Who Says Eleven Men Is Better Than 10?
The first away game of the season for the Blackpool second team saw a trip to Liverpool which turned out to be more than eventful.
Due to injury and unavailability of some club players, Blackpool started the match with a bare 11 with no substitutes.
Under a darkening sky, Liverpool – looking to bounce back from a 5-0 beating the previous week – took the initiative and played the ball around the pitch with little fight from Blackpool. The home side capitalised early on with a goal into the bottom left hand corner and looked to strengthen their lead had it not been for some excellent work by goal keeper Graeme Kilshaw. As the first half progressed, a poor challenge by the lone Blackpool striker resulted in a deserved green card. This quickly escalated into a yellow card due to dissent and then a red card followed. Shortly after, Liverpool made the most of the extra man and extended their lead to 2-0.
Unperturbed by recent events and now playing with the excellent triumvirate of young players in Harrison Stott, Sam Robinson and man of the match Ollie Thomlinson up front, Blackpool went on the attack. A well worked short corner gave Adam George an opportunity to shoot with the last touch of the half and with a powerful shot brought the deficit back to one goal going into half time.
Following a boost of half time Haribo and a confidence boosting team talk by captain, Niall Bancroft, Blackpool immediately looked a far better side than the first half. However, a well worked short corner routine restored Liverpool’s advantage to two goals.
The rain, having previously been falling in stair rods started to ease and Blackpool regained their composure. The introduction of a late arriving David Wright brought an attacking defensive option down the left which provided further potential and the match was now evenly fought.
With little to lose, the front three backed up by Chris Hocking now played with the confidence their ability belies and scored a well worked stunning goal finished off by Sam Robinson.
With now only a goal up, Liverpool began to fluff their lines with mounting Blackpool pressure. With less than three minutes to play and absolutely nothing to lose, again a well worked trio produced a final goal for Blackpool to level the scores at 3-3 sending the travelling support into raptures.
A final surge of pressure from Liverpool could not break down the Blackpool defence and with seconds to go, the away side could have taken the lead had it not been for the Liverpool keeper.
Overall, despite on pitch incidences, Blackpool fought incredibly well and did not let their heads get down. All credit to Liverpool for a finely fought game but the attitude of the 10 players of the away side bodes well for the future.