Blackpool 3’s were at full strength for the first time this season and ran out easy 5-0 winners against their Leyland & Chorley counterparts.
Not only did Blackpool 3’s had 15 players but also the luxury of 6 seniors, including Martin Hayes making his seasonal debut with a rare Saturday off work. It was soon apparent that Blackpool were the stronger side with Joe Neath controlling the midfield from the off. Blackpool attacked in waves but Leyland’s young goalkeeper made some tremendous saves and kept them in the game.
The deadlock was finally broken just before halftime when a long corner was fed in to Martin Hayes in front of goal whose shot was deflected off a defender’s stick into the goal.
The halftime team talk was led by captain Matt Atherton, but it’s the words from David Wright that will live long in the memory as truly inspirational “there are two objectives in the second half: 1 not to concede a goal, and 2 to score 5 goals.” Little did we know how prophetic those words would be.
The floodgates opened in the second half, with Blackpool permanently camped in Leyland’s half. Martin Hayes scored his second with a spin and shot after receiving the ball with his back to goal. Shortly afterwards a penalty stroke was awarded to Blackpool after a defender’s foot stopped the ball on the goal-line, up stepped captain Matt Atherton to take the responsibility but his flick was easily saved by the Leyland goalkeeper.
Blackpool’s third goal came from a move which involved veteran defender Pete Latimer entering the D, a Leyland defender falling down clutching his head after colliding with Latimer’s storming run, the ball only half cleared to Keiffer Earnshaw at the top of the D who launched it into the roof of the net.
Martin Hayes completed his hat-trick with a straight shot across the goal, and man of the match Joe Neath scored Blackpool’s fifth with a straight shot from the top of the D.
A great win by Blackpool and credit to Leyland for the good natured manner of the game. One particular highlight was when the four oldest players, two from each side, chased a long ball over half the length of the pitch, with Craig Nutter just arriving first and passing to Pete Latimer to clear back up field, only for all four veterans to gently amble back into position puffing and panting like they’d all run a marathon rather than 50 yards!
Just as Blackpool hit some form with two wins in two matches, there’s now 3 weeks before the next match away at Kirkby Lonsdale.