The Nightmare before Christmas continues for Blackpool

Blackpool Men’s 1s 1-4 Bebington Men’s 2s

by Peter Latimer

There were only a few days grace after the excesses of Christmas and New Year before Blackpool had to get ready to re-start their league programme and try and stave off relegation from Division 3. The rearranged match was against Bebington, as the original had been cancelled after Stanley Park had flooded in December, and instead of rain the players were faced with an extremely cold wind.

Blackpool could still only field 11 players, with one missing due to confusion over an earlier start time than normal, so the line-up was hastily reorganised. Despite this distraction Blackpool started well and the game was fairly even. The umpiring was very strict, with short corners being awarded for first offences outside of the D, and it wasn’t long before David Wright was yellow-carded for one of his over-enthusiastic tackles, even though it wasn’t malicious and was his first offence.

Whether it was due to being a man down, or another reason, suddenly Bebington started to pile on the pressure and managed to score a succession of goals within a 15 minute period. The first was from a scrappy short corner. The second was due to a player being able to run uninterrupted through the whole of the central midfield and create an easy overlap. The third was a lucky touch in the D which flew over the keeper’s head.

Blackpool found themselves 3-0 down at the interval and despite the captain’s encouragements it felt like a mountain to climb to even rescue a solitary point.

Honours were even in the second half, maybe because Bebington knew they had the game won. After Kieron Morrow was yellow carded for daring to ask the umpire why he awarded a foul, Bebington used the extra man to their advantage and broke down the right and crossed for a simple goal. Blackpool finally got a consolation goal after a Rob Abbott shot at a short corner rebounded off a Bebington defender’s leg into the goal.

The game finished at 4-1 and now Blackpool are rooted firmly at the bottom of the division, having wasted their game in hand against opposition who were nothing special, and now face a difficult 10 weeks to try and keep their place in Division 3.

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