After picking up just two points in their last three matches, Blackpool Men’s first team returned to form with a resounding 7-1 win over Lymm at Stanley Park.
With the torrential rain driving away all supporters (apart from the dedicated O’Hara’s), Blackpool welcomed back strike force of Ian Swaine and Dave Morgan, who were both missing in last week’s frustrating draw to Rhyl. Despite having more attacking options available, Captain Nick Rainbow stuck with the previous week’s formation and positioned Swaine in a deeper role at the base of midfield.
The tactics looked to be correct as Lymm, with the wind and rain off their backs, pressed high into the Blackpool half and shaded the opening ten minutes. However, the home side always looked dangerous on the break with Jay Currey making inroads down the right flank. It was a move down the right that brought the opening goal as Rob Dingle’s ball into Morgan was turned into the path of Currey who’d deft touch tipped the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper and into the corner of the goal. Moments later the lead could have been doubled, but Sam Bury’s effort was well saved. It wasn’t all one-way traffic though, as Rainbow was kept busy in the Blackpool goal as Lymm continued to press high. With the rain bouncing off the artificial surface, Blackpool forced their penalty corner of the match. Dingle and Morgan combined again for the later to slap home on his return to the side.
Half time’s change of ends couldn’t have come quick enough for Blackpool as they were relieved to be no longer driving into the rain, and it didn’t take long for them to grab their third. Currey slipped the ball back inside to Morgan who slotted the ball to the right of the keeper to open up a three goal advantage.
Just as the game looked to be slipping away from the visitors, a quickly taken free hit and a well hit strike inside the area got Lymm on to the score sheet, and raised hopes of a comeback. However the high tempo hockey played in the first half couldn’t be replicated with the weather no longer on their side as Blackpool attacked in waves looking to break down the tiring Lymm back line.
Morgan restored the three goal lead when a scramble in the area saw the ball trapped below the keepers foot. The in-form striker was first to react to seal another well-earned hat trick. Not wanting to be out-done by his strike partner, despite playing in midfield, Swaine marched forward in search of a goal. He beat two defenders before lifting the ball over the stick of a third to Morgan, who played a neat one-two back to Swaine in the area. I’m sure Ian would describe what happened next slightly differently, but most would agree the following is a more accurate description. Swaine then lost his footing, attempted a flick off-balance, the ball went nowhere, Swaine fell over, the keeper began to come out then stopped, Swaine rolled over in the d and the swept the ball goal bound, through the keepers legs and over the goal-line for Blackpool’s bizarre fifth.
Simon Thomas scored Blackpool’s sixth after an excellent team build up, and final ball by Sam Robinson, and with only a couple of minutes remaining, Steve Whitley smashed home the seventh off the under-side of the cross bar, reminiscent of a certain strike by Tony Yeboah all those years ago…
Blackpool move up a place to fifth in Division 1 with only a handful of points separating third to sixth.