After a loss to Windermere last week Blackpool were relieved to be travelling to Urmston, a team they scored a combined 29 goals against last season, but found the going much more difficult this time around, scraping through 5-4.
A much improved Urmston side dominated the early exchanges as Blackpool struggled to get into the game. In typical Blackpool style they soaked up the pressure and hit back on the counter, winning a penalty corner that was excellently converted by Richard Blacow. Disappointed to go behind, the fluid play Urmston showed in the opening five minutes disappeared and Blackpool quickly powered into a three goal lead. The second was a brilliant finish from Simon Thomas who found the top corner from a difficult angle, despite running away from the goal. James Slater provided and finished the third after a move that involved most of Blackpool’s forward players. Urmston re-grouped and pulled two goals back before the half time break thanks mainly to gifts from the Blackpool defence.
At 3-2 both sides had chances to get a grip on the game, but it was the visitors who stretched their lead after an attack down the right forced the Urmston keeper in to a great save, only to have the ball fall to Jacob Currey. Instinctively, Currey dived towards the ball and squeezed the ball into the roof of the net with a reverse stick shot to score his first league goal of the season. Again Urmston hit back as Blackpool failed to kill the game off. In a second half that seemed to last forever, Blackpool ran down the clock and drew some frustrated challenges from the home side. Urmston were dealt a final blow when a player was yellow carded for failing to retreat five meters, and Ian Swaine converted the resulting short corner to restore the two goal lead. Despite being told there was only two minutes remaining, remarkably the game lasted another seven, and Urmston threw everything they had to try and salvage a point. A very late consolation goal from a short corner made no difference to the result, but Blackpool were very relieved to come away with the points after a game that proved to be much harder than it looked on paper.
© Rob Dingle 21/10/12