Blackpool 3rd Team made the journey to Kirby Londsdale with only 9 players and feared the worst. As expected, the home team started off on the front foot, using their numerical advantage to put Blackpool’s makeshift defence of Will Turnbell, Phil Weir and Kieren Ablett under pressure. However, Blackpool held firm thanks to some last ditch defending and some good saves from Toby Jeffery, making his senior debut. Eventually the pressure told and Kirbly Londsdale scored 2 quick fire goals, one from a well struck short corner and one after Blackpool lost possession in their own half leaving the goalkeeper exposed. By then Blackpool were starting to find some cohesion of their own and had several shots on goal before Kirby Lonsdale mounted an counter attack and scored.
Perhaps unfortunate to be 3-0 down at the break, Blackpool began the second half more positively. Tireless running from the midfield quartet of Will Pickles, Chris Pickles, David Wright and Oli McVicor made light of Blackpool’s lack of numbers and led to them winning several short corners and eventually pulling a goal back when Oli McVicor converted a rebound after the keeper had saved the first shot. Sensing it was game on Blackpool pushed forward in search of more goals but were then caught by a smart counter attack from the home team whose forwards worked an opportunity and made it 4-1. Not to be discouraged Blackpool attacked again and won another short corner which was converted by Kieffer Walker-Earnshaw after the original shot from David Wright hit the post. Soon after it was 4-3 after a solo run from David Wright where he beat several players before advancing into the D and slotting home into the corner. Both teams had opportunities in the final minutes but Blackpool were unable to force an equaliser.
A great game played in a great spirit by both teams. Blackpool’s man of the match was Kieren Ablett who produced a colossal performance playing in an unfamiliar role at left back, closely followed by Toby Jeffery who made a number of fantastic saves on his first appearance in senior hockey.