Blackpool ranger u16 2 YMCA 4
This Blackpool Rangers team have still never defeated YMCA but they came close in a thrilling contest which both managers agreed could have gone either way.
Despite sacrificing home advantage because of other matches at their Bispham base, Rangers led twice in the first half and it took some outstanding goalkeeping by Billy Crellin to deny them further goals.
These teams had shared second spot last season and both had 100 per cent records this season going into this one, and it was no surprise that this fast and furious contest was of high quality from the start.
YM took the lead inside five minutes, when a clearance by the keeper struck striker Danny Carr and rebounded into the net. Jack Bishop equalised for Rangers with the first of his two goals.
YMCA regained the lead when a 20-yard thunderbolt by Jacob Mullin cannoned off the crossbar, hit the luckless keeper’s back and flew into the top corner.
A draw would have been fair but no sour grapes –they took their chances
Rangers pulled level again in the final action before half-time, George Hawkins firing home from a corner after good build-up play.
It was in the second half that Crellin put his first-half misfortunes behind him to pull off some outstanding saves and prevent Rangers adding to their tally as goalscorer Carr and Adam Thornton both had chances.
YMCA took the lead for the first time with 15 minutes remaining through Ross Hart, though it took more heroics from Crellin to preserve the lead.
Bishop’s second of the game sealed victory with 10 minutes to go.
That made it three wins out of three for YMCA this season and manager Paul Hawkins said: “That win is a good benchmark and I’m really pleased.
“The target is to win as many as we can and have as much fun as we can along the way.”
Rangers manager Steve Simms wasn’t too downhearted over their first defeat of the season.
“A draw would have been fair but no sour grapes –they took their chances,” he said.
“My lads have been together since they were eight years old and I’m proud of them.”