The police had given warnings to the travelling fans to be in The Dome at least one hour before push back and only fans with tickets should make the journey. Much of Blackpool and the outlying areas were at a standstill and the police eventually had to admit that the whole area had become one big car park. Tickets were being traded on the black market for extortionate fees and by one o’clock The Dome reached its official capacity for the first time. The Blackpool squad left the De Vere hotel at the usual time and needed four police outriders to make the short journey across the park. The streets were lined with ticketless fans just wanting a glimpse of their heroes. Banners were hung from trees adorned with messages of good luck, marriage proposals and some with a more sexual content.
On the cards was a game of epic proportions. The Blackpool management had on the previous Friday signed a deal with Ridley Scott for the film rights. It has already been rumoured that Russell Crowe has agreed to play Gareth Gettings and that Tom Cruise will play Joe Boniface. Bowden are not know for taking prisoners and as they are used to big games were not fazed by the atmosphere or the huge crowd. The management had banned any Blackpool players from signing anything to avoid the rush on EBay for goods bearing the mark of any players name. The warm up was carried out with military precision and when the whistle blew Blackpool were ready.
Bowden have scored over forty goals this season and started in a very attacking fashion. Blackpool weathered and countered wit all the skill of a Mexican southpaw. A move down the left resulted in Whitley being bundled over for a penalty flick. Morrow stepped up an dispatched with customary aplomb, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and sending the home end into uproar. The decibel levels reached 107dB breaking the stadium record, previously held by Westlife.
Just before half time Bowden struck twice with well worked passing moves putting them infront when the whistle blew. Fluids were taken on board and the message was more of the same, with more intensity and more passion. The captain took himself off and brought Wright on playing up front. Some would say a master stroke as within three minutes of the restart he had flicked the ball in the top corner. It was plain to see the Blackpool just could not keep up the pace and when Bowden went 3-2 up the writing was on the wall. Bowden finally scored from one of their numerous shorts to make it 4-2 and just before the close went 5-2 up with a well worked goal down the right.
A good match played in good spirit in front of a capacity crowd. Everyone got their moneys worth and the police reported no trouble after the game. Unfortunately Bowden’s travelling ‘Ultras’ did however wreck the Chorley Services on the way back to Manchester and the Fire Brigade took several hours to put out the fire and re open both carriage ways.
Squad – Blakemore, Woodman, Gettings, Latimer, Morrow L, Abbott, Pascalino, Whitley, Morrow K, Ashfield, Morgan, Boniface, Wright. MoM – Gettings.
© Kieron Morrow 14/11/05
[View from the Defence] Bowden were panicing after half an hour, a goal down and outplayed, with bickering amongst the players. The Blackpool team had simply surprised them with their interplay in midfield and their rock solid defence. But Bowden showed their quality with 2 quick goals when they were given the chance, and held the advantage at half-time. Blackpool scored what can only be described as a bit of a flukey goal and believed they could still get a result from the game. However Bowden upped the pressure and despite some heroics in the Blackpool defence they managed to score 3 more times. A great match, with the 5-2 scoreline not showing how close it was at times.