Blackpool boss Bowyer's sights set on Wembley return

Blackpool celebrate Kelvin Mellor's opening goal against Mansfield
Blackpool celebrate Kelvin Mellor's opening goal against Mansfield

Gary Bowyer has his sights set on a return to Wembley after his Blackpool side won through to the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Seasiders overcame League Two outfit Mansfield Town 5-4 on penalties after drawing 1-1 at Bloomfield Road.

Pool looked set to edge the game thanks to Kelvin Mellor’s first-half header but Calum Butcher sent the game to spot-kicks with his equaliser two minutes from time.

Christoffer Mafoumbi stepped up to the plate for the Seasiders in the shootout, saving two penalties to send Blackpool through to tomorrow’s last-16 draw.

Bowyer, who masterminded Pool’s promotion to League One in the play-off final at the national stadium last May, is delighted his side are now a step closer to a return.

The Pool boss said: “The main objective was to get through, and it was a case of doing it whatever way we could and we’ve managed that.

“I’m absolutely delighted and the lads are buzzing because they’re a step closer to Wembley.

“That’s somewhere we want to try to 0get to because we had a fantastic time there at the end of May.

“That was the motivation to try to get through and get a step closer. I’m delighted they’ve done it.

“For the majority of the game we defended well and showed improvements, but at the end we should have run the ball into the corner but we give a foul away and conceded.

“You look at the age of some of them on the pitch ... well, they’re still learning.

“They’ve got youthful enthusiasm and sometimes they’re going to make mistakes.

“We should have dealt with the free-kick better for sure but the response to go and win it on penalties was terrific, especially when we were the first team to miss which is always a psychological blow.

“The quality of the remaining penalties was very good from us and what a quality save from Christoffer to put it on to the post.”