We had a cracking match of the week to kick-off the season at Bispham Gala Field.
Hosts Blackpool Rangers Tangerines twice found themselves two goals down to Fleetwood Town but hit back to earn a 3-3 draw in this Poulton and District Primary League premier division thriller.
Both managers agreed the result was fair as Fleetwood had the better of the first half, which ended with them 2-1 up, then BRT came back strongly in the second and had chances for a late winner.
A Fleetwood side struggling for numbers and forced to use their reserve keeper as an outfield player took the game to the Tangerines.
Joe Pinkett gave Fleetwood an early lead with the first of his two goals.
And Tyler Saunderson doubled the lead inside 20 minutes when he got the final touch in a goalmouth scramble.
The Tangerines gave themselves a lifteline before half-time with a fine team goal. They turned defence into attack and Kyran Jones found the net.
However, Fleetwood’s two-goal margin was restored in the opening moments of the second half with Pinkett’s superb second goal, a run from halfway which saw him beat several defenders before slotting into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.
Far from letting their heads drop, Rangers responded strongly.
Paul Hargreaves gave them hope at 3-2 before the outstanding Eddie Peill then equalised 10 minutes from time.
It was Peill’s reintroduction to the action which sparked the home side and Fleetwood found themselves hanging on in the closing moments.
Hargreaves was among the players to go close, shooting just wide, while new Fleetwood keeper Lewis Harper made some fine saves and Ethan Swarbrick pulled off a vital goal-line clearance to secure a point.
Both managers were pleased with their charges’ first competitive run-out.
Mark Ashton, standing in for Charles Peill as Tangerines boss, said: “All the players did really well and there was no dirty play by either side. We had chances to win it at the end but the draw was fair. They were the better team in the first hand and we were better in the second.”
Steve McColgan was pleased to see his new Fleetwood players gel so well.
He said: “We only have a small squad and we struggled in pre-season, but I was really happy with the four new signings and we competed well.
“I was really happy that we started so well, but with a shortage of numbers and injuries we ran out of steam a bit late on. The draw was fair.”