Blackpool 2nd team restarted their season with a rearranged game against Blackburn Northern 2nd team, the first one having been called off due to frozen conditions in early December, and this game was played in an extremely cold wind and under floodlights as the winter sun set.
Blackburn scored first with a near pass and move leading to a strong hit from the top of the D slamming straight into the corner of the goal. However Blackpool were able to reply after Chris Walker gained possession of the ball upfront, passed it to the right for Will Pickles who dribbled into the D past a couple of defenders and then then laid it back to Walker who guided the ball past the keeper into the goal.
With the score remaining 1-1 at half-time Blackburn returned their big guns to their line-up and upped their performance and attacking. The Blackpool defence remained resolute for a while, with goalkeeper Jamie McKinnon making some outstanding saves, including straight hits at short corners. However Blackburn changed their short corner routine and switched the ball to a player who shot from an angle, past the goalkeeper and it struck Pete Latimer’s outstretched foot on the goal-line. There was no complaint about a penalty stroke being awarded which Blackburn subsequently converted to retake the lead.
Blackpool continued to rotate their squad of 14, especially with fitness levels struggling following the festive break, and even captain Matt Atherton took a spell on the side-line. It was during this period where a long ball into the D from Blackburn ended with a striker and goalkeeper McKinnon tangled up, with the umpire deciding that the keeper had fouled the striker rather than kicking the ball, much to the annoyance of the Blackpool team. The resultant exchange of words led to Atherton being awarded a card, and Blackpool down to 10 men, but the penalty stroke was sensationally saved by McKinnon who managed to stretch his arm up and deflect the rising ball up and over the bar.
With just one goal between the sides, and a 300-style inspirational speech from the vice-captain, Blackpool attacked Blackburn and were unlucky not to score with Keiffer Earnshaw’s pace causing Blackburn’s defence all sorts of difficulty. It was Blackburn however who scored the next goal in an unusual way, when a long ball was hit into the D, and a Blackburn striker got a slight touch and Pete Latimer who was marking that man shouted “leave it” just as McKinnon was about to kick the ball away to safety. The ball instead trickled into the goal and after a moment of incredulity the umpire blew for the goal. Latimer was unable to explain his thought process either then or in the club afterwards and if there was a Dunce of the Day award he’d have won hands down.
Blackpool continued to press for a goal and came close, but the game ended in a 3-1 defeat, however bottom of the table Blackpool had pushed the 5th placed team, and remain ever hopeful that the first points of the season will come eventually.