Relaxed in the knowledge of a mid-table finish, Blackpool we were away with the fairies in the first 10 minutes and most of the players were thinking of the end of season night out rather than playing hockey. This resulted in Runcorn, who needed a win to help fight relegation, scoring 2 easy goals and heaping the pressure on.
The Blackpool side responded very well, Wright opened the scoring by showing good battling skills to beat the last defender before slotting the ball passed the goal keeper. This was quickly followed by a Whitley equaliser, following a good run into the D where his cross cum shot was deflected into the net by an unfortunate Runcorn defender.
Blackpool then went up a goal and started to play some really nice hockey, putting the Runcorn defence under pressure. The third goal came from a misunderstanding between the Runcorn defence and their goalkeeper, Kieron Morrow slid the ball into Morgan who managed to get a slight deflection within the D, the ball limped towards the GK and should have resulted in a simple save. At the last moment one of the Runcorn defenders shouted “leave” which the GK duly obliged and the ball rolled into the net. Goal given much to the surprised delight of the Blackpool team.
The 4th goal came from the move of the match, Whitley and Ashfield swapped passes down the left wing, Ashfield sliding the ball to Morgan in the D who quickly spun and buried the ball into the back of the net. More pressure told when Morgan completed his hat-trick with an easy tap in from a good cross from Ashfield. Half time and Blackpool were 5 – 2 up.
Runcorn came out for the 2nd half fired up and had changed their formation to try and get the goals that they needed, Blackpool coped with the changes brilliantly but they were unable to stop 2 Runcorn goals, 5 – 4 and the game was back on.
Blackpool quickly changed their own formation. 20 minutes to go and Blackpool were a awarded a free hit at the top of the Runcorn D, Morgan took this quickly passing the ball to Kieron Morrow who made no mistake, smashing the ball into the back of the net. 10 minutes later a quick counter attack led to Morgan squaring the ball for a whippet like Liam Morrow to tap into the net.
Final score 7 – 4 and a very enjoyable final game of the season for the Blackpool side, who finish with 5 wins in a row and a clear 7th place in Division 3.
© Dave Morgan 02/04/07 (edit PL)