Blackpool progressed into the final of the Lancashire Trophy with a 3-0 win away to Rochdale.
Fresh off their 13-1 thumping of Preston thirds the day before, Rochdale looked to take the game to the side from a division above them, adopting a high press and challenging fiercely for every loose ball. Blackpool’s tired legs from the previous day’s trip to Wales took a while to shake off, but once the Division 2 leaders hit their stride, they looked the more threatening on the break.
Dec O’Hara’s long ball to Dave Morgan sparked the opening goal for the visitors as Morgan played in Ian Swaine on the right hand edge of the area. Swaine had time to pick his spot and riffled the ball home with the Rochdale keeper motionless.
With Steve Whitley restricted to the bench due to a suspected broken thumb, Blackpool shuffled around their midfield making use of the full complement of players.
Rochdale’s high tempo game appeared to take its toll, as Blackpool went into cruise control in the second half, switching the ball around effortlessly. Josh Boyne’ quick(ish) thinking spotted Morgan in space down the right. Morgan’s ball across wasn’t the best, but a helping hand from the defender pushed it into the path of Swaine who poked it home between the keepers legs for a nightmare goal for the home side to concede.
After two assists, Morgan bagged a goal for himself to seal passage into the final. Jay Currey’s ball in from the right fell to Morgan who smashed the ball towards goal. With the last defender tracking Simon Thomas’s run, Morgan’s shot wrongfooted the Rochdale player, and despite his best efforts to prevent a goal, could only manage to deflect it into the roof of the net.
Blackpool now face Blackburn Northern in a repeat of last year’s Semi Final clash, but this time for the Trophy.
The Final will be played on 29th March 2015 at FORMBY Hockey Club, the club would appreciate as much travelling support as possible.