Manchester United advanced to the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup on penalties having drawn 0-0 with Blackpool in normal time.
As is usually the case in the shoot out it was the goalkeeper who was the hero and it was Anders Lindegaard who saved two penalties for United on his return from an ankle injury that has ruled him out for the last two months.
Lindegaard impressed throughout the game, making a series of important saves before really stepping up to take the plaudits as United’s reserves made it to the Cup final. It is to Lindegaard’s credit that Blackpool could be considered the better side in the opening exchanges.
Two other returnees impressed on their first outings for United since heading out on loan to Hull City in recent months. Robbie Brady and Josh King combined throughout the game to create United’s best chances. But it was Blackpool who continued to look more likely to score, only to be denied by Lindegaard at every attack.
United took control in the second half with King showing why he is tipped for big things at Old Trafford, going close several times and looking a constant threat to the Blackpool goal. But in the Blackpool goal Stephen Husband was in as impressive form as Lindegaard was for United.
The two goalkeepers had both put in good displays and when the match went to penalties it was clear one or other would emerge a hero. United scored their first four, with Lindegaard saving one of Blackpool’s. But Husband saved United’s fifth to send the game to sudden death. With Ekangamene netting his for United it was down to Lindegaard to be the hero and he denied Jamie Menagh to set up a Senior Cup final against Accrington Stanley.
Lindegaard’s return to fitness has come too late for a return to the first team this season, but he will complete a full pre season and aim to continue where he left off, putting real pressure on David De Gea for the goalkeeper’s jersey next season.