Underdogs Macclesfield Town upset League One side Blackpool on penalties to advance to the second round of the Carabao Cup thanks in part to the hero of the night, Owen Evans.
Evans was in phenomenal form in front of goal as he saved two penalties and then stepped up to take the winning spot-kick, as he comfortably slotted it home into the bottom left corner. Macclesfield now will play Grimsby Town in the second round during the week commencing the 26th of August.
The Silkmen came into the game with four changes from Saturday’s 3-0 victory against Leyton Orient. Jacob Blyth, Corey O’Keefe, Connor Kirby and Fraser Horsfall all promoted to the starting line-up.
Blackpool took the lead in the first half hour of the game with a header into the far corner by former Crewe Alexandra player Ollie Turton which caught Macclesfield keeper Owen Evans by surprise.
However, it didn’t take long for the game to even up again as Blackpool defender Rocky Bushiri put the ball into his own net after a looping cross from new signing Jacob Blyth. The Belgian is currently on a season long loan spell at Blackpool from Norwich City in the Premier League.
Sol Campbells tactical substitutions paid off as Paddy Osadebe put through Virgil Gomis smashed home the ball off the bar and into the back of the Blackpool keepers net for his first goal in a Silkmen shirt to put Macc ahead in the second half.
In the dying moments of the game Macclesfield heavily relied on their defending as Blackpool applied the pressure to try and grab a goal. However, a Blackpool player was fouled in the box and Armond Gnanduillet converted from the spot in the 90thminute.
The skipper Fiacre Kelleher continued his fine form this season for The Silkmen and looked almost unstoppable in the centre of a five-man defence. Corey O’Keefe made his debut on the night for Macc and looked promising in midfield.
In a game that didn’t see many chances for Macc, Blackpool were not efficient enough in front of goal and suffered defeat under former Sunderland Manager Simon Grayson.
Sullay Kaikai was the biggest threat against Macc during the game as he came close to scoring a freekick from 30 yards out early in the second half. The winger started his career in Crystal Palace’s youth system.
Grayson’s team started their season undefeated in League One as they defeated both Bristol Rovers and Southend United in comfortable fashion. Last season they reached the fourth round of competition but lost to Arsenal in a close game.
Macclesfield now look forward to continuing their winning form into league competition as we take on Northampton Town away at the weekend in our third fixture of the 2019/20 League Two season.
By Leif Payne