Daniel Ballard provided an assist to help Blackpool through to the play-off final, though he was withdrawn at half-time of Friday’s semi-final second leg.

Daniel Ballard (R) celebrates a goal in Blackpool's play-off semi-final (Photo via BlackpoolFC.co.uk)
Daniel Ballard (R) celebrates a goal in Blackpool’s play-off semi-final (Photo via BlackpoolFC.co.uk)

Blackpool went into the home leg of their play-off semi-final with a 3-0 lead, knowing that anything barring an embarrassing defeat would see them through to the final at Wembley next week.

Arsenal loanee Daniel Ballard earned another start, and he was twice crucially involved in a frantic opening 15 minutes.

It was a foul by Ballard that gave Blackpool the chance to open the scoring, albeit from a very harsh free-kick against the Arsenal man. Within four minutes Blackpool had equalised, and two minutes later Ballard set up a goal to make it 2-1 to his side.

With a corner looping over towards the back post, Ballard somehow angled his body to head the ball back into the six-yard box, where Kenneth Dougall was on hand to volley into the net.

The game calmed down a little after that, before Ballard was withdrawn at half-time. Blackpool conceded two more goals without him, but they also scored one to finish the match 3-3, 6-3 on aggregate.

Though there were suggestions of a knock for the loanee, he hinted that he would be there at Wembley next Sunday in his post on Twitter, and I’m certain he’ll do everything he can to be available.

Blackpool will face the winner of Sunderland’s play-off semi-final against Lincoln City, which takes place at 15:30 BST on Saturday. Lincoln City are 2-0 up after the first leg.