Cup final glory for Blackpool youth team

Academy manager Ciaran Donnelly
Academy manager Ciaran Donnelly
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Blackpool’s youth team picked up the Lancashire FA Youth Cup after beating Bury on penalties.

Goalkeeper Jack Sims was the hero as he made two saves, with Pool scoring all four of their spot kicks to win it 4-2.

The match had finished 2-2 during normal time, with Ewan Bange and Sebastien Des Pres netting the Seasiders’ goals.

The home side made a strong start to the game and within five minutes they were ahead.

Joe Adams found himself in behind the Blackpool defence after a quick one-two and slotted through the legs of Jack Sims to give his side the lead.

Sims was forced into making a smart stop shortly afterwards as Tsun Dai had a go from range, but the Pool keeper was equal to it and palmed it around the post.

The young Seasiders weren’t behind for long though as 15-year-old Ewan Bange converted from close range to draw them level, which came after some superb play by Finlay Sinclair-Smith down the left.

Bury continued to win the physical battle thanks to a host of robust challenges, one of which led to left back Ciaran Best going on a mazy run only to be denied by Sims with his feet.

Bange continued to be a nuisance for the Shakers’ defence and almost bagged his second when he beat his man at the near post to a cross, but failed to get sufficient contact on his header.

The hosts came within a whisker of retaking the lead just after the half-hour mark, but Tsun Dai’s drilled effort flew narrowly wide of the far post.

Blackpool centre half Benjamin Jacobson had the first opening of the second period but could only nod his close-range header straight at Cameron McCulloch in the Bury goal.

A defensive mix-up at the back almost saw Bury’s Will Ferry nip in to score but Jacobson recovered to clear.

But Bury regained their lead from the following corner when Ryan Cooney rose highest to nod in unmarked at the back post.

The hosts went straight onto the attack and almost added a third only for Joe Adams’ effort to be well kept out by Sims after another miscommunication in the Blackpool defence.

Bury almost took advantage of another defensive lapse but Adams saw his effort well blocked just as he looked set to rifle home.

Blackpool looked like they were running out of ideas before Sebastien Des Pres produced a moment of brilliant to draw them back level, shooting low past the goalkeeper after jinking his way past a number of Bury defenders.

Dylan Sumner should have given the tangerines the lead when a cross fell to him at the back post but he was unable to keep down his volley.

Blackpool thought they had won it at the death when Rowan Roache curled an effort from the edge of the box but it flew agonisingly wide of the top corner.

Instead it was decided on spot kicks, with Pool taking home the trophy.

Ciaran Donnelly’s side now have the chance to do the double as they currently sit top of the North West Youth Alliance league table with just two games to play.

Bury: Cameron McCulloch, Jake Barrett, Saul Shotton, Ryan Cooney, Douglas Nyaupembe, Ciaran Best, Tsun Dai, Callum Hulme, Will Ferry, Joe Adams (Nathan Turner), Rob Harker

Subs not used: Wealth Da Silva, Charlie Mulgrew, Millenic Ali, Kieran Whittaker

Blackpool: Jack Sims, Liam Robinson, Ben Jacobson, Denzel Williams, Caleb Richards, Dylan Sumner, Sebastien Des Pres, Jack Newton (Christian N'Guessan), Finlay Sinclair-Smith, Ewan Bange (Ralph Chea), Rowan Roache

Subs not used: Craig Thordason, Will Dunne, Tyler Rufus