Young Whites exit cup.
Papa John’s Trophy Group G
Blackpool FC 3 (Kemp 9’, Thorniley 20’, Robson 82’)
Leeds United U21s 0
Leeds: Casilla, Davis (Huggins 45’), Cresswell, Casey (Jenkins 45’), Drameh, Kenneh, McCarron, Summerville, Poveda (McKinstry 45’), Gelhardt, Greenwood. Subs not used: Caprile, Kamwa, Moore, Dean.
Venue: Bloomfield Road
Leeds United U21s exited the Papa John’s Trophy, with defeat at Blackpool. Goals from Dan Kemp, Jordan Thorniley and Ethan Robson secured three points and a safe passage for the Sky Bet League One side into the knock-out stages.
Both teams went into the game knowing that they had a chance to progress in Group G, following the news that Accrington Stanley had beaten Barrow AFC on Tuesday evening.
Mark Jackson named a competitive line-up, with Kiko Casilla, Ian Poveda and Leif Davis amongst the starting XI. Sam Greenwood continued his return from injury by partnering Joe Gelhardt in attack.
Just nine minutes into the match, Blackpool took the lead. Good work down the left by Bez Lubala saw the winger cross into the box, where Dan Kemp fired his effort into the back of the net despite Casilla’s best efforts.
In the 20th minute, the hosts doubled their lead. An in-swinging corner was well connected with by Thorniley, who saw his header find the back of the net via a deflection and then the post.
Around the half-hour mark, the Whites began to cause problems for Blackpool defence. Ian Poveda and Cody Drameh were linking up well down the wing, with Gelhardt and Greenwood also finding the ball in attacking positions. Both forwards had efforts on goal in a spell of pressure but the home side dealt well with them.
No major further chances happened for either side in the remaining minutes, with Blackpool taking their two-goal lead into the half-time break.
HALF TIME: Blackpool FC 2-0 Leeds United U21s
Mark Jackson made three changes to his side during the interval. Poveda, Davis and Oliver Casey were replaced by Stuart McKinstry, Jack Jenkins and Niall Huggins.
The Seasiders had an opportunity to make it three just after the restart. First half scorer, Kemp was released into the box but Casilla stood firm to deny the forward.
Leeds then had their own major chance, through Gelhardt. The striker pounced upon a mistake in the home sides backline, racing in on goal but his low left-footed drive was saved well by Jack Sims and forced behind.
The Whites refused to give up in their pursuit of a way back into the game. Cresswell continued to lead from defence giving his side continuous shouts of encouragement for his team to press forward.
With just over 10 minutes left, the hosts were reduced to 10 men. Youngster, Cameron Antwi - who had been booked in the first half - was shown a second yellow and subsequently a red for bringing down Crysencio Summerville in the middle of the pitch.
Just moments later however, Blackpool would settle the tie and end the Whites’ participation in this years Papa John’s Trophy. Ethan Robson picked up the ball on the edge of the area and curled an effort into the back of the net, clipping the post on the way in.
FULL TIME: Blackpool FC 3-0 Leeds United U21s