The car park for Sefton’s home ground had already caused confusion, being tucked behind Tesco and full of builder’s metal units, different to the official directions on this website. The experience was then heightened by changing in 18th century facilities, complete with old-style full immersion rugby baths.
With Blackpool traveling with just 12 men, including their umpire, after a late withdrawal, they were forced to play without any substitutes. This proved decisive when captain Rob Abbott was forced to leave the field temporarily early in the first half to move his car that was supposedly causing a blockage in the car park. This was even after he’d lent his key for the car park foreman to sort out, but he “couldn’t start the car”!
The Sefton conspiracy successfully removed this key central defender and caused utter confusion in the Blackpool defence with cries of “where the f**k is Rob?”. During this period Sefton managed to scramble a goal. 1-0 to Sefton & their car park attendant!
Blackpool’s heads didn’t drop and fought hard. They were unlucky not to score with both striker David Wright and inside forward Dave Morgan both going close. It remained 1-0 at half-time.
The secong half was more of the same and Blackpool seemed to have the upper hand on Sefton with youngsters Dec and JJ especially on form. Several penalty corners were won but the routine didn’t quite gel and the opportunities were lost. David Wright almost scored in the final few minutes from a tight angle, only for the Sefton goalie to parry the ball at the last moment.
Despite a lot of pressure Blackpool couldn’t find the breakk and were extremely disappointed not to gain even one point, nevermind the three that were available. However everyone agreed it was a good team performance with lots of effort. The result meant Blackpool dropped a position to 5th in an extremely competitive Division 4.
[the opinions in this match report are from the imagination of this reporter and do not necessarily agree with those of Blackpool Hockey Club who do not wish to insinuate that Liverpool Sefton hire an over officious attendant in their car park!]