AFC Blackpool 2 Atherton LR 3: Mechanics fall short despite second-half fightback

AFC Blackpool lost to Atherton LR on Saturday     Picture: Adam Gee
AFC Blackpool lost to Atherton LR on Saturday Picture: Adam Gee
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AFC Blackpool failed to make it four wins from four after a 3-2 home loss against Atherton LR.

Martin Baird made three changes to his side that won against St Helens, with Ryan Vaughan, Daniel Pickering and Robbie Bromley all coming into the starting XI.

In the opening moments, AFC saw Jamie Milligan fire wide following a goalkeeping error.

It was the visitors who took the lead in the 22nd minute when Jacob Hancock’s free-kick found Ryan Lodgson, who finished past Alex Cameron.

AFC came close to levelling as Milligan’s free-kick was saved and Ben Duffield’s effort parried out for a corner.

With half-time three minutes away, Atherton added to their lead when a delivery from Hancock out wide fell to Adam Boydell and he found the bottom corner.

Trailing 2-0 at half-time, AFC Blackpool started the second period well with Milligan’s effort saved and Lewis Simmons hitting the post from the rebound on 50 minutes.

In the 53rd minute, the Mechanics were awarded a penalty after an Atherton defender appeared to handle from a corner kick.

Duffield stepped up to take the penalty and slotted home to make it 2-1.

However, the visitors made it 3-1 just 10 minutes later when Hancock sent a free-kick past Cameron and into the top corner.

On 81 minutes, AFC saw Duffield’s shot parried and the rebound headed over by substitute Billy McKenna.

A minute later, however, and Atherton were reduced to 10 men when Jack Marshall received a second yellow card.

Five minutes later and AFC halved their deficit as a good ball found McKenna running through and he pulled it back for Bromley to find the net.

There was still time for a late attack which saw keeper Cameron head over from a corner but it wasn’t enough.

AFC Blackpool: Cameron, Simmons, McClean, Penswick, Vaughan (Dawson 78) , Pickering (Robinson 45), Fishwick, Bromley, Duffield, Milligan, Charnley (McKenna 53). Subs not used: De la Cruz, Buchan.