Report | Blackburn Rovers U21s 1-2 Wanderers B


Wanderers' B Team completed a second half turnaround on Tuesday afternoon against Blackburn Rovers U21s in the Lancashire Senior Cup.

Second half goals from Finlay Hurford-Lockett and Matthew Tweedley turned the tie on its head and was enough to secure a semi-final spot for the Whites.

It was by no means plain sailing for Wanderers, coached by Dave Gardiner and Andrew Tutte, who had the see out a barrage of Blackburn attacks in the first half but an inspired performance by Luke Hutchinson between the sticks kept Wanderers in the game.

The first sight of goal for the hosts came within ten minutes when Batty got to the by line and cut it back for Telalovic who sliced his effort wide of the far post.

On the 15 minute mark, Hutchinson was forced into action twice in quick succession. Telalovic broke the offside but Hutchinson spread himself well to save with his feet before the following corner was met by Olson but the Wanderers' stopper was there again with a quick reaction save.

The home side had all the momentum with Wanderers struggling to find their rhythm in the match. A series of shots hit the target for Rovers, but Hutchinson was equal to them including an impressive tip over the bar from Batty.

Wanderers did manage to carve out a good opportunity when Tweedley won the ball back in midfield, drove forward and slid a pass through to Sithole who hit the target but couldn't beat the Rovers 'keeper.

Shortly after, the deadlock was broken, and it was Rovers who opened the scoring. Wanderers failed to clear a scramble in the box before Hutchinson saved low from Telalovic, but Bloxham was on hand to fire into an empty net on the rebound, much to Hutchinson's frustration.

The Whites came ever so close to restoring parity before the interval when Gez Sithole's whipped free kick from the edge of the box was tipped onto the bar by Eastham and out for a corner kick

Wanderers came out for the second half knowing that they'd need to lift their performance if they were to stay in the competition and that is exactly what they did.

With the intensity clearly upped from the off, the Whites were level ten minutes into the second half.

Luke Hutchinson's long pass up field evaded everyone, including the Blackburn defence, and Finlay Hurford-Lockett latched onto it, raced clear and finished beneath the onrushing Eastham to give Wanderers the boost they dearly needed in this cup tie

A wave of belief swept around the Wanderers' squad and they were instantly on the front-foot again looking for a second. Sithole found space on the left, shifted the ball onto his right foot before forcing Eastham to tip over his crossbar.

The relentless early second half pressure eventually told for Wanderers as they got their noses in front. Good wing play from Frimpong led to Tweedley turning on the edge of the box and curling brilliantly beyond Eastham into the top corner and you could see how much that meant in the celebrations.

Dave Gardiner's side managed the game with professionalism for the next half an hour and kept the ball in the Rovers half for the majority whilst keeping solid at the back

It wasn't until the final five minutes to go until the home side started to pile on the pressure once again.  Firstly, Hutchinson was called upon again to deny a close range shot before another effort from inside the six yard box was stabbed goalwards and rebounded back off the woodwork.

Wanderers did enough and defended their box resolutely for the final moments of the game before the referee sounded his whistle to confirm the Whites' place in the semi-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup.

Details of the time, date and location of that fixture will be confirmed in due course.

Wanderers team: Hutchinson, Frimpong, Halford, Yoro (Toure 85'), Hayes-Green, Lockett (Loureiro 75'), Sharples-Ahmed, Tweedley, Pettifer, Sithole, Bryan

Subs: Flint, Tutte, Trialist

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