Sticking to promotion trail

Picture Martin Bostock'Blackpool Mens 1st v South Lakes Mens hockey.'Steve Whitley for Blackpool.
Picture Martin Bostock'Blackpool Mens 1st v South Lakes Mens hockey.'Steve Whitley for Blackpool.
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Blackpool Men maintained their promotion chase with a 3-1 home win over South Lakes at a bitterly cold Stanley Park.

After struggling to apply early pressure, Blackpool broke the deadlock with a Dave Morgan goal.

They held the lead until half-time, despite South Lakes hitting the post twice and having an effort cleared off the line by Pete Latimer.

Blackpool came out strong for the second half and, from a free hit just outside the D, Kieran Harris dribbled through and crossed for Ian Swaine to double the lead.

Minutes later, Morgan had a goal disallowed after getting a subtle touch to Harris’ through ball under pressure.

Nick Rainbow pulled off several important saves but South Lakes pulled a goal back from a short corner.

As the visitors gained the ascendancy, Blackpool were looking nervous until a superb counterattack put them 3-1 ahead.

Dan Woodman started the move which resulted in Swaine and Morgan exchanging passes for the latter to score into an empty net. The victory keeps Blackpool third in North West division three but they now face a string of tough must-win games.

Blackpool Seconds also boosted their promotion bid in division seven north with a 5-4 away win over University of Liverpool Seconds.

Two Chris Hocking goals gave Blackpool a fine start but Liverpool came back strongly to pull level.

The visitors regained control as Hocking scored two more and Jordan Payne also scored as Blackpool led 5-3 at half-time. By contrast, both sides struggled in front of goal in the second half, Liverpool making the only additon to the score right at the death.

The win moved Blackpool up to second, though third-placed Bury GS now have three games in hand.

The only Fylde coast ladies’ team in action were Blackpool Seconds, who went down 2-1 to Lancaster Thirds in Lancashire Central division one.

Both sides had chances in the first half but good defending and goalkeeping kept the game goalless at half-time.

Blackpool opened the scoring when player of the game Christy Martin beat three before setting up Lynsey Shewin.

The hosts soon equalised with a looping shot and netted the winner with five minutes left.

Martin had a strong penalty claim when a shot was cleared off the line, while Shona Macpherson and Vicky Waddington also impressed for Blackpool.

Lytham Ladies face their own second team this Saturday for the right to meet Garstang in the Caley Trophy final.

Lytham St Annes Men lost 6-4 to Crewe Vagrants, while the seconds were beaten twice over the weekend – 4-0 at Northop Hall Seconds and 2-0 by Oxton Thirds.

LSA Thirds were outfought by Southport Thirds, losing 8-1.

Good goalkeeping by Richard Sharples spared LSA an even heavier defeat, while Mitch Blakemore worked tirelessly and Mike Gannon scored a late consolation goal.