Blackpool Steal A March On Cumbrian Rivals
|Saturday 05 October 2013
|Formby Men’s 4s
|NWHL Div 6 NN
|LCWHA Div 1
|Clitheroe Ladies Ladies 2
|Carlisle Men’s 2s
|NWHL Div 5 NN
|Clitheroe Ladies Ladies 4ths
|Carlisle Men’s 1s
Blackpool Men’s first team continued their good start to the season with a nail-biting 5-4 win away at Carlisle. Buoyed by the return of Declan O’Hara, Blackpool enjoyed early possession, but were wary of the counter attacking ability of the speedy Carlisle forwards who tore them to shreds in both fixtures last season. As predicted, it didn’t take long for the first goal between these two attacking sides, with Blackpool’s Ian Swaine flicking home from a well worked penalty corner with Dave Morgan after just 5 minutes. Carlisle hit back as Blackpool failed to clear their area, and the ball was bundled into the net to bring the home side level. Chances came and went at both ends with the ball whistling across the defence on multiple occasions without finding the decisive final touch. Blackpool forced another corner and after Jay Currey’s shot was blocked on the line by a Carlisle foot, the umpire signalled for a penalty flick. Rob Dingle stepped up, and with the support of the departing second team behind the goal, he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to restore the visitors lead.
After a ball change and a yellow card to David Wright, Blackpool again found the back of the net in the most remarkable fashion. O’Hara’s long aerial clearance from inside his own 25 metre line flew over the majority of players to find Morgan deep in the Carlisle half. Allowing the ball to bounce once, he pirouetted and played a first time ball (again over the heads of the Carlisle defenders) towards a flying Simon Thomas at the back post. A helpless Carlisle keeper could only watch as Morgan’s mid-air cross found the middle of Thomas’s stick, who smashed the volley into the roof of the net. To the dismay of the Blackpool players and supporters, the goal was controversially ruled out by the umpires for dangerous play.
The change of ends at half time appeared to come in Blackpool’s favour as the low sun shone directly into the eyes of the Carlisle side. Whether the glare made any difference is debateable but it was certainly Blackpool who started the second half the stronger. After a spell of sustained pressure, Steve Whitley then put daylight between the sides as his mazy run took him past several defenders and out to the edge of the Carlisle area. His snap shot took the keeper by surprise who will have been disappointed to see the ball fly past him at his near post. Blackpool forced another penalty corner and Dave Morgan’s strike proved too much for the Carlisle defence to keep out as Blackpool gained a three goal advantage.
With their backs against the wall, Carlisle changed formation in search of a way back into the match, which immediately paid dividends. As Blackpool began to tire after again travelling without a substitute to call upon, Carlisle flooded men forward, pouncing on every Blackpool mistake. After a soft penalty corner was given away, a well struck shot thundered into the backboard before Nick Rainbow or Matt Atherton could react. Minutes later the lead was cut to just one as a well worked move down Carlisle’s right made inroads into the Blackpool defence and a deflected shot hit Rainbow on the shoulder and snuck in at the near post.
With Blackpool again reduced to 10 men, Carlisle sensed they could find a way back into the game, and possibly even nick it. However, those hopes were dealt a severe blow when Currey and Thomas worked a long corner to the open Dingle in the Carlisle area. As he looked to cut the ball back towards the penalty spot, he spotted the keeper had gone down, and quickly checked his run. With more than a touch of cheek, Dingle nonchalantly lifted the ball over the keeper into the net to the delight of Josh Boyne and Nathan Woodman on the sidelines.
With less than 10 minutes to go, Blackpool tried to protect their two goal lead, but Carlisle still believed an unlikely comeback was on. A breakaway down the right resulted in a Carlisle forward having just Rainbow to beat, but hit first time shot sailed over the bar much to Blackpool’s relief. With the clock ticking down, Blackpool again gave the ball away in their own half and this time were punished for it. With three minutes remaining at the restart, Blackpool did whatever they could to maintain possession and nervously reached the final whistle with a valuable three points in another excellent game. A man of the match performance from O’Hara showed Blackpool what they have been missing, as they move on to another local derby against Preston thirds next week.
Hayes Double Sees Blackpool Move Up To Second
Blackpool Mens second team made the long trip up to Carlisle, again missing some regular players, but this didn’t show at all with a 4-2 win. Blackpool dominated the early parts of the game, pressing well and creating a several chances. However Carlisle took a shock lead after a penalty corner lead to a scramble in the area and a Carlisle player managed to squeeze the ball past the Blackpool keeper.
Undeterred from this setback Blackpool continued to dominate possession and were rewarded after Chris Hocking slipped the ball to Nathan Woodman who flicked into the roof of the net to even the game up. Blackpool quickly scored another after Woodman’s first time ball across the area allowed Martin Hayes to deflect past the keeper. They looked set to go into half time in front until Carlisle pulled one back after a quick break and a well worked goal around the keeper.
The second half was much less of an even story as Blackpool’s midfield got a stranglehold on the game and began to dominate, creating chance after chance. After a period of sustained pressure they managed to regain the lead after some good work from a free hit from Rob Pasqualino, allowed Woodman the opportunity to find Hocking who slotted home from close range. Towards the end of the game Blackpool began to sit back which allowed Carlisle to create a few opportunities of their own. These fears were put to bed when a quick break and freed Martin Hayes, who beat his man and finished superbly to wrap up the points. Sam Owen was awarded man of the match for a superb solid performance at left back.
Blackpool Men’s thirds had a tough time of it at Stanley Park after being beaten by Formby Mens fourths 8-0. The inexperienced Blackpool side struggled against their expereinced opposition, and despite some good performances from Josh Hughes and Olly McVicor, the Blackpool youngtsers were no match for their opponents.