Blackpool first team won a dramatic Lancashire Trophy Final against Division 3 side Mossley Hill in Preston. The game had ended 5-5 after the normal 70 minutes, with Mossley Hill repeatedly pulling back Blackpool’s lead throughout the game.
Penalty flicks beckoned after another seven and a half minutes at each end, but the golden goal rule was in operation. Blackpool bravely defended a short corner, and then counter attacked and thought they had scored and won the game when Dave Morgan threaded the ball to Steve Whitley to tap in, but the whistle was blown from a previous infringement.
Minutes later reserve Simon Thomas dribbled down the left wing and was fouled when entering the D. Umpire Lenny Kemp awarded a penalty flick, so up stepped Kieran Harris for a chance to finally win the game for Blackpool. He did so coolly and the team went wild celebrating their first ever cup win.
While the end of the match was dramatic, the initial 70 minutes had numerous notable moments with 10 goals for the bumper crowd to savour. Blackpool opened the scoring with a well worked short corner move when Dan Woodman slipped the ball to Dave Morgan, and then doubled it with a shot from Steve Whitley within ten minutes.
Mossley Hill looked shell-shocked and took them a while to get back into the game, but gradually they did, and scored their first from a short corner. Blackpool managed to extend their lead once more with an Ian Swaine goal at a short corner, but Mossley Hill were to peg Blackpool back again to 3-2 at the break.
The second half was an open affair with both sides attacking and defending desperately, with the cup at stake. Blackpool restored their two goal lead when an Ian Swaine shot was initially saved by the keeper only for Steve Whitley to despatch the rebound into the goal net.
Mossley Hill yet again fought back and scored from a short corner, and then disaster struck Blackpool as their keeper Nick Rainbow was sin-binned. He had slid outside his D to clear the ball legally with his stick, but to his misfortune it rebounded onto his pads, and to the letter of the law he had to be reprimanded. Luckily the club had picked a reserve goalkeeper in case of injury, and so they substituted Graeme Kilshaw on for a striker. His first task was to defend the short corner awarded for Rainbow’s illegal move, and unfortunately Mossley Hill scored to make the score 4-4.
Following several rousing pre-match speeches, Blackpool were determined not to let this game slip through their fingers, and midfielder Kieran Harris took it upon himself to dribble right down the middle of the pitch, into the D, and shot underneath the keeper for a fantastic solo goal to bring Blackpool back ahead. With little time left in the match Blackpool finally felt that they might have won it, but were to concede one more goal for 5-5, and then had Ian Swaine sin-binned just before the start of extra-time.
That period of extra-time will now go down in Blackpool’s history with Kieran Harris converting the vital penalty flick to win the cup final by a golden goal.
© Peter Latimer 27/2/11