Blackpool Mens 1st team made the long trip down to Wrexham to play Northop Hall for a 15:15 push back. Captain Rob Abbott needed to shuffle his pack due to the absences of Pete Latimer, Dan Woodman and James Slater and called up Simon Allen from the 2nds team to bolster the squad.
After a quick warm up, mostly spent dodging Wrexham’s water based pitch sprinkling system, Blackpool started well but not great. The Northop Hall team were making the most of the bobbly pitch, using long ball tactics to try and find holes in the Blackpool defence; however Tish, Joe, Craig and Rainbow held firm. It could be said that Blackpool scored against the run of play, finally finding some fluency in passing, Simon Thomas passed the ball to Dave Morgan who, after playing a strange game of pin ball with the opposition keeper, found the back of the net. Blackpool then dominated possession for the next twenty minutes, making a number of opportunities which were either fluffed or saved by the excellent Northop Hall keeper.
Blackpool then took their foot of the gas and allowed Northop to get back into the match. A stray pass in midfield led to a counter attack which resulted in a Penalty Flick being awarded. Luckily Blackpool have one of the best keepers in Division 4 and he stood firm and saved, keeping the game to 1-0 at half time (although the forwards agreed that it was probably the worst P flick since Dave’s one a couple of weeks earlier!).
Blackpool came out of for the 2nd half fired up by their Captain and immediately took control, slick passing moves pulling the Northop team all over the place. This led to a swift move down the left where Steve Whitley passed to Dave Morgan whose shot was going wide until Simon Thomas popped up at the back post to score from 2 yards. Blackpool kept up the pressure and this finally told a ball fed into the D by Jack Boniface led to an Ian Swaine shot which the keeper saved; Dave Morgan collected the loose ball, passing to Kieran Harris who calmly flicked the ball into the net, 3-0 and Blackpool were cruising.
Blackpool was again guilty of a lack of concentration and this led to a short corner being awarded, from a very dubious umpire’s decision. A low shot from the Northop crept under Rainbow for 3-1. Blackpool restored their 3 goal advantage very quickly, a ball from Tish was quickly played by Morgan to Jack Boniface who rampaged up the right wing and fed a sprinting Kiernan Harris to record his 2nd goal of the game. 4-1 and game over, or so Blackpool thought….
Blackpool then had 2 players sin binned, Steve Whitley was sent from the field for having the audacity to look at the umpire and this was quickly followed by Kieran Harris for a technical infringement. Blackpool mounted a defensive strategy with the 2 Blackpool forwards being pulled into Midfield. Despite some great defensive play, including a brilliant double save from Rainbow, Northop managed to score again to make the score 4-2. Despite having further pressure Northop couldn’t make their superior numbers count and Blackpool held on for a hard fought win, keeping them in touch with the leaders Lymm and 15 points ahead of 3rd place.