The match started off tensely with two well-structured sides both hunting down their opponent`s mistakes. Blackpool`s patience was first to pay dividends as some neat work by Josh Boyne and Rob Pasqualino in the middle led to an opening for Martin Hayes who received the ball on the edge of the area. Martin, the clinical finisher, didn’t need a second invitation as he blasted the ball past the keeper to put the Seasiders 1-0 up after only about 20 minutes into the game.
Didsbury continued to play some good hockey, leading to a few half chances, but the Pool`s defence took no hesitation in cutting these off. Blackpool remained in control of the first half with some very tidy passing, which soon resulted in Mike Sharp obtaining the ball in the area, but inches from the baseline. Sharp decided he needed no other option as he plummeted the ball past the keeper into the bottom right corner of the goal. An acute angle is an understatement. This meant that Blackpool headed into the break with a 2-0 lead.
Didsbury came out of their traps well, hungry to close down on Blackpool`s lead, just as Captain Owen had informed his team. This resulted in an early second half goal due to some well executed attack work from the home team and some slightly complacent defending by the visitors. Didsbury continued their lightning second half start with another goal. Blackpool knew the home side weren’t for messing around now.
After the two early second half goals, the game seemed to go back into the balance. A few nice breaks from the Pool and a few important saves by Graeme Kilshaw meant the scores remained level. Another, nothing more than a half chance came for Blackpool as Mike Sharpe managed to get himself possession of the ball just inside the area. Sharp then struck the ball sweater than ever as it was buried past the keeper into the right side of the netting. This saw a slight swing in momentum back into the visitors` hands as they were comforted by a one goal advantage.
Didsbury didn’t dwell on this for too long as they capitalised from a short corner, evening the scores out at 3-3. Blackpool continued to ask questions of the Didsbury defence, with Hayes hitting the post, but unfortunately the visitors had to settle for a draw. There was some great wing work by Nick Slater and Sam Robinson, backed up with some solid stick play from Dave Latimer.