Lymm invincibles meet their match

Hockey action from Blackpool 2nd v Lytham 4th
Hockey action from Blackpool 2nd v Lytham 4th
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Blackpool Men inflicted Lymm’s first defeat for two years with a remarkable 4-1 away win.

It was also a revenge victory over the only side to have beaten Blackpool in league or cup last season.

Both sides had won their first six matches in North West division three and Blackpool had a let-off after barely a minute, when the home side put a penalty flick wide.

Lymm kept Blackpool on the back foot, forcing a series of penalty corners, but could not beat captain Nick Rainbow in the visitors’ goal.

Blackpool’s passing improved, and as they gained a foothold in midfield Mariano de la Lastra gave them the lead when he turned at the top of the D to drive a reverse-stick shot through the keeper’s legs.

Substitute Ben Mortimer’s runs out of defence gave Blackpool fresh impetus, while James Slater’s crossing posed problems. And it was Slater who slipped the ball through for Steve Whitley to dispatch into the roof of the net after Ian Swaine’s initial shot was saved.

Two up at half-time, Blackpool soon added a third as striker Dave Morgan finished in style after good passing between Rob Abbott and Dan Woodman.

Lymm were clearly frustrated but put the Blackpool defence under severe pressure. They pulled one back but some magnificent saves from man of the match Rainbow preserved the two-goal cushion.

This pressure created gaps as Lymm pressed forward and Kieran Harris took Rob Dingle’s reverse pass to fire Blackpool’s fourth into the bottom left corner.

That’s how it remained for delighted Blackpool, who top the table on goal difference from Keswick, who are now the only other 100 per cent side.

n BLACKPOOL Seconds put back-to-back defeats behind them to win their derby against Lytham Fourths 3-2 in division seven north.

The return of some first-choice players was evident from the off as Matthew Atherton put Blackpool ahead.

Captain Simon Allen soon added a second from a short corner and Nathan Woodman made it 3-0 with a cheeky deflection.

Neil Landemann pulled one back for Lytham just before half-time.

Lytham had to wait until the final minute to score the only goal of an even second half, when Rob Davies netted from a short corner.

Blackpool defended strongly, though this was an improved performance from Lytham.

n The Thirds completed a clean sweep of Blackpool wins with a 3-1 success away to Preston Sixths in division nine north.

Dave Belshaw’s fine one-on-one save prevented Preston taking the lead before O’Hara was denied by the Preston keeper, having combined well with captain Alex Diver. The Preston keeper was then forced off with a muscle problem as the half ended goalless.

Blackpool looked more composed after the interval and broke the deadlock when Diver met the fit-again Paul Atherton’s pass with a sublime finish.

Fine play in midfield by Martin Owers and Sam Owen soon led to Josh Payne doubling the lead at the second attempt.

Preston piled bodies forward and pulled one back in the final five minutes only for Sam Owen’s first goal for Blackpool to make it 3-1 two minutes later, after a driving run from O’Hara.

Blackpool’s man of the match was 15-year-old left-back Chris Pickles.

n LYTHAM St Annes Seconds had an excellent 6-1 win away to their Bolton counterparts, whereas the senior side lost by the same scoreline at home to Leeds.

Bolton opened the scoring but LSA soon settled down as Tom Evans scored a deflected equaliser and Ray Anderson swept the ball home. Tom Atkinson netted a hat-trick and Richard Fairclough also got on the scoresheet.

Simon Evans, Mike Hartley and George Aldersley were all solid at the back as LSA went top of NW division four.

LSA thirds had a hard-earned 2-0 win over Prescot Seconds to pull away from the relegation zone.

There were few chances until midway through the second half, when Mike Gannon scored with a fine shot.

Tom Lees doubled the lead, finishing off a fine six-man passing move.

LSA defended their lead sensibly, with Richard Sharples alert in goal and Graham Stuart making some well-timed tackles. Jake Jordan also stood out in an excellent team performance.