As Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote in his famous ode “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!”. If Shelly was alive today the author would replace Ozymandias with Blackpool Hockey Club. Tactically Blackpool have moved things around in recent weeks and have reaped the benefits, going unbeaten for three games and playing some stunning hockey along the way. The defence once as leaky as the roof over Bloomfield Road is now built on a belief that nothing will get through. The midfield is strong going forward and quick to work back and have an emerging talent in the form of Dom Chadwick at left half. The attack, while still not firing on all cylinders is opening holes in opposition defences allowing the midfield to get on the score sheet.
Blakemore in goal began the match with nothing to do but admire the Blackpool possession. The defence of Woodman, Latimer, Gettings and Boniface watched open mouthed as the midfield of Abbott, Pasqualino, Morrow and Chadwick played hockey as though they had invented the game. Morrow and Morgan were left to run the opposition defence as wave after wave of attack built pressure. Northop stood firm like the Russians at Leningrad but cracks started to show and Pasqualino eventually opened the scoring just before half time with a roofed shoot from a short corner. Northop to their credit rallied and went into half time level from a near side shot that slipped under the keeper.
The second half brought more of the same good hockey with man of the match Dom Chadwick getting a tap in on 40 minutes and Dave Morgan finishing of a great pass from skipper Morrow to make it three one. Northop rallied and counter attacked, scoring from a well worked short corner, but it was too little, too late. When Dave Morgan finished from a brilliant Blackpool break the game was all but over. Northop again broke to score with the last shot of the game but Blackpool had collectively taken their foot off the gas and were looking at the after game buffet and bar.
This reporter can only draw on Percy for his closing comments: “Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare. The lone and level sands stretch far away”.
© Kieron Morrow 22/11/04 with a little inspiration from Stuart Hall.