Blackpool travelled to Birkenhead to take on Oxton full of confidence but also aware that they’d never beaten them before in the previous four encounters.
Blackpool struggled to retain possession in the opening periods with Oxton pressing strongly and fighting for fifty-fifty balls. Oxton had a series of short corners but generally squandered their chances.
Blackpool were perhaps lucky to take the lead, and particularly in the manner that it was taken. After Dan Woodman had kept possession and dribbled with his silky skills, he released the ball to Steve Whitley at the top of the D, who shot at goal, but the ball was deflected by an Oxton stick which wrong footed the keeper. Simon Thomas was on hand to help the ball into the goal, although this may have to be handed over to the BFC Disputed Goals Panel.
Despite taking the lead, Blackpool were unable to take control of the game with a plenty of individual errors frustrating the team. However the Oxton attack was kept at bay, despite a few dangerous attacks and the ball even finding the back of the net, albeit to be ruled illegal.
Blackpool came out for the second half a different team. They started to pass and move, and be more patient on the ball. The lead was extended, after a Whitley cross found Ian Swaine who touched it onto Dave Morgan to finish sweetly.
The third goal was the definition of teamwork. After some great passing possession across the Blackpool defensive line, a long ball found its way to Morgan. With no team mates around him, he held up the ball cleverly, took it to the bye-line, and then fed it back to his striking partner Swaine who finished easily.
Swaine was able to return the favour minutes later when passing the ball to Morgan in front of goal, who nutmegged the keeper and found the top right corner of the net and give Blackpool a formidable 4-0 lead.
With five minutes remaining Oxton managed to grab a goal back from a short corner routine, and then with the last play of the game they scored a second from another short corner, much to the disgust of keeper Nick Rainbow, who is still to concede from open play all season.
Blackpool were proud of winning a tricky away tie and keeping their 100% record intact, and also hearing that the 2nd team had won 15-0.
© Peter Latimer 17/10/10