FA Cup dreams already dashed

Johnathan Fordes for Squires Gate against Maine Road.
Johnathan Fordes for Squires Gate against Maine Road.
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THIS season’s FA Cup adventure is over already for AFC Blackpool and Squires Gate, both heavily beaten by North West Counties Premier Division rivals in the extra preliminary round.

Gate went down 3-0 at Maine Road, while Blackpool crashed 6-3 to AFC Liverpool at Common Edge.

A hat-trick from John Lawless and two from Francis Barry sealed Liverpool’s success, Muktar Mahama having opened the scoring on six minutes

Lawless doubled the lead eight minutes later, despite Blackpool’s claims for offside.

Blackpool gained a lifeline three minutes before half-time, when Ciaran Donnelly converted a penalty he had won himself. This goal was disputed too, with Liverpool boss Paul Moore sent to the stands.

Lawless’ second five minutes after the restart restored the two-goal advantage, then Barry’s two in as many minutes just past the hour ended the contest.

Kevan Ford headed home a Donnelly cross on 70 minutes to make it 5-2 only for Lawless to tap in his third from Mahama’s cross 10 minutes later.

Marc Beattie grabbed a late consolation with a fine volley from the edge of the area seven minutes from time.

Missing nine regulars, Gate were forced to field a scratch side in Manchester but it took two second-half goals by Maine Road captain Neil Chappell to seal their 3-0 win.

The hosts looked sharper in the first half, Gate failing to mount a serious attack in the first 25 minutes, but they had to wait until five minutes before the interval for Tom Bailey to break the deadlock.

Gate improved in the second half as Jonathan Forbes and Tom Benfield went closest to scoring, though it took some breathtaking saves by keeper Nathan Worrall to keep the hosts down to three.

Blackpool: Baldwin Dell Hancock Freeland Ford Cobb Dodwell, Baird, Beattie, Waddington, Donnelly; subs used: Vaughan, Hull.

Gate: Worrall, Nay, Sellers, Bartlett, Gwin, Benfield, Miller, Mckenna, Forbes, Cragg, Bamba; subs used, Cain, Cummings

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Gate bid for their first win of the season when they travel to Padiham on Wednesday.

Blackpool are also in midweek Premier Division action, at Wigan Robin Park tomorrow.