WHITCHURCH ALPORT 2 AFC BLACKPOOL 1: Match report

AFC Blackpool were beaten again
AFC Blackpool were beaten again
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The outcome in Shropshire was all too familiar for Blackpool, though the second-half intervention of a dog was anything but.

This win lifted Whitchurch to second, while Blackpool remain third-bottom of the Hallmark Security League first division with one win from 13 games.

Manager Stuart Parker was forced into changes due to unavailability. Stephen Betteridge dropped back into defence and Dean Ing played in midfield, with new signing Chris Thompson among the substitutes.

In front of a crowd of almost 200, the home side made much of the early running but James Corbett had a fine game in the AFC defence. Carl Everall’s low strike hit the foot of the post but Fylde stood firm.

Blackpool’s only first-half chance saw Ben Duffield head a Matt Richardson free-kick over the bar.

AFC came out much more positively for the second half and home keeper Danny Read had to make a superb reaction stop form Aaron Fleming’s corner.

But Blackpool’s good work was undone on 55 minutes, when Alex Hughes was left free in the box to fire the opening goal past Callum Kirkland.

AFC were level 10 minutes later from another Fleming corner, Marc Taylor scoring his first of the season with a thumping header.

Blackpool had a chance to take the lead on 70 minutes, when home keeper Read conceded a penalty for clattering into Jack Williams. Williams took the spot-kick himself but the ball clipped the top of the bar on its way over.

A bizarre incident followed when a dog began chasing the ball. The referee attempted to play on until the ball ended up in the Blackpool net.

Amid protests from the AFC players, while the dog was chewing the ball in the back of the net, the referee disallowed the goal and ordered a drop-ball.

AFC’s reprieve was shortlived as Mark Blundell fired an unstoppable 25-yard free-kick into the AFC net for the winning goal on 75 minutes.

American Thompson showed some neat touches and AFC will bid to halt their four-match losing run at home to Holker Old Boys tomorrow (7.45pm).

STEPHEN PARRIS