Blackpool turned up at Brooklands with a full team apart from the Morrow brothers, due to the sudden overnight illness of Liam and the surprise entry of Kieron’s Runcorn match report “Book of Champions” (19/11/05) into the Turner Prize, resulting in a frenzied weekend of press attention down in London. The pre-match team talk from Capn Morgan of “who needs the Morrows” was inspirational but ultimately incorrect.
Blackpool started well, passing the ball around, and feeling the equal of Brooklands. However within 5 mins, a short corner was conceded and a flying shot to the top right corner was unstoppable, once Gettings had crouched to do up his laces. A 2nd goal was scored shortly afterwards from a penalty flick after a breakaway attack and a foot stopped the ball on the line.
Despite these early setbacks, Blackpool continued to play good hockey, pass and move. One attack down the right wing, with a cross from Morgan, found the keeper stranded and plenty of room in the D for Whitley to slot home his 13th goal of the season. However the renewed optimism disappeared once Brooklands scored from another penalty flick after keeper Blakemore was adjudged to have taken out an opposing attacker in the D, and another goal was scored from well-worked short corner routine.
Blackpool felt agrieved at being 4-1 down at half-time, all from set pieces. There were no shouts of “where are the Morrows when you need them?”, but perhaps it was what we were all secretly thinking? The second half was a mess, the team’s shape disappeared, there was in-fighting, but just one further goal was conceded, this time in open-play.
The final score was 5-1 but the feeling was we’d battled well, Brooklands are good but not great, and with a full strength side, a fast water-based pitch at the famed Stanley Park Superdome (newly sponsored by Morrow Brothers Limited), the return match in March could be a different result. Next week sees a vital home match against Glaxo, which will decide 4th place behind Tameside going into the Xmas break.
Squad – Blackemore, Latimer, Gettings, Woodman, Wright, Abbott, Pasqualino, Boniface, Whitley, Ashfield, Morgan. Man of the Match – tbc.
© Peter Latimer 6/12/05