|Saturday 24 November 2012
|Preston Ladies 3s
|LCWHA Div 1
|Bolton Men’s 3s
|NWHL Div 5 N
|Lancaster University Women’s 1st
|Mossley Hill Men’s 1s
|Didsbury Northern Men’s 7s
|NWHL Div 8 N
|Clitheroe Ladies Ladies 4ths
|Lytham St Annes Badgers
On a strange day of multiple venue changes, Blackpool managed to get their topsy-turvy season back on track with a 6-1 win away at Mossley Hill, despite having their first choice forwards missing through injury.
Blackpool quickly found themselves a goal down after Mossley pressed high into the Blackpool half from the push-back. With only 30 seconds played, a quickly taken sideline ball caused chaos in the Blackpool defence, but it took a wicked deflection of Pete Latimer’s foot from a speculative shot to beat Rainbow in goal. Blackpool threatened on the counter with the pace of Jacob Currey and James Slater, but lacked the instinctive finishing so often provided from their forwards. Blackpool began to emerge as the better side after a scrappy start and won the first penalty corner of the game. The new look set play team capitalised on the opportunity, with Slater being on hand to provide the finishing touch, and putting Blackpool level after 7 minutes. The visitors went ahead after 20 minutes when right back Rob Dingle combined with Chris Hocking to beat several Mossley defenders to emerge one-on-one with the keeper. Taking a touch to draw the keeper out, Dingle calmly dragged the ball back out of the keepers reach, and pushed it over the goal line to give Blackpool a deserved lead.
The second half produced some of Blackpool’s best hockey of the season, with a sharpness to their passing and movement that has been missing in recent weeks. Again it was Currey and Slater who provided the main threat with their pace, as Blackpool kept an excellent shape going forward and in defence. Simon Thomas continued his good season in front of goal as he poached on a rebound from Hocking’s initial shot to put Blackpool 3-1 ahead. Thomas and Hocking were again involved in Blackpool’s fourth that is definitely a contender for goal of the season. A number of quick passes allowed Blackpool to burst into the Mossley half, as Hocking found himself in a bit of space. His perfectly weighted pass found Thomas on a bursting run towards the baseline, whose first touch was sublime to keep the ball in play, and also beat the first defender. He jinked his was along the line before finding Steven Whitley who was on hand to score his 100th competitive goal for Blackpool. Dingle’s good day continued as he doubled his tally after he collected Currey’s through ball and fired home his shot on the turn just inside the right hand post. The rout was completed by Mitch Blakemore on the hour mark as his shot this time went the correct side of the post, leaving the keeper with no chance of a save. A comfortable 6-1 winning margin for the visiting Blackpool side, made all the more impressive by their lack of recognised forwards has pushed them back up a place to 4th in the league.
Blackpool 2s game was postponed.
Blackpool 3rds bounced back from last weeks defeat with an away victory at Didsbury Northern. Blackpool were able to welcome back Craig Brookes following his 6 month loan spell with AIK Stockholm to join Josh and Alex Hughes and veteran Andy Mortimer in defence. Not having picked up a stick since Easter, and nursing a hangover, Brookes produced a solid display in a completely changed defence from last week. Pool were also able to give a début to youngster Shaun Hunt along with a seasonal re-appearance for Tom Lyons. Pool gained confidence in the opening moves of the game, and found themselves camped inside the home team’s half of the pitch more and more as the game went on. Despite creating many chances Blackpool only ended the first half 1-0 up. Alex Diver picked the ball up from a free hit, before laying it off to club chairman Dave Morgan, who found Chris Pickles at the back post for his first goal of the season. Knowing how dangerous the scoreline was, Blackpool felt it was important to try to kill the game off, and within 3 minutes of the re-start, Chris Pickles ended a fine team move with his second of the game. Fresh faces for Didsbury in the second half allowed them to get into the game more, but Pool found themselves 3-0 up following a rare own goal as the keeper touched a hopeful Morgan through-ball. Didsbury Northern scored a soft conciliation goal following a over-confident defensive slip, however Pool were able to see the game out.