Blackpool Men’s first team let a two goal lead slip in the last ten minutes to come away with a hard fought draw away to Bowdon Men’s thirds.
In a scratchy affair both sides struggled to create many clear cut opportunities in the first half. Nick Rainbow dealt with any threat in the Blackpool goal, whilst the experienced Bowdon defence kept the Blackpool strikers at bay. Of the two sides, it was the hosts who came the closest when their young midfield dynamo found himself free on goal, but his effort was pulled wide of the post much to Blackpool’s relief. With a large number of turnovers, both sides were constantly in flux utilising all their available substitutes to find the breakthrough, but when the half time whistle blew, neither team had managed to break the deadlock.
Blackpool came out the stronger in the second period and after ten minutes found themselves in the lead thanks to a well worked goal finally touched in by Jordan Payne after some good build up play from Jay Currey, Steve Whitley and Dave Morgan.
Five minutes later, Blackpool doubled their lead when Ian Swaine’s sweetly stuck effort from a penalty corner hammered into the backboard. From this brief goal scoring interlude, the game returned to its scrappy first half with only the occasional chance breaking the routine. Just as Blackpool were looking comfortable, a mistake in possession allowed Bowdon to break and after a defensive mix-up, the frustrated Bowdon strike force finally had something to cheer about. Blackpool began to drop off in the closing minutes, inviting more pressure from the home side, but with plenty of men behind the ball, they didn’t look in danger of giving away their lead. However it took a bizarre incident in the final two minutes to bring about the Bowdon equaliser. Blackpool looked certain winners with a penalty corner eating away at the clock, but when the injection took an unprecedented hop over a stick, the ball broke to the Bowdon attack with a significant overload on the counter. A few touches later and the ball was in the Blackpool net for the equaliser much to the disappointment and bewilderment of the visitors. In the end, a draw was a fair reflection of the game, however Blackpool will be cursing their luck as the two points slipped away in the dying moments. Simon Thomas’ great performance in the middle of the park earned him man of the match, whilst Blackpool slip to second in the league.