Blackpool 0-3 Carlisle United: Ben Tollitt features as youthful reserve side fall to defeat
A youthful Blackpool side were comfortably beaten by their more experienced Carlisle United counterparts in the club’s latest reserve fixture.
Ben Tollitt was the only recognisable first-team player on show in this Central League Cup group game played at a drizzly Squires Gate FC.
Goalkeeper Jack Sims captained a side that also included the likes of Nathan Shaw, Tony Weston and Owen Watkinson.
With Simon Grayson, assistant manager Ian Miller and first-team coach David Dunn watching on, it soon became clear that Carlisle’s physicality was too much for Blackpool’s youngsters.
Watkinson was in a combative mode up front while Weston showed some clever touches, but chances were few and far between for a Pool side that were led by Ian Dawes - who has recently found himself being demoted from first-team coaching duties.
Given the grim weather conditions, this encounter was never going to be a classic. In fact, we had to wait 22 minutes to see the first shot of the game.
It came the way of the away side, with Jack Bridge’s shot being well charged down by Pool centre back Harry Winstanley.
Three minutes later, Carlisle made the breakthrough with the first real opening of the afternoon.
The ball fell kindly to Bridge inside the Pool box after the hosts had failed to clear their lines and the Carlisle man produced a powerful shot that deflected beyond Sims and into the top corner.
The young Seasiders threatened for the first time just before the half-hour mark, Nana Adarkwa combining well with Tollitt down the right-hand flank before flashing a dangerous low ball across the face of goal which just eluded Weston.
However a minute later Pool almost founds themselves two goals down, as muscly Carlisle striker Olufela Olomola dragged a shot narrowly wide of the far post with Sims rooted to the spot.
The game remained a tough physical battle, with neither side looking like creating any further clear-cut chances.
On the stroke of half time Canice Carroll, who scored against the Seasiders earlier in the season in the EFL Trophy, chipped a clever ball into the box where Charlie Birch cleverly flicked an effort straight at Sims.
The second half was a slightly more eventful affair which was again edged by the Cumbrians.
Olomola somehow failed to add his name to the scoresheet at the beginning of the half when he steered wide from all of four yards after meeting a low ball at the near post.
At the other end, Tollitt saw a shot charged down after Carlisle had failed to clear Shaw’s dangerous cross into the box.
Carlisle continued to probe, experienced defender Nathaniel Knight-Percival shooting straight at Sims with a first-time effort on the turn.
Despite being second best, Pool did have their moments - Watkinson shooting straight at goalkeeper Louis Gray after being played through on goal by Weston.
Weston was also thwarted by Gray who rushed off his line to deny the diminutive forward who had been played in by Adarkwa.
Former Seasider Nick Anderton, who made the move to Brunton Park last week, started the game for the away side and he even had time to flash a long-range effort wide of the upright.
Carlisle finally added their second of the game on 70 minutes when Tom Wilson rose highest to head home unmarked from Carroll’s inswinging free-kick.
Pool briefly threatened an unlikely comeback two minutes later when Watkinson flashed an effort wide of the far post, before Olomola produced a similar effort for the away side.
The final action of the game came five minutes from time when Carlisle completed the scoring with a third, Jayden Major slotting home from close range after Sims could only parry a cross into his path.
Blackpool: Sims, McGladdery, Turner, Winstanley, Adarkwa (Apter) Shaw, Tollitt (Kanga), Antwi, Smith (Liptrott), Weston, Watkinson
Subs not used: Kellett, Goumou
Carlisle: Gray, Elliott, Knight-Percival, Wilson, Anderton (Lightfoot), Bridge, Sagaf (Major), Carroll, Birch, Olomola, Charters (Armstrong)
Subs not used - Robinson