On a beautiful autumnal afternoon Blackpool entertained Formby at Stanley Park. A large squad enabled captain Rayner to use rolling substitutes throughout the game, and give some of the up and coming youngsters some valuable pitch time, with the likes of Ryan Lynch, Jason Hollis, Declan O’Hara and Craig Brookes all starting to challenge for a starting place on the team.
Blackpool started well with Sam Goudie and Paul Wicker again bossing the midfield. An early short corner resulted in a shot from Wicker being stopped on the line by a Formby foot, resulting in a penalty flick. This was duly converted by Paul Atherton giving an early 1-0 lead.
Blackpool continued attacking and were unlucky not to score again. Formby also looked dangerous at times with some quick passing young players in their side, however they could not get past the experienced defence of Latimer, Rayner, Bould, Bancroft and the returning Blakemore in goal. Half-time came with the score still 1-0 to the home side.
Blackpool continued to put the pressure on in the 2nd half, with the wide men of Atherton and Rowe causing problems to Formby. Wicker was unlucky not to score from another short corner when a flying shot across the D was on its way into the goal before a great instinctive save from the Formby keeper.
Blackpool started to lose some of its shape as Formby counter attacked more often, and the match became much more open as the game progressed. Formby scored an equaliser after some sustained pressure and the game was level with fifteen minutes to go. Blackpool continued to attack in numbers with Lester and Latimer pushing up from their usual defensive positions in the hope of helping the attack but it was to no avail and the game ended in a draw.
Credit to Chris Crossland for umpiring the whole match and to Formby for playing a hard fought game in the right spirit. Although Blackpool were disappointed not to win, Formby went on to win 6-0 on Sunday and both teams are now joint 3rd in the very competitive Division 9N. Next week sees a very tough game away at top of the table Urmston.
© Peter Latimer 22/10/07