Screaming teenage girls have become a feature at Blackpool home games this season. Not since the days of George Best have the worlds of sport and pop celebrity collided with such tectonic force. Pasqualino and Mortimer remember the Best era of course, but are still surprised by the crowd’s fervour for the iconic Morrow. Blackpool have struggled in recent weeks and for that reason captain Morrow selected a full squad to face off against a strong Preston side.
The whistle blew and a rested Blackpool side was unleashed on unsuspecting Preston. Morgan has the loping gait of an experienced gunslinger and is no less deadly, constantly opening the Preston defence. Good interplay between the half’s and forwards began to tell and what followed was a master class of one touch passing and clinical finishing with the veteran Mortimer slipping the ball under the keeper. Getting’s playing at left back likes his hockey the way he likes his sex, one on one and no dribbling but this did not help him being taken to hospital to have his head stitched after a collision with a Preston stick.
Morrow decided that the game was won and started to sign autographs – a necessary evil, with sales of his replica shirt constituting 25% of club turnover. But without the same one touch pacing Blackpool started to wobble. Slick Preston play saw them draw level with a well worked move. Kilshaw was uncharacteristically hesitant and the team was uncharacteristically tight lipped. Preston’s second came shortly after, Boniface Snr like a good gynaecologist was ready to put his hand up. Blackpool were rocked. They replied with attack after attack but Preston’s defence held firm and their endeavour was rewarded by a third Preston goal. Woodman’s facial tick displayed the strain of the half and the pressure Blackpool were under.
Nevertheless, at half time changes were needed. The Morrow / Pasqualino midfield empire resembling the Hapsburgs in 1848 may be struggling, but its future was surely saved by the young legs of Boniface Jn, Slater and Whitley. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and Morgan as calculated as an experienced Lothario rammed home early in the second half to bring Blackpool to a 1 goal deficit. The crowd were uplifted only to see Preston steal a fourth goal after a piece of foot work that would have gone down well at Bloomfield Road.
At the final whistle Preston took the honours, but Blackpool can take heart at a good team performance.
© Kieron Morrow 8/3/04