Following a disappointing result away at Bolton last week, Blackpool went into their last home game of the season still requiring a single point to ensure promotion for the third year running.
A real howler of a day saw Blackpool’s home advantage snatched away from them as the Stanley Park Sports Centre cancelled all Hockey on the astro-turf due to flooding. The game was switched to the pitch at Preston College at the last minute.
Sale were in buoyant mood following recent wins over top place Preston and third place Bolton. Blackpool were keen not to make it a hatrick for the travelling side. Sale started well and immediately took control of the game. The Sale midfield and forward line causing havoc in the Blackpool defence. The rare attacks from the Blackpool team however proved that Sale weren’t going to have the game all their own way. The Sale pressure eventually told when the centre forward was allowed to run into the D and flick the ball goal bound. Pete Latimer deflected the ball but not sufficient enough to turn it wide. From the re-start, Sale again piled forward. They soon doubled their lead when a short corner was deflected in at the right hand post.
Rather than heads going down, Blackpool eventually settled into the game, realising that they needed to take a hold of the game. Several attacks from the Blackpool midfield and forwards, particularly from Paul Wareing and Liam Morrow down the right hand side. The Sale keeper managed to keep a clean sheet initially. Blackpool finally got their chance when Kieron Morrow had a snap shot from the left-hand side of the D just saved. Dave Morgan capitalised on the ball that trickled across the front of the goal line about 1 yard out. The keeper stranded, Dave converted the simplest of chances. Almost immediately from the re-start, Rob Pasqualino capitalised on some sloppy Sale defending to dribble the ball all the way into the D and finally passed the keeper into the back of the net. Score at 2-2 and Blackpool looked very threatening. Several more chances arrived before half time but nothing could be converted.
Throughout the second half, neither team managed to really threaten the opposition’s goal. Sale had a good 15-minute spell, pinning Blackpool in the back third of the pitch. Blackpool failing to really hurt the Sale defence as they had in the first half. The game finished 2-2, giving Blackpool the point needed to secure a safe second place in the league and a hatrick of promotions over the last three years.
With Blackpool Travelling to Preston next week, a victory for Pool will rewuire preston to win their final game to be champions. If Preston Win or draw, the 1,2 will be sorted out before the final weekend