3rd place Blackpool 2’s travelled to 2nd place Kirkby Lonsdale to contest a match that could make a big difference to both side’s promotion hopes in Division 5. After some sweeping of excess leaves from the pitch, and changing in a mud-filled school changing room, the match was ready to start.
Blackpool had a disastrous start when conceding a goal at the first short corner, with a mix-up on the post allowing a straight shot to be scored. Minutes later at another short corner, goalkeeper Graeme Kilshaw made an initial save, only for the rebound to be picked up by an opposing striker who then flicked the ball into the roof of the net.
The game went from bad to worse for Blackpool, after starting to put together some attacks of their own, they were caught on a counter-attack and a pass across the D was unluckily deflected into the goal when Andy Mortimer misjudged his block. So 3-0 after just 15 minutes.
Blackpool regained their composure and started creating chances of their own, but hit the post, had a ball stopped millimetres in front of the goal line, and several very good saves from the opposition keeper. There was renewed purpose as the second half started as Blackpool felt the game was still in the balance, and Kirkby Lonsdale obviously thought the same, parking the bus by keeping their midfielders deep protecting their defence. Mike Sharp, on his first return to the side in almost a year due to service in Gibraltar, was very close to scoring when a firmly struck shot was saved up and over the goal. There were other attempts by Alex Diver, Steve White, Chris Hocking and others but with no end result.
After Blackpool dominated the early possession in the second half, the game did break down to some extent and became an end to end affair. Graeme Kilshaw made some important saves, enjoying the slippery surface for his trademark slide tackle, to ensure that Blackpool didn’t concede any further goals and was voted Man of the Match.
The match ended at 3-0 and the 55 minutes of an even contest was a more representative summary, but that’s sport for you. It was a very good natured match between both sides, and they had a good discussion later down the pub after the fantastic chilli & chips laid on. With leaders Formby dropping their first points of the season, the top of Division 5 is becoming very interesting and all up for grabs over the next 3 weeks.
(c) Peter Latimer 8/11/15