Promotion secured by Blackpool but only after another tight match

Blackpool Men’s 1s 5-3 Winnington Park Mens Men’s 2s

by Peter Latimer

Blackpool made heavy weather of beating a Winnington Park side who travelled with only 11 men, only for one of them to pick up an injury early in the match and having to use him as a lone striker hobbling around the D.

Having said that, Winnington are a tough side to beat and we always have tight games with them – some more controversial than others …

And it was Winnington was took an early lead after their young striker eluded some tackles to fire off a shot from the top of the D which went through the legs of the on-rushing keeper Nick Rainbow, to his frustration.

Blackpool had their own injury problem when last week’s man of the match Dan Woodman hobbled off with a calf strain, but with 4 subs and multi-positional players in the side, a quick reshuffle was possible.

Blackpool equalised from a great Dave Morgan shot from a tight angle, after a classy run down the right by Jack Boniface.

Blackpool then took the lead when leading scorer Ian Swaine slapped in the ball from close range.

The second half started well when Simon Thomas beat several on the left wing and struck a perfect cross ,just out of reach of the Winnington keeper, to Mike Thom in front of goal for an easy tap in.

With Blackpool thinking the game was in the bag with a two goal cushion, they were caught on the break by Winnington and conceded.

Blackpool turned up the pressure once more, keen to increase their lead, and were awarded a rare short corner. Kieran Harris got off one of his trademark drag flicks but it was saved by Winnington’s keeper (later voted man of the match) but Steve Whitley was following up the shot and was able to volley the save back into the net for a 4-2 Blackpool lead.

Winnington to their credit carried on attacking, and managed to get several short corners of their own. From one of these they got a shot on goal, but Pete Latimer was ready for it and maanged to get his stick in the way to stop it going into the goal. Unforunately he didn’t manage to stop the ball moving entirely and it bobbled onto his foot, so was deemed to have stopped a goal and therefore a penalty flick was awarded. (which makes 4 flicks awarded against the same player in just 3 weeks – unlucky or the sign of old age, I’ll let others decide!) Nick Rainbow was unable to stop the flick so it was back to a one goal lead.

There were attacks at both ends, and at one point Blackpool had three shots in sucession which were denied by a post, and last gasp saves from the line, with the keeper beaten each time. Eventually the sustained pressure led to another goal with Ian Swaine grabbing his second. He had further chances where he could have grabbed a hat-trick but it was not to be.

Final score 5-3 but a generally good natured match. Back at the clubhouse, mobile phones were constantly being refreshed to find out the Carlise v Lymm score. Finally we found out that Lymm had won, so they retain (and increase) their lead on goal difference but the result does mean that 3rd placed Carlisle can no longer catch either of us and so we’re both promoted with 5 games remaining.

Next weekend is the biggie – on Saturday a must-win match away at Lymm if we want to be Champions, and on Sunday our cup final against Mossley Hill. Bring it on …

© Peter Latimer 19/2/11

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