Lancaster City 3, Blackpool 1

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I daresay that never has so much rain fallen during 90 minutes of footie.

It teemed down from start to finish, the players walking from the pitch at the end with shirts more sodden than if they’d been asked to go for a quick jog under Niagara Falls.

Getting soaked to the bone wouldn’t have been too bad had the Blackpool lads had something to show for their efforts, but they didn’t.

Though they played some decent football at times, in truth they were well beaten by a Lancaster side who ply their trade in the Evo-Stik League Division One North – four levels below the Football League.

That said, it wasn’t exactly the Seasiders’ strongest line-up. But they did have some decent players on show – new signings Gerardo Bruna, Bojan Djordjic and Paul Bignot all started, not to mention some of the club’s best young players like Louis Almond, Liam Tomsett and Ashley Eastham.

Miguel Llera, the centre-back snapped up from Charlton, also started and is the one fella who has reason to look back on the evening with a modicum of fondness – he smashed in a terrific free-kick from all of 35 yards to get Pool on the score sheet towards the end.

Llera’s middle name, by the way, is Angel. That’s two Angels Blackpool now have in what is becoming a rather heavenly looking squad.

This game really wasn’t the best – another useful run-out in terms of fitness but not great viewing for the small band of Tangerine fans (top marks for making the trip on a filthy night) or for Ian Holloway and Karl Oyston.

The manager and chairman sat together for part of the contest and were easy to spot, mainly because Oyston had bought most of his family with him.

Indeed, the Pool chairman’s son George rather bizarrely became PA announcer for the night, reading out goalscorers, substitutions and the half-time score. Odd, but to be fair it livened things up.

Pool had an early let-off when Stephen Husband brought down Zat Clarke in the area but Michael Hall missed the spot-kick.

Credit to keeper Mark Halstead – Pool’s No.2 for the coming season, as it stands – for making a good stop.

The reprieve didn’t last long, however, Clarke rifling in a few minutes later to put the home side in front.

On 20 minutes, Lancaster increased their advantage thanks to a powerful Neil Marshall header into the top corner.

Bruna, signed from Liverpool and memorably dubbed ‘the next Messi’ earlier in his career, was unlucky with a free-kick from distance which slammed against the post.

Dead-ball expertise aside, though, Bruna needs to do more if he is to force his way into the first-team reckoning.

Tom Barkhuizen, a promising young frontman, hit the bar with a header from a corner before Pool had a let-off on the stroke of half-time, when Danny Hattersley sidefooted wide when well placed.

The second half wasn’t great either and it was little surprise when Lancaster made it 3-0.

Billy McKenna collected the ball inside the box and despatched a good shot which beat Halstead at his near post.

Pool brought on youngsters Ryan Gratton and Matt Challoner for their first taste of senior action and at least the duo can say they improved things, given they were on the pitch when Llera scored his excellent free-kick.

Had Llera scored it in the Premier League it would have been a goal of the season contender.

Unfortunately, in a pre-season defeat on a horrible night against a team from AFC Fylde’s league, it’s unlikely to go down in Seasiders folklore.

Same goes for the game in general.

POOL (4-3-3): Halstead, Bignot, Eastham, Llera, Dodd, Bruna, Husband, Tomsett, Djordjic, Almond, Barkhuisen.