|Saturday 03 November 2012|
|Wigan Men’s 2s||NWHL Div 5 N|
|Heaton with Oxcliffe Ladies 1st Team||LCWHA D3|
|Southport Men’s 2s||NWHL Div3N|
|Urmston Men’s 3s||NWHL Div 8 N|
Men 1s (League)
After the heavy loss to Lancaster University last week, Blackpool Men’s first team returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 9-1 victory away at Southport.
Still some-way off full strength, Blackpool welcomed back several players from their lengthy injury list, and the results were immediate. Blackpool dominated possession with careful build up play through defence and midfield with the ball barely escaping the Southport half. Blackpool opened the scoring after a flowing move tore the Southport defence apart with Swaine, Hocking and Whitley all combining to leave James Slater with the simplest of finishes. The second goal proved more difficult to come by as various opportunities were either thwarted by the Southport keeper, or the shots whistled by the wrong side of the post. Blackpool may have missed their chances in open play, but were deadly from penalty corners. The returning Richard Blacow’s precision drag flick left the keeper wrong-footed to double Blackpool’s lead, and soon after Blacow notched up his second with a flick in the opposite corner that went in off the post. At the third penalty corner, Southport shuffled their defensive line to combat Blacow’s fire-power, but were out foxed by Dan Woodman and Ian Swaine as the latter beat the keeper from close range to send Blackpool 4-0 up at half time.
With no substitutes, nagging injuries forced Blackpool to rotate their players around as the second half began, and the fluid movement seen earlier in the game evaporated. Noticing several Blackpool players were struggling Southport attempted to stretch the game and hit Blackpool on the counter-attack. Some good saves from captain Nick Rainbow, and good defensive work from Rob Abbott kept Southport out, whilst Blackpool looked to re-assert their dominance. Slowly it came back, and Blackpool began once again to carve out further chances. Chris Hocking continued his good scoring form as his finish from a tight angle brought up Blackpool’s fifth. A quickly taken free hit allowed Swaine to break away for his second, and a few minutes later he completed the hockey equivalent of a ‘perfect hat-trick’ (Open Stick + Reverse Stick + Penalty Corner) as his reverse stick shot smashed into the backboard making it 7 for the visitors. Blackpool conceded a sloppy consolation goal with ten minutes to go, but were determined to make up for it. Swaine was denied his fourth when the umpire had already blown his whistle for a penalty stroke, which Richard Blacow calmly slotted home to complete his hat-trick. And there was just enough time for Jacob Currey to grab a ninth for Blackpool as his shot was deflected in at the near post.
A much improved performance and with several players still to return in the coming weeks, Blackpool will need continue this form as they enter a tough stretch of away fixtures.
Blackpool drop to 5th in 3rd in Division 3.
Mens 1s (Lancashire Cup)
Blackpool were drawn at home to Didsbury Northern in the quarter finals of the Lancashire Cup knowing that it was going to be their toughest match of the season, having to play a team 50 places and 4 divisions above them in the league structure. Despite a team consisting of a mix of 1st and 2nd team players, Blackpool played without fear and surprised the visitors by taking the lead. Rob Dingle started the move with a lofted ball from defence to attack, David Wright scrambled past several defenders and after his strike ricocheted off a foot into mid air Simon Thomas slapped it past the keeper. Didsbury equalised from a short corner, and Blackpool thought they’d gone ahead for a second time when Rob Dingle attacked down the right and had a reverse stick shot into the roof of the net only for the umpire to blow for an earlier infringement.
Disaster then hit Blackpool, or more specifically Simon Thomas, when a lifted ball shattered his knee cap from a range of just 5 yards. There then followed a 20 minute delay as an ambulance was called onto the pitch and the players helped sooth Thomas while he lay on the pitch in agony. The Didsbury team departed for the warmth of the changing room and when they returned for the restart they had obviously rethought their tactics and they went into the lead with a quickly taken goal. However Blackpool were not prepared to lie down and answered with a goal from Nathan Woodman.
Didsbury retook the lead before the end of the first half but Blackpool felt at half time that they had a genuine chance of creating a real cup giant killing. Alas it was not to be, as despite fighting hard and having further chances Blackpool could not score again, whilst Didsbury grabbed another five goals.
Blackpool 2s were back on form in beating Wigan 2s 4-2 after their disastrous 6-2 defeat last week. Top scorer Nathan Woodman opened the scoring with a perfectly placed drag flick fired into the top right corner of the goal from a short corner. He also scored the second from another short corner, this time hitting the ball into the bottom corner. Wigan pulled one back with a lucky deflected hit, however Blackpool extended their lead again when a Woodman pass was deflected into the goal by Martin Hayes. Despite Blackpool dominating Wigan managed to score a second goal, but Blackpool made the match certain with an impressive fourth goal. Woodman sent a reverse pass to Jordan Payne who ran from half way, dribbled past two defenders on his way into the D, and then took it round the keeper and slotted in from a tight angle. Blackpool stay 6th in Division 5.
Blackpool’s young 3rd team enjoyed their first win of the season against Urmston, who only just managed to scramble together a team of 10 for their trip to Stanley Park. From the start Blackpool dominated possession and ran rings around the Urmston side, causing them to make mistakes. Harrison Clark opened the scoring with a thunderous shot into the back of the net. Ollie Tomlinson impressed on his debut in centre midfield and helped set up the second goal scored by Owen Williams. Clark scored his second soon afterwards and was unlucky not to grab a hat-trick as Blackpool were creating numerous chances, with Man of the Match Sam Owen dominating the midfield. Blackpool finished the first half 4-0 up after Josh Boyne was delighted to get his name on the score sheet with his first goal for the team.
The second half became more open as Blackpool thought they could score at will, whilst Urmston were keen to restore some pride and looked for a goal themselves. Urmston’s keeper made a number of crucial saves, captain Alex Diver’s strikes kept going wide, including a missile of a drag flick from a short corner. Urmston’s attacks were snuffed out by the combined defence of Matt Hood, Conagh Griffin, Josh Hughes, Pete Latimer and debutant Nick Aziz. So much so that stand-in keeper Alex Hughes barely had a save to make. The match finished 4-0 and now Blackpool will try for a second win next week at bottom team Golborne.