Again, Blackpool were without what they would call their ‘best team’, but this was no matter. Blackpool often does what it shouldn’t do and doesn’t what it should – and this time they proved yet again their mettle.
The turf at Stanley Park, for all its faults, was playing the best and as fast as it had done for many a game. Immediately the ball was being zipped about the field by both teams, however Blackpool looked more in control for the first 5 minutes before Nelson found their game and started to play. They were soon awarded a penalty corner, their only one of the game but dispatched it without much effort under a slow diving keeper.
Undeterred, Blackpool continued to press and spent 75% of the remainder of the first half camped in Nelson’s half. Again, Blackpool could just not convert chances.
The second half proved to be much the same but with several key differences. Good play down the flanks continually saw opportunities go amiss in front of Nelson’s goal, but Blackpool were merely probing, finding the weaknesses. A run by Jack Boniface saw a deadly shot at the keeper to be rebounded back and a neat reverse flick levelled the score to 1-1.
However, as Pasqualino and Blackpool pushed up field to find the winner, Nelson also started to exploit the gaps and often broke on the counter. A good piece of individual skill by their young forward put the opposition back in the lead.
Then, with less than 10 minutes to play Joe Boniface picked up the ball from a slack Nelson through ball and drove up the centre of the field to release Morgan who was duly fouled and received a penalty corner. The corner was unsuccessful and another long corner was awarded. This time, Wright drove the ball into Morgan who turned and placed the ball to make it 2-2.
The tangerines continued to push and Nelson had two of their players sent off, one with a yellow for 10 minutes and one with a rare red card. With the extra men Blackpool could not finish the job but can look optimistically to a team that gelled immediately with good work from Goudie down the right and Man of the Match, Woodman.
© Joe Boniface 29/10/07