After two demoralising defeats on the road, Blackpool 1st’s were back at home for a must win game against fellow relegation strugglers South Cheshire.
A full squad, including a record four subs, looked promising. They started well with good passing, but a series of defensive mistakes after attacking too high up the pitch lead to three goals conceded within the first half.
Meanwhile there was a torrential downpour of icy rain which left the notoriously poor-draining Stanley Park pitch full of puddles. It’s just as well that the dual pitches are about to be ripped up and replaced by brand new sand-dressed pitches, hopefully ready midway through next season.
The second half would have been laughable were it not for the seriousness of the match as passing play was made impossible by puddles stopping the ball dead. However Blackpool actually played better and had several chances to score, hitting the crossbar, having a goal disallowed, and generally having no luck around the goal.
In the end it was a comfortable win for South Cheshire who narrowly escape relegation for the 2nd sucessive year, but their determination was greater and they thoroughly deserved the win.
However the loss for Blackpool means they are now officially relegated from Division 3 after five seasons. The only positive note is that they can look forward to the return of derby matches against Lytham’s 2nd team in Division 4 next year, and create a new team bringing in the youngsters who are developing and playing so well in the free-scoring 2nd team.
© Peter Latimer 10/3/08