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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

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20 April 2023 Venue Stanley Sports Hub Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Accrington Stanley
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Match Reports

REPORT: Stanley 0-1 Blackpool

Under-18s suffer first defeat since February as title rivals Blackpool leapfrog the Reds into top spot

20 April 2023

Luke Byron's 78th-minute strike at the Stanley Sports Hub saw Ged Brannan and Scott Rogers' Accrington Stanley Under-18s side suffer their first defeat across all competitions since February as title rivals Blackpool leapfrogged the Reds into top spot in this season's Youth Alliance League.

The two teams had met at Longridge Town's Recycling Lives Ground just two days prior; with Charlie Hall, Will Procter and Jake Young all coming into the XI that had defeated The Seasiders 2-1 in the reverse fixture.

Neal Eardley's side began the game the better of the two and the afternoon's first real chance came via Dannen Francis on 10 minutes, but the 18-year-old winger's low shot at goal was blocked well by Young.

The visitors continued to ask questions of Stanley's defence and they should have opened the scoring when the ball dropped nicely for Tayt Trusty; with the midfielder only able to volley his effort into the side-netting.

Danai Hassan and Francis both repeatedly drove at full-backs Bradley Kelly and Jasper Newton and after creating space for an opportunity, the latter then curled another shot just wide of Max Clayton's far post.

Stanley's best chance of the first half came eight minutes before the break when Calvin Harper rifled a close-range free-kick towards goal, but the 30-goal striker saw his effort blocked well by The Seasiders.

Blackpool kept up their momentum, with Byron dragging a low shot across goal just after the hour-mark.

Owen Devonport then had a great opportunity to break the deadlock; but the winger, who has scored 10 times for the Under-18s and Under-23s since the turn of the year, failed to hit the target on 75 minutes.

However, the game's only goal came three minutes later when Bobby Bjork's low cross was not dealt with by Clayton and defender Josh Smith, with Byron in the right place at the right time to stab the ball home.

The visitors then almost doubled their lead on 89 minutes, but Jibran Ahmed was denied well by Clayton.

Next up for Brannan and Rogers' side is a home tie against Rochdale on Saturday 22nd April, 10.30am kick-off; with Blackpool now two points clear at the top of the table and four games remaining for each team.

Accrington Stanley

Clayton, Pickles (C), Poilly, Harper, Devonport (Alston 90'), Hall, Kelly, Newton, Procter (Al-Abbas 82'), Smith and Young.

Subs Not Used: Riva and Monk.

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