Shayne Lavery's dramatic, last-gasp strike against Bristol City is a feeling the Blackpool striker will never forget

Scoring a dramatic, last-gasp debut goal directly in front of Blackpool’s jubilant fans is a memory Shayne Lavery admits he’ll never forget.

By Matt Scrafton
Sunday, 8th August 2021, 9:00 am

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Bristol City 1-1 Blackpool: Shayne Lavery's last-ditch strike rescues Seasiders ...

The Northern Irishman had a debut to remember after scoring Pool’s leveller with virtually the last kick of the game during yesterday’s 1-1 draw against Bristol City.

The 22-year-old, an 80th minute substitute, turned home Josh Bowler’s near-post cross deep into stoppage time.

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It sparked wild scenes of celebration among the 1,100 or so Seasiders housed behind the goal at Ashton Gate.

“It’s quite mad,” Lavery told The Gazette.

“When I sat down with Josh afterwards, we were saying how it felt like football was back again. It was amazing.

“I’ve played with Josh before (at Everton) and I feel I link up well with him, so I was buzzing to get the goal.

Lavery turns Josh Bowler's cross home deep into injury time

“Scoring that goal in front of the fans was a feeling I’ll never forget.

“For the fans we probably left it a bit late for their hearts but I felt I should have scored before that when I should have taken my shot earlier.”

Prior to Blackpool’s late rally, Neil Critchley’s men had struggled to play their normal game against their established Championship opponents.

Nevertheless, the Seasiders stuck in there and stayed in the game after Chris Martin’s opener on the stroke of half-time.

“I’m thankful to get the point in the end because it was a tough game for the starting XI and the lads that started,” Lavery added.

“For them to keep it 1-0 for the whole game, it gave us subs a chance to make an impact and it was a great point in the end.

“The lads dug in. Their heads could have dropped, especially after going a goal down at the end of the first-half, but they stuck at it, came out for the second half and we were definitely the better team in the second-half and deserved a point.

“They will feel like it’s a defeat for them, whereas we’ll feel like - not a victory - but a hard-earned point.”

Lavery’s virtuoso display comes after the former Linfield man starred in the recent pre-season friendly against Manchester City.

The forward embarrassed last season’s Premier League player of the year Ruben Dias, robbing him of the ball before being hauled down for a penalty.

Lavery’s early displays in tangerine have sparked calls from supporters for the hard-working striker to be named in the team from the start for the next league game, but Lavery insists he’s prepared to bide his time.

“My job is to score goals,” Lavery said.

“Everyone wants to be playing games, but I’m happy to wait for my chance and hopefully I’ll get more minutes in the future.

“To get off the mark on my debut is massive, it gives you great confidence.

“Saying that, we would have taken Maxi (Chris Maxwell) scoring that goal, anyone scoring it, because it was a massive point. It’s something for us to build on.”

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