Eastbourne Borough 0-3 Blackpool: Gary Madine double and late Jerry Yates goal help League One side ease past non-league hosts in FA Cup
- Blackpool survived a tricky away trip as they beat Eastbourne 3-0 in the FA Cup
- The non-league underdogs threatened a major upset in the opening 45 minutes
- A Gary Madine brace and Jerry Yates goal helped the League One side progress
- The draw for the second round of the competition will be held on Monday at 7pm
The plan for Neil Critchley to sprinkle some Liverpool magic further up the Lancashire coast at Blackpool appears to be taking shape.
With a six-hour journey, 4G pitch and opposition playing the biggest match of their history, this FA Cup visit to a somewhat different type of seaside resort looked an awkward prospect for Liverpool’s former under-23 manager.
The early skirmishes suggested that might prove the case, but two goals from Gary Madine either side of the hour mark ensured the League One side would not join the list of this weekend’s heavy fallers. A third straight win after a difficult start to the season was eventually sealed at a canter.
Gary Madine (left) scored twice as Blackpool won 3-0 at Eastbourne in the FA Cup first round
Eastbourne had been eyeing an upset and the tie was in the balance with no goals at half-time
It is the long-term project of Critchley and Hong Kong-based proprietor Simon Sadler to see that Blackpool again become known for such things as their FA Cup pedigree, rather than protracted agonies over ownership matters.
‘I spoke to the owner yesterday – he is obviously a Blackpool supporter steeped in the history of the club and he knows the importance of this competition to us,’ said Critchley. ‘So do I and so do the players – that was stressed to them beforehand.
‘We are trying to build an identity at the club so that we become renowned for an attractive way of playing, and we’ve got a good group of people to do that.’
Having brought in 17 players since taking the job just prior to lockdown, often via a new emphasis on data analysis, he knows it will not be a quick transition.
‘It won’t be an overnight thing but we know what we are trying to do,’ he said. ‘There is a better feeling in the camp and I believe we will get stronger in the second half of the season as the relationships grow and with the way we train and prepare.’
Ambitious Blackpool boss Neil Critchley watches as his team secure a third successive victory
Coach Critchley aims to create an identity after taking over at the former Premier League club
Madine, who played in the top flight with Cardiff, is feeding off Critchley’s vaunted technical knowledge.
‘You can tell he has come from a Premier League environment: everything is very high energy,’ said the strapping striker. ‘We are a young side but we are heading in the right direction.’
Critchley was grateful for Eastbourne allowing them to train on Priory Lane’s artificial surface on Saturday night, but there was nothing hospitable about how the National League South players, to their credit, tore into the relative high fliers at the start.
Forward Madine puts Borough to the sword in the biggest match in the Sussex side’s history
The first half was even before Madine’s brace and a 92nd-minute Jerry Yates goal for Blackpool
This was the biggest match in their history and the sixth time in the first round – no heritage of Nat Lofthouse hat-tricks and the 1953 ‘Matthews final’ here.
Blackpool’s defence creaked at the start and twice they had reason to be grateful to goalkeeper and captain Chris Maxwell, particularly when he blocked the shot of Borough’s Greg Luer after he broke clean through.
The Tangerines always possessed the greater attacking threat in winger CJ Hamilton, and once Madine had struck first on 58 minutes, the deficit of 64 league places never looked like being upended.
Yates seals the triumph with his late goal to send the visitors into the next round of the FA Cup
MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
Eastbourne: Ravizzoli; Vaughan, James, Dickenson, Innocent; Luer, Hammond, Ferry, Cox; Walker, Whelpdale
Blackpool: Maxwell; Gabriel, Gretarsson, Ekpiteta, Husband; Kaikai, Dougall, Hamilton, Turton; Madina, Yates