18 boss Ciaran Donnelly
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Blackpool U18s were cruelly knocked out of the FA Youth Cup following a 2-1 after extra-time defeat against Bolton Wanderers.

Alex Samizadeh had given the home side an early lead, firing home despite appeals for a foul.

But Ciaran Donnelly's side levelled after the break when Denzel Williams met Rowan Roache's cross with a thumping header at the back post.

The two sides were forced into extra time at the Macron Stadium and it was Bolton who scored the decisive winner, as Cameron Moore reacted quickest to turn home after Dennis Politic had hit the post.

Blackpool U18 boss Ciaran Donnelly praised his players and said he was "immensely proud" of their performance.

"I thought we were excellent from minute one to 90 but we ran out of steam in extra-time," Donnelly said.

"We were in control for the majority of it, we played some excellent football and the build-up play was great. For the first 60 minutes we probably didn't have that cutting edge in the final third, but our build-up play had been lovely all game. Then Ralph (Chea) came on and just offered us something different, and it just changed the game a little bit for us.

"We got that cutting edge and once we got the equaliser we should have gone and won the game in the last 20 minutes because we completely dominated and had some fantastic chances.

"I'm immensely proud of the effort, it was a terrific effort and they showed some real courage to follow through with playing to a system that we've adopted and showed real courage to play out from the back under pressure and build our attacks."

First-team manager Gary Bowyer attended the fixture alongside his coaching staff and had words of encouragement for the youngsters in the dressing room.