Everton U21 1-1(p) Blackpool: Five things we learned

Blackpool players celebrate Gnanduillet's goal
Blackpool players celebrate Gnanduillet's goal
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Blackpool FC writer Matt Scrafton takes a look at the key talking points from the Seasiders' EFL Trophy penalty shootout win against an Everton U21 side.

Michael Cain puts down a marker

The Leicester loanee will have been understandably frustrated with his lack of game time so far this season but whenever he's come into the side, he's impressed. The highly rated 21-year-old put in a Man of the Match display against Kidderminster on Sunday and he followed that up with another positive display just two days later in Blackpool's game at Goodison Park on Tuesday night. Blackpool aren't exactly light on numbers in the centre of midfield, with Danny Pugh and Jack Payne likely to be Gary Bowyer's first choice pairing, but Cain is knocking on the door and deserves a chance in the league.

The future is bright

Macauley Wilson impressed with an assured and composed performance at right back against Everton U21 in what was his professional debut for the club. Not only did he not look out of the place, he was probably Blackpool's best performer on the night. But he wasn't the only one, as Myles Boney, Will Aimson and Bright Osayi-Samuel also impressed. Osayi-Samuel is certainly one player who can count himself unlucky not to have featured more after being tipped as a future star while being linked with a host of top flight clubs during the summer. His form may have dipped, but there is undoubtedly talent there that is just waiting to be unlocked.

Early change highlights farcical nature of competition

Gary Bowyer wanted to give young goalkeeper Myles Boney a run out but, due to EFL Trophy rules, he couldn't start as the Blackpool manager had already made the maximum five changes he was allowed to make from the previous game. So to get around these ridiculous rules, Boney came on as a substitute for Sam Slocombe after just 10 minutes. This happened at Bradford in the previous round and a number of clubs repeated the 'trick' on Tuesday night. Why has it come to this? The tiny attendances point to a distinct lack of interest among fans and the bizarre rules only add fuel to the fire of what is a farcical competition.

Cullen is in need of a goal

Mark Cullen now finds himself in a similar situation that Jamille Matt found himself in prior to his goal against his former side Kidderminster on Sunday. The 24-year-old former Luton forward hasn't found the back of the net since the 1-1 draw at Barnet, which was all the way back in August in Blackpool's third game of the season. He had a priceless opportunity to break his duck at Goodison Park last night when Bright Osayi-Samuel laid the ball on a plate for him just two or three yards out on goal, only for Cullen to slide into the six-yard box and direct his shot wide of goal. It might take one to go off his backside for his confidence to peak.

Cup wins could revitalise sluggish Pool

On the face of it, a 2-0 win in the FA Cup against a side two divisions below and a penalty shoot out victory against an Everton U21 side might not be anything to shout about. But Blackpool are hardly in a position to be picky as they find themselves 15th in League Two, and a win is a win after all. Winning is a habit, and if the Seasiders can build on their two consecutive cup wins (albeit one via spot kicks) by picking up three points against Notts County on Saturday, it might signal a change in their season. Their early season form has been blighted by inconsistency and that has to change if the Seasiders have any aspirations of rising up the league table.