Morgan Brace Lifts Him To Second Highest Scorer in North West Hockey League History
On a cold and miserable afternoon at Wigan, Blackpool sluggishly overcame bottom of the table side Wigan 5-2 in a scrappy affair.
With Blackpool experimenting with a change in formation, whilst simultaneously battling the oncoming hail, the relegation threatened hosts started the brighter, with two shots in the opening five minutes going wide of Nick Rainbow patrolling the Blackpool goal. This early warning wasn’t heeded as Wigan took the lead at a penalty corner, with the ball deflecting in of Rob Dingle’s stick which otherwise would have gone wide. Blackpool’s faithful travelling support were soon involved in the action, but unfortunately it was taking their son to hospital as Dec O’Hara dislocated his little finger with only a few minutes left in the first half. As the hail began to pass, Blackpool began to come into the game and scored an equaliser only moments before the break, with Jordan Payne tapping in after a good team move.
The second half switch of ends couldn’t have come any sooner for Blackpool as with the wind on their backs, found life much easier. Dave Morgan converted Blackpool’s next goal to give them the lead, and the significant individual milestone of moving him up a place to second in North West Hockey’s all-time leading scorers list. Blackpool looked much more comfortable when Ian Swaine doubled the lead five minutes later. Cheered on by a very cold home crowd, Wigan continued to throw men forward, but Blackpool, even without O’Hara at the back looked comfortable. A well worked penalty corner routine saw Josh Boyne deflect the ball neatly past the keeper to open up a three goal advantage. Wigan raised hopes of a late comeback after a topped shot a penalty corner somehow bobbled in past an unsighted Rainbow, but the points were sealed when Morgan was first to react after Sam Bury’s initial shot was saved by the impressive Wigan keeper who had an excellent game.
Blackpool remain sixth in the division, but after some interesting results from the teams above them, there might still be room for a late run into the top 4.