AFC Blackpool 3 Shelley 1: Martin Baird's Mechanics back to winning ways

Aerial action from AFC Blackpool's win over Shelley   Picture: ADAM GEE
Aerial action from AFC Blackpool's win over Shelley Picture: ADAM GEE
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AFC Blackpool returned to winning ways with a 3-1 home victory over Shelley in North West Counties League first division north.

READ MORE: Blackpool fall short against Atherton
The Mechanics bounced back from their defeat by Atherton LR as Lewis Simmons scored the only goal of the first half, then Ryan McClean and Billy McKenna secured the three points.

Manager Martin Baird made four changes, with Conah Bishop, Carnan Dawson, Djay Delacruz and Jamie Thomas all coming into the starting 11.

Thomas had the first chance of note in the 14th minute, running into the box only to see his effort saved and cleared.

Blackpool went even closer three minutes later, when McClean’s strike was cleared off the line.

It wasn’t until the 35th minute that the visitors from Huddersfield troubled the home defence and even then the shot was easily saved by Alex Cameron.

Three minutes later AFC took the lead, when an inch-perfect Jamie Milligan corner was headed in by Simmons.

The hosts reached half-time untroubled but had a let-off shortly after the restart, when Shelley struck a post following a cross from the right.

Mechs heeded the warning immediately as Thomas hit the side-netting, then on 53 minutes they doubled their lead.

The ball found McClean free in the box and he cut inside to score.

Baird’s men continued to attack as Bishop charged into the box but fired over.

Shelley pulled one back on 79 minutes with a great strike from outside the box by Alex O’Keefe.

But the two-goal cushion was restored four minutes later, when Ryan Charnley’s pass picked out substitute Billy McKenna and he scored with a powerful strike.

The win lifts Blackpool to sixth and they could climb further with victory at struggling AFC Darwen on Wednesday.

Blackpool: Cameron, Bishop, Dawson, Vaughan, Penswick, Fishwick, Simmons (McKenna 79), Delacruz, Thomas (Charnley 72), Milligan, McClean (Buchan 61).