Loan watch: Dan Kemp scores first FA Cup goal
Academy of Football winger Dan Kemp scored his second goal in Blackpool colours – and his first in the FA Cup – as the West Ham United loanee helped the Tangerines reach the FA Cup third round.
With League One side Blackpool in action at League Two club Harrogate Town on Saturday afternoon, visiting manager Neil Critchley fielded a strong starting eleven for the second round tie at Wetherby Road.
A tense first 45 minutes ensued with neither team able to break the deadlock, but the Seasiders took command of the tie in the second half.
Two goals before the hour mark – a Josh Falkingham own-goal from a corner and a great shot from Grant Ward – had Blackpool comfortably in charge before Kemp came off the bench with ten minutes remaining.
The 21-year-old’s impact was immediate, showing great desire to win the ball back on the edge of his own area and set a counter-attack underway from which Jordan Gabriel added a third on 85 minutes.
A slip from Kevin Lokko saw the defender instinctively react to bring down Blackpool’s Gary Madine who was clean through on goal, earning the Harrogate player a straight red card.
Kemp then added further gloss to the scoreline when, from the resulting free-kick, the ball was whipped in and headed down by Beryly Lubala, with the West Ham winger gleefully smashing the ball in from close range for his first-ever goal in the prestigious trophy.
Blackpool’s 4-0 win ensured safe passage for the Tangerines into the FA Cup third round, the draw for which takes place on Monday evening.
Amongst West Ham’s other loanees, Xande Silva was also an impactful second-half substitute but could not prevent Aris Thessaloniki FC from losing their unbeaten start to the Super League Greece season.
Until recently the table toppers, Aris had made an excellent start to their campaign but had their title credentials placed under the microscope with the visit of defending champions Olympiakos to Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium.
A relatively even contest took place on Saturday afternoon with both sides having their chances, but Olympiakos eventually took charge of the crunch match thanks to an Andreas Bouchalakis brace either side of half-time.
Silva was brought on by Aris in the 58th minute as they attempted to mount a comeback, and the 23-year-old gave his team a lifeline soon after with an incisive run behind his marker and an accurate low pull-back which Facundo Bertoglio smashed into the net.
Unfortunately, West Ham’s Portuguese forward was unable to add to his first competitive assist of the season and Olympiakos closed out the game to win 2-1 and return to the top of Super League Greece.
Now fourth in the table, Aris will have a quick turnaround in which to recover from their disappointment, as they next travel to struggling Larissa on Wednesday.