Our 2023/24 Bristol Street Motors Trophy campaign comes to an end following defeat against group winners Blackpool.
Jake Beesley netted either side of the break before Farrend Rawson headed home what proved to be a late consolation.
In the opening minutes, Rawson was called upon for defensive duties to header behind a dangerous Blackpool cross into the Shrimps’ box. The resulting corner was cleared, and the danger passed.
Tom Bloxham then caught the hosts in possession trying to play out from the back, his cross eventually fell to Yann Songo’o on the edge of the box who struck at goal, JJ McKiernan looked to flick the ball on from inside the area, but his header cleared the crossbar.
The Tangerines broke the deadlock on 21 minutes; Jensen Weir sent a corner into the box, the ball was initially cleared to the former Morecambe man whose second delivery found Jake Beesley, he finished with a left-footed volley into the top-left corner.
With four minutes of first half normal time to play, Andy Lyons picked up possession just midway through the Morecambe half – he twisted and turned under pressure before pulling the trigger from just outside the area, his strike took a deflection which Adam Smith held comfortably.
Songo’o looked to meet a long Adam Mayor throw in the dying embers of the first 45, but his headed flick on was off target just as the referee called an end to the half.
Half-time: Blackpool 1 Morecambe 0
Beesley doubled his side’s advantage inside the first minute of the second half. The forward found space inside the box to meet Lyons’ cross with his head and send the ball beyond Smith into the back of the net from six yards.
The deficit was nearly halved a few minutes later as Mayor’s low cross was fired across the Blackpool box into the path of Joel Senior, his first-time effort was blocked before Songo’o pounced on the rebound, his strike also kept out by a defender.
A good spell of Shrimps’ pressure continued, and McKiernan came agonisingly close to pulling one back on the hour mark. Senior’s long throw was headed on inside the area by Slew and the Northern Ireland U21 international reacted quickest by firing an effort against the crossbar from a tight angle.
At the other end, substitute Tayt Trusty came within inches of adding a third. Weir poked a ball through to the youngster down the right-hand side of Morecambe’s box, the powerful strike beat Smith but there was Jacob Bedeau with a vital clearance on the line.
Weir looked to turn from provider to scorer on 86 minutes. After latching onto Jaden Jones’ through ball, he cut back and created the angle for a right-footed curling effort, but he failed to keep the shot down as the ball flew harmlessly over.
With time ticking on and the Shrimps still looking for a way back, Slew stepped up with a powerful strike from distance, the power was excellent but it lacked the placement to test Blackpool’s goalkeeper.
Just as seven minutes additional was indicated from the fourth official, Blackpool’s lead was halved. Ethan Walker’s dangerous corner was sent underneath the nose of O’Donnell and there was Rawson to head home.
Despite late pressure, including a fierce strike from McKiernan, the home side held on for victory.
Full-time: Blackpool 2 Morecambe 1
Blackpool: O’Donnell, Gabriel (Donkor, HT), Weir, Beesley (Lescott, 71’), Casey ©, Lyons, Oakley-Boothe, Tharme, Miles (Trusty, 58’, Jones, 77’), Mariette, Squires.
Subs not used: Chapman, Nyame, Opawole.
Goals: Beesley (21’, 46’).
Bookings: Miles, Mariette.
Red cards: None.
Morecambe: A Smith, Tutonda (Melbourne, 67’), Bedeau, Rawson ©, Songo’o (Connolly, 88’), Bloxham (C Smith, 82’), McKiernan, Mayor, Senior, Slew, Davenport (Walker, 67’).
Subs not used: Pedley, Rooney, Mercer.
Goals: Rawson (90+1’).
Red cards: None.
Attendance: 1,829 (277 away).