Blackpool 2nd XI were ready for the return friendly that they had play a few weeks early but this time it was a trip to good old Wigan for an early 11.30 push back. With the early push back the squad met nice and early which meant only one thing, Team McDonalds! Once we had filled our stomachs we were off down the motorway.
Surprising enough when Blackpool arrived in Wigan not only was it not raining, the sun was shining! Anyways on with the match, Blackpool started very brightly with O’Hara straight away taking the ball past three Wigan players and winning a short corner. Blackpool failed to capitalise on this early pressure and were made to pay when Wigan scored the first goal of the game with the ball going under the foot of keeper Kilshaw. I could only assume Kilshaw must have been thinking about how many vodka and red bulls he would consume that night!
Never or less Blackpool kept there heads up and continued to pass the ball and create chances. Alex Rowe and Alex Diver both created space up front and came close with both their chances only to see them go wide of the target. David Wright came closest to getting the equaliser for the tangerines but for his aerial shot only to produce an excellent stop for the Wigan keeper. Junior player Matthew Atherton made some excellent tackles and managed to fizz a great ball into the D but the Blackpool attack again couldn’t find the back of the goal. Wigan held there lead until half time.
The half time team talk was basically more of the same lads and let’s put the ball in the net. Blackpool replied to this by keeping up the same tempo as in the first half and it paid off when James Slater ran into the D and slotted the ball into the far right hand corner to finally get Blackpool back into this game. The chances kept on coming and Blackpool nearly took the lead from a short corner when a clever worked ball was slipped right to James Slater whose shot was deflected goal wards by Paul Atherton but only for it to be saved off the line. The Wigan keeper was keeping Wigan in this match with Blackpool piling on the pressure looking for a winner. Blackpool’s pressure did pay off when a saved shot from a short corner fell to Alex Rowe who slotted the ball past the Wigan defenders and put Blackpool into the lead. A good second half from Blackpool’s defence saw keeper Kilshaw not getting a touch of the ball all second half. Blackpool probably could have won this game by three or four goals but credit goes to the Wigan keeper who made some excellent saves.
Matthew Atherton was awarded Man of the Match as he put a brilliant display in and certainly showed he can help the team in their drive for success this season.
Next week is another away trip, this time the Tangerines take on Manchester.
SQUAD: KILSHAW, TAYLOR, CAIN, BANCROFT ©, WRIGHT, SLATER, O’HARA, BUCKLEY, ATHERTON P, ROWE, DIVER, ATHERTON M, ABBOTT
Paul Atherton ® 08/09/08