Blackpool continued their 100% start to Division 3 with a 9-2 victory against Neston. They were two up after just five minutes, with James Slater pouncing on a chance to flick over the goalie, then Ian Swaine fed Steve Whitley to score with his reverse stick.
Blackpool continued to press and hunt for goals leaving Neston very little time for their own attacks. Mariano de la Lastra showed off his impressive dribbling skills in midfield and started an attack down the left together with Steve Whitley and the ball was crashed into the D where Dave Morgan calmly slotted home.
Ian Swaine, the team’s joint top scorer with Dave Morgan last season, didn’t want to miss out and duly used his considerable skills to fashion a goal for himself. However soon after he was to show his dark side by being sin-binned for some unnecessary questioning of the umpires’ decisions.
Even with 10 players Blackpool continued unabated scoring two further goals. Dave Morgan grabbed a second with a classically taken strikers goal and then Rob Dingle scored his debut goal for the club when rescuing a poorly executed short corner routine with a fine strike after controlling the ball.
Either Blackpool took their foot off the pedal with the knowledge of a 6-0 lead or Neston had an inspiring half-time team talk, but it led to a brief period of dominance for the visitors. They were slightly lucky to score when a lifted hit within the D was stopped by Pete Latimer when it could have been left as it was missing the goal, only for it to drop into the path of a Neston striker who was able to hit the ball past the diving Nick Rainbow. Neston scored a second from a short corner shortly afterwards with a hit straight down the middle which mysteriously got past Rainbow’s defences.
Blackpool gradually restored their composure and attacked Neston in waves. Balls were peppered into the D from both wings, and Mike Thom positioned himself well for two quick goals, both supplied by Morgan. He thought he’d scored his hat-trick with another opportunistic strike but the umpire blew for an earlier infringement much to Thom’s frustration. Even later being awarded Man of the Match was no compensation (and no jug for his team mates!)
There wasn’t a huge amount to do for Blackpool’s defence but when needed they were fully committed to protecting their goal. This was demonstrated when Rob Abbott put in an important tackle in front of goal only to be hit in the face by the striker’s follow through. With a scream and blood dripping onto the pitch play was stopped and Abbott went off to check whether he’d broken his nose.
Kieran Harris had been controlling the midfield all match and finally got his own reward when performing a pirouette that even Nijinsky would have been proud of to nonchalantly tap the ball into goal, after the initial cross had bypassed the keeper.
Further chances came and went but it was not to be double figures on this day, much to the dismay of the record crowd – Joe, Lenny, Paula and the assorted 3rd teamers. But still a very convincing win against a solid Div 3 side, however with other results showing another 4 sides also with 100% records and impressive goal differences there will be tougher challenges ahead and perhaps the season hasn’t fully started yet.
(c) Peter Latimer 9/10/11