Blackpool made one change from their victory over Bolton, for their trip to a improving Formby side with Dec O’Hara replacing Jack Jones who moved down to the bench.
Blackpool knew it would be a tough game with Formbys impressive home form which they soon found out was due to their home pitch. The Blackpool players looked more like the rejects from ITV’s Dancing on Ice than a Hockey team tipped for promotion. Unfortunaltly for the Pool, their footing was less Bolero 1984 but more resembling the salt lake city 1000m mens final, which has been rumoured to provide inspiration for easter.
As Blackpool tried to master the basic skills, Formby set alight the rink, throwing in a number of double and triple axels mesmorising the blackpool defence who in there amazment allowed Formby to walk through them twice in the opening quarter gifting themselves a Two goal lead.
Blackpool made 2 changes to try to get back into the game with Jones and B Mortimer replacing O’Hara and Vice Captain Paul Atherton who was reported to be feeling “Under the Weather”. Within minuites the newly formed midfield started to look more solid, and between Andy and Ben Mortimer a Short Corner was won. The resulting shot was blocked on the line by a formby boot resulting in a Penalty Flick being given Alex Diver stepped up to score from the spot for the second week in the row.
The goal shellshocked Formby who minuites before the equalizer had seen Greame Kilshaw in the Backpool goal pull off a triple save deny the rampant Formby attackers. Almost immediatly Blackpool drew level, A Foul won by Blackpool on the edge of the D, Andy Mortimer drilled the ball for Alex Diver to deflect the ball past the goalkeeper. As the half-time wistle went, Blackpool were level however very easily could have been 5-2 down.
In the second half Blackpool looked a different team with everyone stepping up a level, Matt Atherton replaced Phil Taylor and looked solid, Si Allen and Rob Cain and Alex Rowe all looking more settled in defence gave Blackpool a solid platform to attack.
Within 10 minuites after the break Blackpool had turned round the defecit to take a 3-2 lead. Father and Son Mortimer combination broke up a formby attack, and Ben Mortimer broke forward playing in Martin Hayes who unselfishly squared for Alex Diver to complete his Hat Trick, his second in successive weeks. Formby bounced back from this set-back and piled the pressure on Formby who on another day would have got back into the game if it wasnt for a stirling defensive performance from Blackpool.
The game was secured by Blackpool with a forth goal from Alex Diver whose strike from a Penalty corner found its way into the goal, with the aid of a unfortunate Formby defender.
Blackpool now back on top of the division although the chasing pack have games in hand, however like all the figure skaters say in preperation for Vancouver 2010, its better to get out early with points on the board, as it puts pressure on other teams to stay on their feet, and with Keswick and Preston both having to make trips to Formby Ice Rink that may not be as easy as they hope.
I would like to extend thanks to Formby HC for a excellent game of hockey and also to the two umpires who both had excellent games.
© Alex Diver 25/01/09