After last week’s game with only 11 men in the warm autumn sun on a lovely new sand-dressed pitch, it was back to Blackpool in a torrential rainstorm on a Bispham pitch on the verges of flooding but at least we had a full squad of 15.
The game was high paced from the beginning with both sides wanting a result. It took 15 minutes for Blackpool to take the lead from a short corner that initially fell apart, only for Mike Ashfield to cut back to the top to Rob Abbott who made a fine shot straight into the back-boards.
This goal spurred Northop Hall into action and they attacked in waves, and scored two goals in a matter of minutes, one from a well orchestrated short corner routine. However, Blackpool this year are no pushovers and they pushed back and from some fine passing moves, James Slater slipped a ball across the D from the right, into the path of which David Wright dived headlong and got contact with the ball resulting in a spectacular goal.
Blackpool gained control of the match and should have scored again during the half, with Dave Morgan missing a sitter, later blaming a spinning ball for only hitting the post instead of the back-board. Several short corners were won but squandered with Blackpool’s routines looking cumbersome. Half-time came with the scores level at 2-2.
More of the same in the second half, with chances from both teams. Blackpool made use of their subs but to no avail. The visitors broke the deadlock after another short corner when the ball wasn’t cleared fast enough from the Blackpool goal before an opposing striker snuck it in.
There were two yellow cards issued when the large Northop Hall defender headbutted David Wright in a confrontation, and with Wright retaliating they walked off hand-in hand to cool off together. This ought to have played into Blackpool’s hands with their defence split apart, but despite several chances an equalising goal would not come. Instead Northop Hall extended their lead.
The final score was 4-2 and Blackpool felt demoralised. More points lost despite a hard working performance with numerous chances made but not capitalised on. Short corner practise was the recommended solution from the old wise heads in the showers afterwards.