AFC Blackpool 2 Nelson 2: Leaders hit back twice to maintain unbeaten start

AFC lost their 100 per cent record but stay top of North West Counties League first division north after twice coming from behind against Nelson.

Sunday, 15th August 2021, 4:45 pm

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Having won their first three games, AFC welcomed back Jacob Gregory, while Conah Bishop joined Kyle Higham in the centre of defence.

Kyle White had two early chances but shot wide for the hosts, who had been clinical in scoring 11 goals in their first three games.

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Ben Duffield seals a point for AFC from the penalty spot

Nelson took advantage on 19 minutes, when a dangerous cross was glanced off Higham’s head and Nathan Webb thundered a volley home at the back post.

AFC were behind for the first time this season and Nelson had another opportunity after stealing the ball off Gregory.

But Ryan McLean and John-Jo Morris were linking up well on the left for Blackpool, who equalised on 34 minutes, when Billy McKenna’s lay-off found Sam Staunton-Turner, who fired into the top right corner from the edge of the box.

AFC dominated the rest of the half and McKenna won a penalty seconds before half-time. However, the previous weekend’s goal hero Morris saw his spot-kick saved by a keeper who got down low.

This spurred the visitors on at the start of the second half and they regained the lead on 52 minutes, when Dylan Meredith curled a free-kick into the bottom left corner from 25 years.

Two fantastic saves by Dan Hall kept Blackpool in it and boss Martin Baird introduced James Hughes and Ben Duffield in a bid to save the game.

And it was Duffield who won AFC’s second penalty on 73 minutes, calmly firing into the top right corner himself.

Both sides pushed for a winner but AFC looked more dangerous and Nelson picked up several bookings.

Adam Sumner’s free-kick was palmed over and Duffield thought he had won it in the dying moments, but his flick into the net with his back to goal was ruled out for a foul on the keeper.

AFC: Hall, Gregory, Higham, Bishop, McLean, Sumner, Staunton-Turner, White, Roberts, Morris, McKenna; Subs: Wilson, Aspinall, Hughes, Duffield, Buchan

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