Blackpool Youth League match of the week: Poulton Under-16s v Kirkham Juniors
Poulton continued their quest for a league and cup double by winning through the semi-finals of the Hogan Plate with a 3-1 victory over Kirkham.
Thes hosts were 2-0 up at half-time at Cottam Hall, and although Kirkham pulled one back to threaten a comeback, a screamer of a free-kick by TJ Phillips secured Poulton a clash with Spirit of Youth in the last four.
As Joe Manford led Poulton from the back, coolly playing the ball out of defence, Poulton took a first-half grip on the same with goals by Syd Sullivan and Steven Lambert.
And as midfield dynamo Nathan Feeney drove Poulton forward, they would have scored more before the break but for a series of outstanding saves by Kirkham keeper Luke Salisbury.
And those goalkeeping heroics looked like they could be massively important as Josh Marshall reduced the deficit after the break, beating the keeper to the ball and chipping him superbly.
But hopes of an equaliser were dashed as Phillips sealed the victory when his free-kick found the top corner.
Poulton manager Adrian Manford said: “TJ has been practising those and it was a great free-kick.”
With the hardworking Tom Green in outstanding form, Poulton were able to close out the match and keep their fine season on track.
Manager Manford added: “The other three teams left in the competition are all below us in the league.”
Talking of the league, he added: “We are a point behind the leaders Lytham with a game in hand, so it’s going well and we hope to do the double.”
Kirkham boss Lee McLeod said: “We have no complaints about the result. We have four league games to play and our target is fourth place.”