In a traumatic week for the club, both the 1st and 2nd teams could only manage to field 11 players each. The 1st had several changes from the week before but Captain Morgan pointed out the opportunities for those who were playing.
The first half was quite even with both sides attacking in numbers and causing problems. Good tackling from Blackpool, working as a team, cancelled out many of Brooklands’ attacks early, although they did manage to win a number of short corners but none were converted.
Late in the half, Mortimer, as stand-in left back, struck a ball down the wing straight to Blacow, who passed to Wright in the D, and a short corner was won. From this opportunity, Blacow managed a good strike at goal after an accurate push out from Whitley. The initial shot was saved but Morgan pounced on the rebound and made no mistake. 1-0 to Blackpool and the half-time whistle blew shortly afterwards.
The second half started in the same manner with both sides having chances. Sam Goudie scored his first goal fro the 1st’s with a reverse stick strike, following consecutive reverse stick passes from both Morgan and Wright, to make it 2-0.
Brooklands were unluckily disallowed a goal from a well worked short corner after their umpire declared that the ball was not in control at the top if the D, to the amazement of both sets of players.
With 5 minutes to play Blackpool seemed to be coasting, only for Wright to get himself yellow carded for unnecessary swearing. This may have inspired Brooklands as they came on the attack, with one player allowed to run 50 yards with the ball without a single Blackpool player challenging him. It was only as he was about to enter the D that a defender left his man to tackle him, only for the ball to be passed to the spare attacker who slotted it away to make it 2-1.
2 minutes to play and Brooklands pushed for an equaliser. Blackpool were unable to get the ball out of their own half and eventually a short corner was conceded with the final whistle blown.
The whole Brooklands team arranged themselves around the D whilst the Blackpool defensive line psyched themselves up to deny any chance of an equaliser. The corner was taken only for the umpire to blow up as he deemed the first Blackpool runner had gone too early. Another corner was taken with the Brooklands attackers mucking it up and the ball going clear and Blackpool were jubilant.
But no, the Brooklands umpire had blown again and claimed that the Blackpool runners had again left their line before the ball had moved. As this reporter was one of them I can truthfully say that this decision was wrong, as both runners were being extra careful not to move before the ball was struck.
After the discussions with the umpire had calmed down a third corner was taken, and after a switch a shot flew at chest height across the goals and would have gone wide but instead hit a defender outside the posts. Much to the utter dismay of the whole Blackpool side, the umpire decided to award a penalty flick as he deemed the ball to be heading into the goal. Again, more arguments, but nothing could be done but hope the flick would be saved.
It was a low push and agonisingly just squeezed under a diving Kilshaw to finish the game 2-2. Brooklands were jubilant, Blackpool were gutted and absolutely furious about the umpiring at the final short corner.
The end result shouldn’t detract from a great Blackpool team performance for 65 minutes, and something to build on for the rest of the season.
© Peter Latimer 1/10/07