The phrase “men against boys” is perhaps overused in sport. However this was exactly the case as Blackpool’s 3rd Team travelled to table topping Rochdale. With 10 of Blackpool’s 12 man squad aged 16 or under they were expecting a difficult game and the situation was made worse in the first 5 minutes when a wild swing from a Rochdale forward missed the ball but connected squarely with the top lip of captain Craig Nutter, resulting in a wound that would later require 11 stitches and ensuring he would play no further part in the game.
As it turned out, Rochdale were significantly strengthened from their previous encounters with Blackpool resulting in a complete mismatch, Blackpool’s young team powerless to stop the waves of Rochdale attacks. The game was won with half a dozen goals in the first 15 minutes and from there Blackpool were just playing for pride. Credit should go to Blackpool’s players for sticking to their task and continuing to try and push forwards in the face of adversity against a Rochdale team showing no sign of relenting, each end every goal celebrated like a last minute winner. Credit also to Dan Howe who scored his first senior goal.
Blackpool’s man of the match was Ashlie Holmes