Blackpool Ladies’ improvement continued with a 2-0 premier division win over Lytham Ladies in the Stanley Park derby.
The first half was goalless although both keepers, Blackpool’s Vicky Hives and Lytham’s Clare Turner, made outstanding saves.
Sally Kelly and Georgie Brumwell were strong at the back for the home side.
The deadlock was broken midway through the second half, when a clean strike by Blackpool player of the match Lauren Burrell was deflected in off the post by Gemma Prestwich. Both keepers made more saves before Becky Worthington’s penalty sealed the win, striker Prestwich having been fouled by the keeper.
Lytham Seconds boosted their premier division survival hopes with a 3-2 win over second-placed Preston.
Keeper Eleni Cullen and defender Heather Cadd had to be at their best as Preston threatened early on, but Lytham gained some control as Kate Gledhill and Charlotte Evans passed well in midfield.
Natasha Singleton’s pace posed problems for Preston but it was Evans who broke the deadlock following a fine run from inside her own half. Cullen saved a penalty stroke and Blackpool survived a series of penalty corners before going 2-0 up at half-time, Evans netting her second after a fine run down the left by Gilly Harrison.
Harrison made it 3-0, with a superb flick over the keeper from a penalty corner, then Preston hit back strongly.
They pulled two goals back but Lytham held on thanks to more top saves by player of the match Cullen and valiant defending by Lorna Leach and Gemma Holderness.
A young Lytham Thirds side gave a good account of themselves against Longridge Seconds, pulling back from two goals down before losing out 4-2.
Fran Beeby and Daisy Bradley linked up well up front and both netted to level the scores, with Linda Baxter playing a pivotal role. And although Longridge pulled clear again, Mary Aldersley and Nicky Marlton-Thomas were solid in defence and the fourth goal arrived just before the final whistle.
Blackpool Thirds were unlucky to lose 1-0 against their Morecambe counterparts.
Player of the match Teagan O’Hara’s skilful long runs were an impressive feature but Blackpool could not respond to Morecambe’s second-half goal.
n Blackpool Men suffered something of a hangover from the Lancashire Trophy triumph but their heads cleared to clinch a 4-2 victory over Manchester Trinity in North West division four.
Blackpool conceded the first goal and lost defender Pete Latimer to a head injury
They soon equalised through Dave Morgan, following Steve Whitley’s dribble into the D, only to fall behind again.
Morgan fired his second equaliser into the bottom corner from a cross by James Slater after an excellent passing move.
Blackpool finally got on top, and despite top scorer Ian Swaine twice firing wide in one-on-ones with the keeper, Slater tapped in to make it 3-2 at half-time.
Slater netted a second after the break, after good work from Swaine and Whitley, and Blackpool were comfortable from then on, with Nick Rainbow and Joe Boniface solid at the back. Blackpool Seconds boosted their division eight promotion hopes with a 5-1 victory away to Bolton Fourths. Bolton had taken points off them earlier in the season and took the lead again.
But once Chris Hocking equalised Blackpool never looked back, taking the lead from a penalty flick by Simon Allen, who made it 3-1 at half-time from a penalty corner.
Graeme Kilshaw protected Blackpool’s lead in a goal-line scramble, but once Allen had completed his hat-trick there was no way back for Bolton. Blackpool had plenty more chances but had to settle for one more goal, netted by Nathan Woodman. Ben Mortimer was the man of the match.
Blackpool Thirds lost by the same scoreline to division ten form side Prescot. Trailing 3-0 at half-time, Blackpool improved greatly and Jordan Payne pulled one back on his debut before Prescot scored twice more.
n LYTHAM Men returned to the relegation zone after a 2-1 home defeat by Urmston. Lytham must find a win in their final three games to beat the drop. Lytham Seconds lost 4-0 away to Lymm’s first team but are not in relegation danger in division four.
Lytham Thirds took a big step towards securing their own survival with a 2-0 win over West Derby Seconds. The goals in this good game came five minutes in and five before the end, with George Aldersley and Tom Lees playing well. Lytham Fourths faced an uphill struggle after conceding twice in the opening ten minutes at home to Cheetham Hill’s senior side.
Rob Davies and Doug Green played well for Lytham but Cheetham added two more in the second half to run out 4-0 winners.
Lytham Fourths also came up against first-team opposition at Ormskirk, who won 4-1 with two goals in each half.
Aaron Gee and Mark Green played well on the left and Dave Gee netted the first-half goal for Lytham, who had chances of more.