After last week’s epic report, here’s a shorter one but at least more timely.
Blackpool arrived early in West Derby only to discover that they were not allowed to get changed before the 12 noon start time due to the school, whose pitch we were playing at, were still using the facilities with hundreds of kids knocking around. We weren’t even allowed onto the side of the pitch until they’d finished their school games. So after getting changed in cars, or in quiet corners of the school grounds, even after a delayed start, it was certainly less than ideal preparation for a game.
Perhaps that was why West Derby scored first, after some good linking play, some miscommunication from the Blackpool defence and a lucky bounce in the D. An early conceded goal is nothing new, and Blackpool quickly showed they were the better side with some great passing play through the reunited midfield pairing of Wicker and Goudie up to the starting attack of Hayes and O’Hara. Short corners were won but twice were stopped for debatable infringements.
It took a while for the Blackpool defence of Rainbow, Rayner, Latimer, Bould, Allen and Bancroft to settle down, and at times needed the help of Lester to nullify the quick passing West Derby attack. Several short corners were also successfully defended. Blackpool scored from some neat play down the left, a shot from Goudie and Hayes getting his stick onto the end for a deflected goal. A further goal came later in the half from a Hocking strike at a short corner, after he’d come on as a sub.
The game could still have gone either way in the 2nd half with the score at just 2-1, but Blackpool’s superior passing play, fitness, and good use of their two subs dominated the rest of the match. Wicker scored a 3rd goal from a short corner, and the game opened up even more with West Derby just hoping for a goal from counter attacks.
Blackpool’s midfield dominated with Wicker and Goudie in the centre, with O’Hara joining them for periods, showing great class and promise for the future. Lester and Rowe caused problems on the flanks, aided by the full backs pushing up, especially with Allen crossing well. Hayes and Hocking had a field day up front and could have scored several, but Hocking was the one to claim the 4th from a great strike from a sharp angle.
Blackpool were playing for fun now, and with the captain shouting encouragement for a greater win than the recent 4-1 victories, Goudie managed to snatch the 5th and final goal minutes from the end.
Another great team performance away fro home against a decent side. The next two matches against Formby and Urmston will be difficult and indicate how successful this season could become.
© Peter Latimer 14/10/07