The first ever league match between the 2nd teams of local rivals Blackpool and Lytham St Annes resulted in a surprising draw after Blackpool had dominated the match and let a two goal lead slip in the final 15 minutes.
With Blackpool 2’s gradual rise up through the divisions including last year’s promotion from 5NN, and Lytham 2’s slowly dropping from higher divisions and freshly relegated from 3N, it meant that these two sides were meeting for the first time in 4N.
Blackpool started the match at the AKS pitch in St Annes with quick passing hockey with Niall Bancroft and Chris Hocking in midfield linking with Adam George and Martin Hayes in attack. Harrison Stott used his pace and dribbling skills on the right wing to trouble the Lytham defence and crossed into the D for several chances for the strikers which were either narrowly missed or quick saves by the Lytham keeper.
There were several short corners won but Blackpool couldn’t convert any of them, with the Lytham keeper in fine form. Lytham themselves won a couple of corners but fluffed them, although they did look like they almost scored with the ball about to cross the line before Stan Morrison was able to clear it just in time and with a mighty roar of delight.
The deadlock was finally broken when Stan Morrison was aiding the attack at the other end of the field and was able to find a pass to Martin Hayes in the middle of the D with his back to the goal, but a quick spin and strong shot found the goal with no chance for the keeper to save.
After halftime Blackpool again started the brighter and made a number of chances, but it was a while until the second goal came, when Adam George’s shot was initially saved but Mike Sharp was alert on the post to tap past the keeper.
With a two goal lead, Blackpool may have become too relaxed and with tiredness starting to kick in the game became more stretched and Lytham started to have a few attacks of their own. Initially these were repealed but with ten minutes to go a counter attack led to a goal.
Lytham were now the team pressing more and on the ascendancy but the game remained an open affair. A Lytham attack led to a short corner, and by moving the ball about they were able to take a shot from the centre of the D with keeper Graeme Kilshaw unable to get back in position save it.
The Lytham team were jubilant, Blackpool’s heads dropped, and the remaining few minutes were not enough for another goal, and Blackpool came off the pitch knowing that they’d dropped two points.
Niall Bancroft was man of the match for his tireless running and pressing of the opposition, and his halftime Haribo!
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