MATCH REPORT: Macclesfield Town 3-3 Blackpool (Macc win on pens)

Callum Guy scored on his debut for Blackpool
Callum Guy scored on his debut for Blackpool

Blackpool failed to capitalise on a remarkable comeback as they went down to a penalty shootout defeat at Macclesfield Town in their opening EFL Trophy group game.

The home side appeared to have the game sewn up as they approached injury time with a 3-1 lead, thanks to a brace from Michael Rose and a Nathan Blissett effort after debutant Callum Guy had earlier equaliser for the Seasiders.

But Pool sent the game to spot kicks with two goals in a remarkable last five minutes - John O’Sullivan initially pulling one back before Paudie O’Connor equalised in the final minute of injury time.

But League Two Macclesfield, who have never been beaten on penalties, won the shootout 5-3 with Marc Bola the unfortunate man to miss from 12 yards for Pool.

The game is classed as a draw but Macclesfield claim an extra bonus point for their shootout victory.

During the 90 minutes, the Seasiders created a whole host of chances yet, once again, weren’t able to capitalise on them.

As expected, Blackpool made wholesale changes to their side - with Ben Heneghan and Marc Bola the only two to survive from the weekend’s 0-0 draw at Walsall.

Callum Guy and Ryan McLaughlin made their first competitive starts for the Seasiders while there was a spot on the bench for 17-year-old youth team winger Nana Adarkwa.

Blackpool started brightly and thought they had a half decent shout for a penalty when McLaughlin went down in the box but referee Chris Sarginson remain unmoved, instead awarding a goal kick.

But it was Macclesfield who broke the deadlock soon after as they took advantage of some hesitancy in Pool’s backline.

Malachi Napa wriggled himself free inside the Pool box before pulling the ball back to Blissett, who took a touch before firing a low shot beyond Christoffer Mafoumbi’s dive and into the bottom corner.

Pool looked for an instant response with Armand Gnanduillet trying his luck with a snap shot on the edge of the Macclesfield box but he failed to keep it down and it went flying over.

Liam Feeney then provided a pinpoint cross for Gnanduillet, who found himself unmarked inside the six-yard box, but he could only direct his header harmlessly wide.

The two combined in the same fashion but, for the second time, Gnanduillet headed wide when he really should have found the back of the net.

At the other end, the Silkmen went close to a second as Blissett - the scorer of the first goal - brought a good save out of Mafoumbi.

On the half-hour mark, Pool pulled themselves level thanks to a special goal from debut Callum Guy, who signed for the Seasiders from Derby County last week.

The midfielder took the ball out of his feet before rifling a superb 25-yard effort into the top corner, leaving keeper Rhys Taylor rooted to the spot.

Pool almost immediately built on their equaliser as Feeney fizzed a low ball across the face of goal but Gnanduillet couldn’t get a touch on it to turn home from close range.

The Seasiders were made to pay for that miss a minute later when Macclesfield retook the lead through Rose, who produced a curling effort just as good as Guy’s to give Mafoumbi no chance.

Ben Heneghan headed wide from a corner for Blackpool before Napa lofted a shot over the bar at the other end for the hosts.

The chances continued to come for Pool as John O’Sullivan wasted another free header to nod over the bar.

After a quiet opening half, Harry Pritchard was straight into the action at the start of the second period as he sent a dipping effort just over Taylor’s crossbar.

The midfielder then received a flick-on from Gnanduillet only to see his close-range effort bobble wide of the far post.

Youngster Fin Sinclair-Smith came off the bench for Blackpool in place of Feeney and almost pulled the Seasiders back level with an acrobatic overhead kick which Taylor somehow managed to turn around the post.

It seemed as though game had been put to bed as a contest with 10 minutes to go when Heneghan conceded a penalty, Rose bagging his second with a composed finish despite Mafoumbi guessing the right way.

O’Sullivan gave Pool a glimmer of hope when he scrambled one home late on, and somehow Pool completed their remarkable turnaround to send the game to penalties as Paudie O’Connor headed home from a corner.

Pool, who still claim a point from the game, were unable to add that bonus as Macclesfield won the shootout with some convincing penalties - Bola the man to see his effort saved for the Seasiders.

TEAMS

Macclesfield: Taylor, Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Grimes, Welch-Hayes, Napa (Wilson), Pearson, Vincenti, Whittaker, Rose, Blissett (Smith)

Subs: Kelleher, Marsh, Evans, Maycock, Arthur

Blackpool: Mafoumbi, McLaughlin (Nottingham), Heneghan, O'Connor, Bola, Taylor, Guy (Turton), Pritchard, Feeney (Sinclair-Smith), O'Sullivan, Gnanduillet

Subs: Boney, Tilt, Adarkwa, Dodoo

Referee: Chris Sarginson

Attendance: 639 (128 Blackpool)