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Blackpool pipped us to the Youth Alliance League title last season and completed a double by winning the Lancashire Youth Cup, but we ended their hopes of winning that for a second season this afternoon, beating them 2-1 at Gawthorpe in the quarter-finals.

It took a late goal from Jordan Cropper (pictured) to win the game for us, but there is no doubt that, over the ninety minutes, we were deserving winners against a very strong Blackpool team who are the only unbeaten team in the Youth Alliance League this season.

1718 burnley jordan cropper 00 500x500The game gave Australian goalkeeper Kai Calderbank-Park the opportunity to make his debut and he was one of two changes from the team that drew with Barnsley in our last league game, the other seeing Leighton Egan come in for Dylon Meredith on the left hand side.

It all started well for us and we were in front in just the sixth minute when Tristan Jumeau headed home a right wing corner from Kwasinkosi Mpofu. That lead was nearly doubled a couple of minutes later only for Blackpool goalkeeper Craig Thordason to save superbly to deny Terry Mupariwa.

We were mistaken if we thought it was going to be one way traffic although we were always the better of the two sides in the first half. Blackpool had their moments, particularly on a couple of occasions when we denied them with some last ditch defending but we had a goal ruled out for a very close offside and certainly should have added to the solitary goal with some neat approach play as we passed the ball well.

The second half was a different story. We didn’t pass the ball anything like as well and the play became more frantic. Even so, rarely did a Blackpool leveller look likely until they did score with a superb free kick from around 25-yards that flew into the corner past the helpless Calderbank-Park.

There were still 19 minutes to go and that goal served to spring us back into life and we started to get into dangerous areas again as we finally got the ball moving forward towards the Blackpool goal.

And the winner was one to enjoy on 81 minutes. We worked the ball really well down the right and Michael Fowler, on as a substitute, played the perfect ball into Cropper who made absolutely no mistake with a shot that rifled into the far bottom corner.

We might have added to it, but Blackpool didn’t really offer an threat to get back into a game that would have gone to penalties had it ended level.

It might be some time before we play our semi-final. One of the quarter finals, that between Preston and Accrington, has still to be arranged while the Wigan v Morecambe and Oldham v Bury ties will both be played next month.

The Clarets are back in U18 Professional Development League action this Saturday when we play Bolton at Gawthorpe.

Today’s teams were;

Burnley: Kai Calderbank-Park, Dan Moss (Akim Samms 82), Bobby Thomas, James Clarke, Kwasinkosi Mpofu, Tristan Jumeau (Will Harris 76), Ethan Kershaw, Terry Mupariwa, Leighton Egan (Michael Fowler 63), Kian Yari, Jordan Cropper. Subs not used: Adam Bruce, Dylon Meredith.

Blackpool: Craig Thordason, Ben Jacobson, Tom Williams, Lewis Wainright, Will Avon, Brendan O’Brien, Finlay Sinclair-Smith, Dylan Summer, Will Dunne, Ewan Banger, Nathan Shaw. Subs: Sean Graham, Harvey Simson, Sam Maddock, Alwyn Flynn.

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