Blackpool FC: Karamoko Dembele impresses on debut as Seasiders overcome Barrow in EFL Trophy opener

Blackpool started their EFL Trophy campaign with a victory over Barrow (Photo: CameraSport - Dave Howarth)
Blackpool started their EFL Trophy campaign with a victory over Barrow (Photo: CameraSport - Dave Howarth)

Karamoko Dembele impressed on his debut for the club, as goals from Sonny Carey and substitute Kylian Kouassi helped the Seasiders to a win in Cumbria.

Neil Critchley made nine changes from the side that overcame Wigan Athletic at the weekend, with only Callum Connolly and Jensen Weir remaining in the starting 11.

The Tangerines enjoyed the majority of possession throughout the game, but were unable to create a clear opening in the early stages.

On his first outing, Dembele looked lively.

After winning a free kick on the edge of the box, the 20-year-old stepped up to take it himself, but fired over the crossbar.

He had another chance shortly after, but sliced a half volley wide of the target.

Just after the half hour mark, Barrow tested Richard O’Donnell for the first time, with Courtney Duffus rolling an effort towards the Tangerines keeper.

Down the over end, some good work from Dembele saw Owen Dale played through on goal.

Unfortunately for the visitors, the attacker’s eventual shot was deflected wide.

The breakthrough came ahead of half time.

A ball forward was played to Carey, who shifted the ball calmly onto his right foot, before curling his shot into the corner past Josh Lillis.

Following a period of pressure from Barrow after the restart, substitute Matthew Pennington came close to doubling Blackpool’s lead, with the defender firing a shot at the Bluebirds keeper.

In the Tangerines goal, O’Donnell was also on hand with a fantastic save to deny Duffus.

Heading into the latter stages, the Tangerines confirmed the win.

Fresh off the bench, Albie Morgan won the ball back and led a counter-attack down the right side, before playing a ball into the box to fellow sub Kouassi- who marked his debut with a goal.

Blackpool FC: Richard O’Donnell, Doug Tharme (59’), Marvin Ekpiteta, Callum Connolly, Karamoko Dembele (61’), Jensen Weir (59’), Kenny Dougall, Matty Virtue (45’), Dominic Thompson, Sonny Carey, Owen Dale (80’).

Substitutions: MacKenzie Chapman, Matthew Pennington (59’), Kwaku Donkor (59’), Albie Morgan (80’), Tashan Oakley-Boothe (45’), Jake Beesley, Kylian Kouassi (61’).