Blackpool had some enforced changes from the previous week’s defeat of Keswick with man of the match Kieran Harris unavailable due to work commitments and defender Craig Brookes taking time off to study sheep in Wales (not sure whether it’s a pastime of his or part of his further education)
However, Pete Latimer was able to return and slot back into the centre of defence, and Dan Woodman was back from his Abu Dhabi excursions so could return to his usual central midfield position.
What we didn’t realise was that in addition to the 13 on Rob Abbott’s squad list, Dan had brought little Woody – not young cousin Nathan, but even younger son Ollie, tucked up all snugly in his pushchair. As befits a team squad in harmony, Ian Swaine’s other half was on hand to babysit the youngster during the game, although as Dan subbed himself during the first half, there were rumours of changing nappies on the sidelines.
On to the actual game, Winnington started with only 10, surprisingly for a home team, although I can’t say I noticed until told after the game. Despite Blackpool’s defence almost giving the ball away when passing round the back, it was Blackpool who took an early lead from their first short corner when the routine with Woodman slipping to Dave Morgan worked perfectly.
Minutes later Blackpool could have been two up when Ian Swaine got off a looping shot over the goalie, only for Morgan to punch it into the goal whilst his stick was over shoulder height, so the goal was disallowed.
Winnington challenged hard and caused Blackpool’s defence a lot of problems. They won a series of short corners, and equalised from one of them when their star striker deflected a strike past both Nick Rainbow and Jack Boniface who was defending the post.
Both sides took turns in attacking and either side could have taken the lead before the break. Rob Abbott called for more work and energy in the second half, with the hope that the older Winnington side would gradually tire.
Blackpool increased the pressure, were more composed in defence, although Nick Rainbow was still needed to make couple of imortant saves, and gradually took the upper hand.
Sam Goudie had come in midfield, and following a Winnington attack, the ball was swiftly sent upfield to Goudie who beat a man, crossed to Swaine who beat the last defender and returned the pass to Goudie who was able to sweep the ball with his reverse stick into the goal to re-establish Blackpool’s lead.
There now followed a period of Blackpool dominance, with their head high and full of confidence. Steve Whitley switched to the left wing and ran riot, dribbled down the bye-line, crossed the ball across the D, leaving Swaine with an impossible angle to shoot, but that didn’t deter him and his shot rifled the top corner of the net for a 3-1 lead.
The 4th goal was made by Whitley again running through midfield, flicked the ball over the last defender to Dave Morgan to strike past the keeper.
Blackpool had a 5th goal disallowed, Atish Mistry looked dangerous when coming on in the closing minutes as an attacking righ back, and Blackpool looked like the class side they know they can be. But they knew they’d been in a fight with a very good side – let’s hope Winnington can take points off Blackpool’s promotion rivals.
So 7 wins out of 7 in the league, best record in the whole of the North West, but a crucial weekend coming up. Saturday’s see the visit of Lymm, 2nd in the division, also unbeaten, and the battle of the Mistry brothers – should be a cracking contest. Followed by the quarter final of the Lancashire Trophy on Sunday against Golborne.
© Peter Latimer 7/11/10