In the spring of 1940 the country was on its knees, Hitler controlled all of Western Europe and was massing troops on the French north coast for a summer invasion. The UK economy was in pieces, the armed forces massivly overstreched and the nation really did feel as though its collective head was on the chopping block. But what happened? The RAF gave every Meschersmitt that took to the skies a proper spanking and then 4 years later instead of Germany invading us we got into anything that floated, crossed the channel and invaded them. In those crucial months Churchill gave his imortal “never has so much been owed to so few” and “we will fight them on the beaches” speeches and the country rallied. We just never gave up…………
Fast forward sixty six years. Its 2.35 on Saturday afternoon and Blackpool are playing to a capacity Dome against a much disliked Tameside team. Blackpool are three nil down and playing like the stuff you flush down the toilet every morning. What happens? The Blackpool squad sit down at half time, discuss where things are going wrong and agree what to do to fix the problems.
Five minutes after the restart Blackpool draw one goal back from Steve Whitley after a scrapy penalty corner that just sneaks under the Tameside goaly. Ten minutes later they are two to the good after Rob Abbott rifles in a top D strike. Score Blackpool 2 – Tameside 3.
The game is going from D to D at unbelivable pace and all the time Blackpool are pressing and pushing for the equaliser. Ten minutes to go and they are awarded another short corner and the big man is called up for a drag flick, the routine works perfectly but a Tameside defender gets his body in the way. An almighty goal mouth scramble and the whislte goes. The umpire is pointing to the spot and Blackpool are awarded a flick. This is it. This is where people stand up to be counted. Blackpool had dragged themselves off the floor, dusted themselves down and got stuck in and now needed to draw level. Kieron Morrow stood up as always, his chisled features slightly rugged in the late afternoon winter sun. The weekly toll on his body immense, the miles run and muscles torn for this one moment.
Not a sound could be heard as the umpire blew his whistle. Time had stopped. And then it happened. Beautiful in its execution and as presise as a surgeons blade, the ball left Morrows stick and flew into the top left hand corner of net. The flick completly unsavable. 65,000 people and the Blackpool squad went bezerk. Three all with ten minutes to play but the whole game seemed to go flat. Tameside did not push forward as much as they did not want to be caught on the break and the strain of equalizing seemd to have deflated the Blackpool charge.
On the final whistle both teams knew they had been in a game but it must have been a hollow 1 point for Tameside. Blackpool just never give up and just will not stop pushing and pushing. The best part of the whole game for this repoter was how Blackpool analysed without emotion at half time what was going wrong and simply fixed it. If they keep playing how they are at the moment they are a match for any team, home or away in this division.
Squad: Blakemore, Woodman, Gettings, Wright, L.Morrow, Abbott, Pasqualino, Mortimer, K.Morrow, Whitley, Morgan, Chadwick, Boniface. MoM – Blakemore.
© Kieron Morrow 23/01/06
[ edited for historical inaccuracies – PL ]