Hockey round-up: Blackpool and Lytham
Blackpool Men fell to their first defeat of the season 4-2 away to Didsbury Seconds.
They arrived with only minutes to spare after more M60 congestion and the home side dominated the opening exchanges, taking an early lead from a penalty corner.
Blackpool began to find their feet and Dave Morgan deflected home Rob Dingle’s cross for the equaliser.
They were up against it for much of the first half but Rob Abbott and Dec O’Hara kept the hosts at bay until Didsbury regained the lead on the stroke of half-time.
In a scrappy second half, a mistake in the Blackpool defence cost them a third goal.
Blackpool gave themselves hope when Jordan Payne smashed home a volley to make it 3-2, but Didsbury rallied to seal victory with a fourth five minutes from time.
Blackpool Seconds ran riot at Stanley Park, securing their first win of the season in North West four north 9-3 against Didsbury Northern Fifths.
Despite starting with only 10 players, Blackpool took an early lead with Adam George’s drag-flick into the roof of the net.
Didsbury equalised but Blackpool, with a full complement of 11, regained the lead when the threatening Harrison Stott set up Jack Boniface for a close-range finish.
A goal by Chris Hocking and a fine stop by Stan Morrison from a penalty corner meant half-time arrived with Blackpool 3-1 ahead.
Didsbury pulled one back early in the second half but then the home side went on all-out attack as Hocking and Boniface both scored their second before Mike Sharp scored two of his own, the second a penalty flick.
Man of the match Stott scored the goal he deserved with a reverse-stick strike from the edge of the D.
Paul Atherton tapped home the ninth to round off a frenzied 15 minutes of goals. As legs tired, Didsbury did score a consolation goal but this was an excellent performance by Blackpool’s last unbeaten team.
Blackpool Thirds also celebrated their first win in division six north north, 3-2 against their Southport counterparts. They were unlucky to go behind to a wicked deflection and it remained 1-0 at half-time, Ashlie Holmes nutmegging the keeper only to see his shot cleared.
Blackpool changed formation for the second half and began to dominate, captain Matt Atherton equalising from one of several short corners.
Keiffer Earnshaw shot through the defence to give them the lead five minutes later and man of the match Chris Pickles tapped in for 3-1 following Oli McVicor’s pass.
But with Jack Williams yellow-carded, Blackpool had to play out an anxious few minutes after Southport pulled one back with a penalty stroke.
Lytham St Annes Ladies were tested from the off by a tough Liverpool Sefton side and emerged with a 3-3 draw.
The hosts scored first, though a reckless swing forced Gilly Shields off with a badly bruised wrist.
This spurred Lytham on and Heidi Williams’ skilful run led to an equaliser, Livvy Hawtin scoring after a shot rebounded off a post.
Lytham took a 2-1 lead into the break through Georgia Perkins after fine work by Georgina Read.
Becca Walker and Amie Knighton tackled tenaciously and Perkins scored her second, again set up by Read.
Sefton increased the pressure and pulled level despite good saves from Hannah Shore and solid defence from Hazel Cockerill.
Williams and Perkins ended the game superbly but couldn’t forge a winner.
LSA Seconds gave a much-improved performance but lost by the only goal away to Pendle Forest Thirds.
Jasmine Wright, Tia Pumphrey and Lily Chadwick all threatened but couldn’t force an equaliser, while Lauren Lockhart was outstanding in goal.
Lytham St Annes Men won for the first time this season in North Two West, defeating Oxton Seconds 1-0.
Adam Dixon pulled off some useful saves and Gaz Sym fired home the winner from a penalty corner.
Dan Yates and Tom Evans made some driving runs down the right and Tom Evans went close to a second from Will Stone’s reverse-stick cross.
LSA Thirds made it two wins out of two in North West five north north, 2-0 at home to South Lakes Seconds.
They dominated and should have won by more than Simon Trickett and Mick Hayes’s first-half goals.
Miles Child did well in defence, while Dan Thompson and James Wood impressed up front.
Blackpool Ladies’ first win of the Lancashire Central division one campaign was achieved in style 7-2 against Witton Warriors at Stanley Park.
With no second XI fixture, Blackpool could select a strong squad of 15 and were positive from the off.
Kandy Cardwell’s skilful passing was too sharp for Witton, helping Jade Yarwood to a first-half hat-trick.
Blackpool added a further four in the second half, Emma Gilfoyle scoring two. Gemma Prestwich’s goal and a fourth for Yarwood completed their scoring.
Sandra Wood made some good saves but most of the action was further up field, though Witton had two short corners in the game and scored from both.
Yarwood was the player of the match, followed by Cardwell and Prestwich in a fantastic team effort.