In-form Phillips helps Blackpool dispose of Wednesday
Sheffield Wednesday 0 Blackpool 3: An 11th goal in as many matches from 20-year-old winger Matt Phillips set Blackpool on course for a comfortable win in last night's FA Cup replay, earning Ian Holloway's side a trip to Everton in the fifth round.
Blackpool maintained a run that has seen them lose only once since the beginning of December, combining a strong challenge in the Championship with a place in the last 16 of the FA Cup for the first time in 22 years.
They were two goals up within 14 minutes, each time scoring from speculative distance. First the impressive Phillips squeezed a 20-yard effort between Stephen Bywater and the left-hand post, then Lomana LuaLua, setting himself up with a run from the half-way line, gave the Wednesday goalkeeper no chance with a fine curling shot into the far corner from left to right.
Wednesday would have won at Bloomfield Road but for a late Kevin Phillips penalty but their promotion ambitions in League One persuaded Gary Megson to omit key players, although he could not be accused of gambling any more than Holloway – fined £25,000 last year for fielding a weakened team – who matched his seven changes.
Denied a reply when goalkeeper Matt Gilks parried a Rob Jones header, Wednesday fell further behind nine minutes into the second half as Ludovic Sylvestre left Bywater beaten again with another well-flighted strike, after which Blackpool could safely begin thinking about a return to Premier League territory on Saturday week.
Asked if he felt the watching Everton manager David Moyes would have been impressed, Holloway said: "We lost 5-3 at their place last season and they will be favourites but that was as professional as we have been since I have been here."
Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Bywater; Otsemobor, Batth, Jones, R Johnson (Semedo, h-t); Sedgwick, Lines, Palmer, Bennett; Morrison, Lowe. Substitutes not used Weaver (gk), Buxton, Prutton, O'Grady, Beevers, Madine.
Blackpool (4-2-3-1): Gilks; Eardley, Baptiste, Harris (Dicko, 85), Wilson; Sylvestre, Angel; Ince, Lua-Lua, M Phillips (Bruna, 76); K Phillips (Fleck, 64). Substitutes not used Halstead (gk), Taylor-Fletcher, Basham, Djordic.
Referee A D'Urso (Essex).