Once again Blackpool Thirds fielded a youthful side as they made their trip to Preston 6s. Missing a number of senior players, Blackpool were able to give a first appearance of the season to Dec O’Hara to assist the defensive unit of Hughes, Hughes and Pickles.
The First Half was a tight affair, with both teams cancelling each other out in midfield. Preston had the best chance of the half when a passing move found their striker One-on-One with the Re-Instated Goalkeeper Belshaw, but the Former Preston Man produced a fine save. Blackpool could have taken the lead themselves before half time as O’Hara and Captain Diver combined, only for O’Hara to be denied by the last actions of the Preston Keeper who pulled up with a muscle injury.
After Half Time, Blackpool looked a different team in attack, with a calmer approach being employed, and better passing in operation. Blackpool having tested the substitute goal keeper, finally broke the deadlock after Paul Atherton, returning after Injury picked out captain Diver who found the net with a sublime finish.
The First Goal gave Blackpool the drive to increase their lead and it didnt take them long. Fine play in midfield by Owers and Owen led to Josh Payne finishing at the second attempt.
Preston finally woke up and produced their best hockey of the day, as they chased the game, however were hampered when Belshaw denied Captain Griffiths with a fine save, which events found Griffiths Sin-Binned for petulance.
With 5 to Go, Preston piled bodies forward, and eventually grabbed a late goal to make the last 5 minuites nervous for Blackpool, but that wasnt part of the script, as within 2 minuites Blackpool had restored their 2 goal lead. A Driving Run from O’Hara found the suppporting Sam Owen who put the ball in the net to record his first goal for the club.
Man of the Match was the Blackpool left back, 15 year old Chris Pickles who produced his best performance in the Tangerine of Blackpool
Preston 1 – Blackpool 3 (Diver, Payne, Owen)