B TEAM REPORT: Wanderers 1 Blackpool Reservs 4

The B Team kicked off 2023 with a home defeat to Blackpool’s second string after conceding three goals before the break.

Conor Carty pulled a goal back on his return to the Whites in an improved second-half showing.

But Blackpool had enough in hand to secure the points which took them clear of second-placed Wanderers at the top of the Central League table.

In a game switched back to Lostock and played on the artificial surface due to heavy overnight and morning rain, Matt Craddock’s men had an early chance to go in front.

Carty – recently returned from a loan spell at Gateshead – made an opportunity for himself with an excellent run in the opening minutes but couldn’t beat Blackpool goalkeeper Archie Cunningham.

And the Tangerines quickly went in front when Brad Holmes slotted home a low cross.

The visitors were a constant threat on the break and doubled their lead when Beryly Lubula – back from a further loan spell in the EFL with Colchester United – converted a penalty after being fouled by keeper Luke Hutchinson.

Hutchinson made a sharp save to keep out a possible third from Luke Mariette following as corner.

But the Whites’ keeper couldn’t quite prevent the dangerous Holmes making it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time as the striker’s drilled effort from a Lubula delivery just crossed the line as the Whites’ keeper tried to block at the far post.  

Wanderers rallied after half-time to be more competitive and substitute Matty Grivosti delivered a string of decent balls into the box as the hosts looked to reduce the deficit.

Instead, it was Blackpool who added to their lead when Lubala also added his second of the game.

But the Whites did get on the scoresheet before the end when Carty pounced to drive the ball home eight minutes from time of a third league defeat of the season.

B Team: Hutchinson, Senior, Toure, Tutte (Grivosti 60), Sackey, Khumbeni, Pettifer (Tweedley 69), Inwood, Stanley, Sithole (Jones 87), Carty.

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