It was at this reverse fixture earlier in the season when this reporter was hit by a ball direct in the forehead during a short corner only for a penalty flick to be awarded. And so history repeated itself when again I was struck by a ball in front of goal, deflected off my own stick onto my chin, bursting it open in a shower of blood. As I when off the pitch, another short corner was awarded and Oxton equalised from it and there was very little time left for Blackpool to respond.
The other casualties were unlucky accidents in a good tempered game (unlike some others we’ve had this season) with Jack Boniface suffering a dislocated shoulder after a heavy fall (needing morphine later in A&E to stop him crying like a baby) and Paul Atherton braking a bone in his hand after trying to break a fall (although no one saw this happen mysteriously). By the time I arrived at Blackpool Vic’s A&E I was the 4th hockey victim of the day, and the masses reckon that we play a girlie sport – no helmets & padding for us unlike the wimpy men who play on ice!
The game got off to the worst of starts when Blackpool conceded a goal within the first minute. However Dave Morgan levelled the score minutes later with a fine strike. He then got another early in the second half with a strike straight by the far post leaving the goalie no chance. Blackpool felt they were in control and should have extended their lead when Morgan selflessly passed the ball, instead of taking a chance for a hat-trick when faced with just the goalie to beat, only for Simon Thomas to miss an empty net by inches.
This miss proved to be decisive as Oxton increased their pressure on the Blackpool defence with a series of short corners and they finally managed to convert one to equalise, moments after central defender Latimer had left the field dripping blood from his chin.
There was hardly any time for Blackpool to respond and so they had to content themselves with a single point and leaves them 7th in Division 4 with just three games of the season remaining.
Man of the Match (as agreed by the massed spectators) – Joe Boniface
© Peter Latimer 28/2/10
Lancashire Trophy Semi-Final – Morecambe 3-1 Blackpool (extra report until this result shows up on FL)
Blackpool travelled to Lancaster to play Morecambe in the Lancashire Trophy semi-final and were unlucky to lose 3-1 to their opponents from the division above.
Of the three players injured the previous day, only Pete Latimer was able to play with his chin stitched up, but the team was up for the match as semi-finals don’t come round too often and several of the players are now approaching 40.
Morecambe started much stronger and proved a tough side to handle for Blackpool’s defensive back-line of Kilshaw, Boniface, Latimer and Mistry. They went two goals ahead from short corners and even had a third disallowed. Blackpool were finding themselves beaten to the fifty-fifty balls and struggling with the pace of the pitch.
However the second half was a different game with Blackpool fighting for the ball and making neat pass and moves causing Morecambe’s defence all sorts of problems. Blackpool’s top scorer Dave Morgan pulled one back with a sweet strike at a short corner. There was then a string of chances with Morgan, James Slater and young substitute Matt Atherton all going close.
Morecambe were starting to panic, however on a rare attack of their own they somehow managed to scramble a goal and Blackpool’s hearts sank. Two goals down with only 5 minutes to play, they heroically battled till the end but couldn’t find any more goals of their own and so their dream of a cup final disappears for another year.