Blackpool Men’s First team are not giving up on sneaking into the promotion places after a 4-2 win away at Bebington. The slow pitch wasn’t really suited to Blackpool’s fast break style of hockey, but they quickly found their feet and raced into a two goal lead. The first was Blackpool at their creative best. A flowing move beginning at left back saw the ball switch back and forth across the full width of the pitch and eventually found Dave Morgan who netted his 34th league goal of the season to extend his lead on the division’s top scorers list. The second came via a penalty corner; Dan Woodman slipped the ball across to Ian Swaine who, despite the pressure from two closing defenders, hammered the ball into the corner of the goal. Blackpool appeared to relax at this point, and allowed Bebington to come back into the game. The lead was halved after too many Blackpool players failed to close a Bebington forward down, and he produced a great finish to beat Nick Rainbow from a tight angle. The remainder of the first half was scratchy, as both sides threatened, without forcing the keepers into making many saves.
After a quick team talk at half time, Blackpool came out flying just as in the first half. Ian Swaine grabbed his second after he was strangely allowed to run uncontested into the Bebington area and get his shot off past the helpless goalkeeper. The game was killed off when Swaine scored Blackpool’s fourth and his hat-trick, to earn him man of the match, but there was just enough time for a Bebington consolation goal, albeit in a somewhat controversial manner.
Two games to go, and if Blackpool can pick up maximum points they are guaranteed third, but are breathing right down the necks of Lymm for second place who can’t afford to slip up in their run in.
Blackpool Seconds were needing to keep their winning streak up at home. Blackpool started the strongest but couldn’t break down a rugged defence but it finally came in the form of top goal scorer Chris Hocking. Andrew Mortimer fired home the second and the floodgates were well and truly open from then on. Jordan Payne made it three and Simon Thomas made it four soon after. This was impressive from Blackpool and it continued with Josh Payne making it five. This seemed to be a walk in Stanley Park for Blackpool, Simon Allen and Chris Hocking made it 7-0 before the half.
The second half brought more joy for Blackpool with Jordan Payne grabbing his second and Simon Allen scoring from a penalty flick, before Simon Thomas and Jay Currey finished it off for a most convincing 11-0 victory.
This game really helped Blackpool with their goal difference which could prove decisive if they beat the only two teams above them in Division 7 in the final two games of the season, Keswick West Cumbria Seconds and Bury GSOB.
Blackpool Thirds had to defend for virtually the whole game against the league’s newest team, Kirkby Lonsdale Firsts, but unfortunately the young Blackpool side containing more juniors than seniors were ultimately outclassed and succumbed 7-0. Stephen Pope was awarded the Man of the Match.
Blackpool Juniors had a close game against their more experienced Preston counterparts. Preston went 2-0 ahead but Owen Williams pulled back midway through the second half, and Blackpool were stung by a last minute goal from Preston for a 3-1 defeat. However there were notable performances from Hayden Turner, James Pagen, Sam Robinson, Will Pickles and Luke Whitelow.