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Everton loanee steals the show as Blackpool swat aside Oxford in play-off clash

Play-off specialists Blackpool will take a commanding 3-0 lead into the second leg of their League One play-off semi-final against Oxford United.

The Tangerines were good value for the win and will be confident of finishing the job when the two sides play the return leg at Bloomfield Road on Friday night.

Ellis Simms, the youngster on loan from Premier League side Everton, was the star of the show for Blackpool as he scored a brace to take his personal tally for the season into double figures.

Oliver Turton opened the scoring when he prodded home midway through the first half for the visitors.

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Blackpool’s Ellis Simms celebrates his second goal

Before then, Blackpool had come close with the hosts putting in some last-ditch tackles and blocks to keep the Tangerines at bay.

But they weren’t to be denied for too long and Turton was on hand to stab home after the ball kindly fell his way from a deep free-kick.

And within a few minutes the advantage was quickly doubled.

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It was a night to forget for Oxford’s returning fans

Simms, 20, scored a classy goal as he flicked the ball over his marker with his right foot and lashed home with his left.

Oxford toiled but failed to get a foothold in the game and a third goal arrived for Neil Critchley’s side on 74 minutes.

Simms struck his second and a potentially killer third when he stabbed home after linking up well with Jerry Yates.

Karl Robinson’s side have it all to do in 72 hours’ time if they are to make Wembley for a second successive year, whilst Blackpool remain on course for a record-breaking sixth promotion via the play-offs route.

The other play-off sees Lincoln host Sunderland on Wednesday night before the return leg takes place three days later.

The Wembley final is on Sunday, May 30.

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