Squires Gate 0, AFC Blackpool 2

LLOYD BALAZS turns to celebrate after scoring for AFC Blackpool in local Derby at Squires Gate's Royal Bitish Legion Stadium.
LLOYD BALAZS turns to celebrate after scoring for AFC Blackpool in local Derby at Squires Gate's Royal Bitish Legion Stadium.
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STUART Parker’s side took the bragging rights from this keenly-fought North West Counties premier derby

Both sides enjoyed periods of possession but it was Blackpool who created more chances, and although home keeper Neil Beesley pulled off some fine saves he could not prevent the visitors making breakthrough after 20 minutes.

James Walker did well down the left, and from his cross Marc Beattie forced Beesley into a fine one-handed save. Lloyd Balazs was on hand to convert the rebound. Gate’s Andy Harvie went close moments later but his glancing header was well saved by Kieran O’Boyle.

AFC would have doubled their lead early in the second half but for another fine save by Beesley to deny Beattie again and Lee Baker’s goal-line clearance.

The home side tried hard but could not force an equaliser and Blackpool sealed victory in the final minute.

Shane Hull’s trickery was rewarded with a penalty which Walker converted in style.

Parker said: “We asked for a performance and we got one. We created chances for most of the game but misplaced some passes at key moments.”

His side’s first victory since November 10 was most welcome and Parker added: “Our points total for the first half of the season is disappointing, though we’ve been putting in the performances without getting the results. We’ve done the business against top teams but haven’t been consistent enough.”

Gate boss Garry Hargreaves, Parker’s former assistant at Blackpool, said: “Despite the terrible conditions, it was a great game played in a good spirit. My team gave their all and should be proud to have given it their best shot.”

It was a disappointing end to 2012 for Hargreaves, whose side don’t return to action until Saturday week, whereas Blackpool are at home to Bacup this Saturday.

Gate: Beesley, Benfield, Perry-Acton, Baker,McEvoy; Botham,Nay, Lawlor, Coar, Walker, Harvie; Subs: Rogan, Thornber, Parry, Thompson.

Blackpool: O’Boyle, Balazs, Carroll, Taylor, Ford, Freeland, Hull, Baird, Beattie, Donnelly, Walker; Subs: Pickup, Bell, Betteridge, Singleton