Blackpool started their new season in Division 9N with an even bigger squad then they ended last year’s promotion winning season. Along with several youngsters coming through the ranks, there are also several older players who have joined or returned to the club.
This presented a nice problem for Dave Rayner as captain, and after considering the tactical options he decided to go on the attack with a 3-5-2 formation, safe in the knowledge that he had an experienced defensive line.
Pressure was put upon the visiting Lytham side from the off. There was a series of attacks and short corners and the ball rarely left the Lytham end for the first ten minutes but no goal was scored. There was good play from the whole midfield, with new recruit Paul replacing Ash in the infamous central midfield pairing with Sam Goudie. Special mention also for Jack Jones with a notable league debut on the right wing.
Gradually Lytham came into the game, and their four or five attackers started to cause problems for Blackpool’s defensive trio of Walker, Rayner and Latimer. This in fact led Rayner to change to a safer 4-4-2 formation and rotated the defence with Bould and Allen making their league debuts.
The game being opened up probably helped Blackpool as they finally scored from a well struck Goudie shot. A second followed after some interplay between the twin attack of Chris Hocking and Martin Hayes with the latter credited for the goal. The scored stayed at 2-0 till half time.
The second half saw more Blackpool substitutions, although several players were not able to be used due to the league restrictions, but they will surely have their chance in future games. Mitch Blakemore caused problems when he came on in attack, in a case of keeper turned poacher.
Midway through the 2nd half Alex Rowe scored the third goal with a strike straight down the side of the goalpost, leaving the keeper too much to do. Not long after one of the Blackpool players attacked down the right of the D, the keeper followed, but a pass/shot got past him, and Hayes was on hand to help in a certain goal, and make him the team’s top scorer.
It wasn’t a one-sided contest, and Lytham had their chances, especially when their coach Raj came on to play and show off his undoubted skills. However the passing and finishing was too slow for the quick-witted Blackpool defence, and a clean sheet was earned.
Great start to the season although tougher challenges no doubt await.
© Peter Latimer 28/09/07