Blackpool 1-3 Scunthorpe United: Abo Eisa double sees Seasiders knocked out of the EFL Trophy

Blackpool were knocked out of the EFL Trophy at the second round stage with a disappointing defeat to League Two Scunthorpe United.

By Matt Scrafton
Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 9:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 9:46 pm
The Seasiders have been knocked out of the EFL Trophy at the second round stage
The Seasiders have been knocked out of the EFL Trophy at the second round stage

Blackpool were knocked out of the EFL Trophy at the second round stage with a disappointing defeat to League Two Scunthorpe United.

First-half goals from Kevin Van Veen and Abo Eisa did the damage as the Seasiders lost for the first time in eight games.

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Simon Grayson’s men did briefly threaten a comeback when Joe Nuttall reduced the arrears with 20 minutes remaining with his second in as many games.

But those hopes were dashed when Pool were reduced to 10 men, Callum Guy the man to receive two soft yellow cards.

Scunthorpe subsequently added a third in the final minute of normal time to make sure of the win, Eisa completing his brace.

It saw Scunthorpe run out winners as Pool exited the competition, with focus now turning to Sunday’s FA Cup second round tie against Maidstone United.

The EFL Trophy has been used by Simon Grayson as a competition to blood plenty of fringe players this season.

That was the case once again, as the Pool boss made eight changes to the side that drew 2-2 at Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Ryan Edwards, Calum Macdonald and Joe Nuttall were the three players to keep their place in the side.

There was a second start of the season for goalkeeper Mark Howard, who was named captain in Jay Spearing’s absence.

Elsewhere, there were starts for the likes of Rocky Bushiri, Callum Guy, Sean Scannell and Ryan Hardie - fresh from his recent hat-trick in the reserves.

Top scorer Armand Gnanduillet was rested once again, with the striker continuing to be rested following his recent thigh injury.

As Grayson suggested before the game, there was a spot on the bench for 16-year-old youth-team starlet Tony Weston - his first involvement in a match-day squad.

Scunthorpe, meanwhile, named an unchanged side having no FA Cup game at the weekend to look forward to.

A muted atmosphere prior to kick-off was not helped by a slow start to the game, with a lack of intensity from both sides.

The biggest cheer of the opening 10 minutes came for keeper Howard, who produced a neat little Cruyff turn to deceive Lee Novak before clearing his lines.

Unfortunately for the Seasiders, there was no such luck a couple of minutes later when the away side took the lead with the game’s first opportunity.

Kevin Van Veen took it clinically, lashing home high into the net after latching onto Novak’s clever flick-on.

Pool responded well to the early setback and produced a good chance to level when Rocky Bushiri was left unmarked from a Jordan Thompson corner, only for the defender to head harmlessly wide.

The visitors weren’t as wasteful in front of goal when they doubled their lead with another well-taken finish.

The scorer of the first goal Van Veen turned provider as he laid the ball off to striker Abo Eisa, who took a touch to settle himself before sending a low shot beyond Howard and into the bottom corner.

While Scunthorpe’s finishing was ruthless, Blackpool’s was comparatively uneconomical as Hardie bobbled a weak effort wide of goal from the edge of the box.

The visitors almost added a third 10 minutes before the break when Novak diverted Jordan Clarke’s wayward effort towards the bottom corner only for Howard to get down and make the save.

Scunthorpe came agonisingly close to a third in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half, which were added on after Ollie Turton received lengthy treatment early on.

Van Veen hooked an effort over his shoulder towards goal after Pool failed to clear their lines and the effort almost fell to Kgosi Nthle at the back post, but it just eluded him.

Nuttall wasted an equally glorious effort a minute later when he somehow failed to hit the target from just six yards out from Thompson’s corner.

Grayson turned to the bench to change it 10 minutes into the second half when he brought on regular first-teamers Matty Virtue, Sullay Kaikai and Nathan Delfouneso.

Kaikai almost made an instant impact, stinging the palms of keeper Jake Eastwood with a powerful drive from 25 yards out.

The Seasiders continued to probe, with Nuttall latching onto a delightful clipped ball from Thompson only to be crowded out after opting to take a touch rather than hit it first time.

Curtis Tilt then tested the keeper with an acrobatic volley on the half turn, Eastwood collecting it at the second chance after initially spilling it.

At the other end, Howard got across his goal well to calmly claim Van Veen’s dangerous 25-yard free kick.

Pool finally reduced the arrears 20 minutes from time when Nuttall tapped home from close range for his second goal in as many games.

The 22-year-old pounced on Eastwood’s save after the keeper had tipped Delfouneso’s curling effort right into his path.

Having trailed for so long, Pool came close to grabbing an equaliser just a minute later when Virtue’s shot from Rocky Bushiri’s lay-off was blocked from inside the six-yard box.

Pool’s momentum was cut short soon after when they were harshly reduced to 10 men when Callum Guy was shown a second yellow card.

The midfielder was adjudged to have handled the ball to stop a Scunthorpe counter, despite not appearing to be intentional.

The 10 men of Blackpool almost levelled the game against all the odds when Bushiri, the hero in the last EFL Trophy encounter against Wolves’ U21s, was denied by Eastwood with a low fizzing effort.

Scunthorpe had a chance to seal their passage into the next round three minutes from time when Novak beat the offside trap only to scuff his effort wide of goal.

They did eventually go on to add that third, Eisa notching his second of the game after rounding Howard to slot into the back of the empty net.


Blackpool: Howard, Bushiri, Edwards, Tilt, Turton, Macdonald (Virtue), Guy, Thompson, Scannell (Kaikai), Hardie (Delfouneso), Nuttall

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Nottingham, Husband, Weston

Scunthorpe: Eastwood, Clarke, Nthle, Gilliead, McArdle, McGahey, Lund, Perch, Eisa, Van Veen (McAtee), Novak

Subs not used: Watson, Butler, Dales, Brown, Miller, Bedeau

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 1,196 (82 Scunthorpe)