Blackpool 1 - Chorley 2. FINALLY, some football, after a summer of golf, darts and now the Olympics, it seems like an age since Pool went so close to a return to the Premier League at Wembley in May.
After a summer of golf, darts and now the Olympics, it seems like an age since Pool went so close to a return to the Premier League at Wembley in May.
Almost a million miles away from West Ham United at Wembley, Chorley were the visitors to Bloomfield Road last night to commemorate the club’s 125th birthday.
The Evo-Stik League side were Pool’s first competitive opponents back in 1887 – when Pool won 2-1
But if any of the 1,410 supporters were expecting the likes of Matt Phillips and Tom Ince on display, they would have been disappointed. Holloway chose to use the game as a first outing for his new under 21 development squad.
Although it did contain some senior players – Ashley Eastham, who spent last season on loan at League One side Bury, and Paul Bignot both started at the back.
And ahead of them in midfield was former Liverpool youngster Gerardo Bruna, who arrived last season at the same time as Ince. Managed by Keith Millen, the starting XI also included two trialists for the watching Ian Holloway to cast an eye over.
Danish striker Adda Djeziri, who had spells at Rangers and Portsmouth, was joined by former Wigan winger Sean Myler.
And it was Djeziri who created the chance which led to the Seasiders taking the lead on the half-hour.
He did well on the wing before crossing towards Liam Tomsett, who was fouled by Chorley keeper Russ Saunders. Bruna made no mistake from the spot. Apart from the goal it was a pretty uneventful first half.
Tomsett should have scored when he was played in on goal by Louis Almond and Chorley’s Keiran Walmsley came close with a 25-yard free-kick.
Half-time saw both trialists replaced. New signing Jake Caprice, who joined from Crystal Palace last month, came on alongside first-year pros Jamie Menagh and Alex Addai.
Despite being given the evening off, Matt Phillips, Angel Martinez and Bob Harris were in the stands to support their young team-mates, alongside manager Holloway and chairman Karl Oyston.
The game was also a chance for a number of Blackpool’s young professionals to catch the eyes of watching scouts.
Eastham, Louis Almond and Adam Dodd were all being monitored by Football League clubs with the view to loan deals.
Defender Eastham won rave reviews at Bury and is expected to be allowed back out again this season to gain valuable first-team experience.
Pool started the second half brightly and should have doubled their lead when Almond was brought down for the home side’s second penalty of the night.
The striker dusted himself down to take the spot-kick himself only to see it well saved before Tomsett headed the rebound wide.
Moments later, substitute Ash Parillon fired Chorley back on to level terms. He met a pass by former AFC Fylde striker Matt Walwyn to finish well from 12 yards.
And with 15 minutes to go, Parillon won it for Chorley. He gave Mark Halstead no chance with a header from close range.
There were positives for Holloway, though. Debutant Caprice looked lively on the right side, with some decent runs and crosses.
But it was Addai who caught the eye of the supporters. Excitement in the crowd could be heard each time the pacy winger received the ball.
His direct style is sure to have impressed Holloway, and while he has some work to do before being ready for a step-up to the senior side he certainly looks one to watch.
The senior squad get their first run-out at Wrexham tomorrow.
Pool: Halstead, Challoner, Dodd, Eastham, Bignot, Tomsett, Djerziri, Thompson, Almond, Bruna, Myler. Subs: Caprice, Gardikiotis, Addai, Menagh, N’Daw, Menagh, Cross, Johnston-Schuster, Fraser, Cole. Crolla, Blackett.