The away team knew it was going to be a hard game, even though beating Warrington 5-1 earlier in the season, Warrington’s good home record was always in their thought’s. However, with 8 straight wins up their sleeves, morale was high and the expectancy to win, even higher. The game started as it meant to go on, reflecting the opinions on the newly laid pitch, slow. The first ten minutes really showed the home field advantage, with a bouncy pitch and outrageous line marking, the away side struggled to get to grips with their surroundings. Pressure was scarce and their attacks came to nothing. Although this didn’t stop the disorientated Blackpool side trying to show their opponents why they are pushing for promotion, with great leg work from right winger Jay Currey a new found confidence was conjuring within the team. Not soon after the first goal of the game came with Nathan Woodman reversing, slipping the ball underneath a not-so-agile keeper. Although Warrington were able to find the space upfront the skilled players were unable to dribble through the 4 or 5 Blackpool players and the counter-attacks from Blackpool began again. With a well drilled in ball by the newly appointed Centre-mid and highly skilful Dave Latimer, a cheeky through the legs deflection from the top goal scorer, Chris Hocking, managed to trickle his 25th goal for the season into the bottom corner. Great work from the Payne brother lead to more possession and counter-attacks, proving future prospects and definitely ones to watch for Blackpool Hockey Club (the youth system works!) At 2 goals to none, Blackpool were showing they could step up a gear even on the hardest of grounds, with play being built up from defensive centre mid-fielder Rob Pasqualino, and then a striking dash from Jay Currey allowed him to crash home the 3rd of the goals fest. This reporter would love to say now that Blackpool cruised to the final minute, but alas, it wasn’t to be. Even though it seemed Warrington had switch off, excellent play from the home side lead to repetitive awe-inspiring saves from, in this journalist’s opinion, Blackpool HC’s finest keeper, Graeme Kilshaw. However, without building a brick wall on his goal line, he wasn’t able to keep all the shot’s out and after a scrappy barrage of twists and turns, the ball eventually hit the backboard. 3-1. Soon after, another goal from some well worked play and a few scrappy short-corners came for the home side. 3-2 and it wasn’t looking good. Then, as this newsman was up the other end of the pitch, another goal slipped in for the home side which I didn’t see. #Worstjournalistever. I can only apologise. Half time and the Blackpool side re-grouped and knew they intended to hit Warrington HARD. The second half started and the best ten minutes of Blackpool’s game came, with Nathan woodman scoring what would eventually be the prolific winner. The game fizzled out and pressure from Warrington was to come to nothing, with short corner after short corner for the home side With the solid defence of Matt ‘Mouth’ Atherton, Simon ‘Brick-wall’ Allen and a first time appearance in the centre back role Andrew ‘Surprisingly Pacey’ Mortimer, no goals were to come. Craig Brookes however, well, let’s not get started… Blackpool held out for their expected and deserved victory. In my opinion, it’s a shame Blackpool couldn’t have beaten Warrington by more, and the team admitting it wasn’t their best game. Still, a win is a win. As for promotion: it’s still possible.
Written by the ever optimistic, Chris Hocking