AFC Blackpool 4 Prestwich Heys 1: Biggest win so far delights Mechanics boss Martin Baird
Dominant Blackpool recorded their biggest win of the North West Counties League season so far against a Bury club who had started the campaign well.
The visitors almost scored in the first minute, when Jordan Pendlebury raced into the box but Alex Cameron saved well.
The game was barely a minute old when Blackpool did take the lead, Mark Bromley firing home impressively from a central position 30 yards out after good build-up play.
Despite this early goalmouth action the first half would bring no further goals.
The only time Cameron was troubled again before the break was in the 17th minute, when he kept Bradley Sixsmith’s close-range effort out.
Mechanics’ best chance to double their lead before the break fell to goalscorer Bromley but he chipped wide after beating several defenders.
The home side started the second half full of confidence and were three up by the hour mark.
They doubled their lead five minutes after the restart, when Joe Robinson won possession and crossed from the right into the box, where Conah Bishop finished well.
Injury forced Mechs into two substitutions, with captain Daniel Pickering and goalscorer Bromley replaced Daniel Penswick and Ben Fishwick.
This did not prevent AFC adding a third in the 60th minute, when the ball was played in to Daniel Morris from the left. He held play up well before Kayode Leyland finished in the bottom corner.
The visitors hit back within two minutes as a cross was headed home from close range by Sixmith.
Prestwich’s hopes were further boosted by the sin-binning of a home player, though the 10 men sealed victory with a goal on the counter-attack after 72 minutes.
Bishop ran strongly down the left and crossed for Robinson to control the ball and chip the keeper in style.
Mechs remained organised in defence to protect their lead and manager Martin Baird was delighted with the performance.
He said: “They deserve it. I thought we were really ruthless. We kept our shape well, frustrated them and took our chances, which we hadn’t been doing. We have to keep that going and we won’t be getting carried away.”
This third win in eight games lifts AFC to eighth in First Division North, still two places behind Prestwich.
They return to cup action this Saturday with a derby trip to premier division high-flyers Longridge in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase.
Blackpool: Cameron, Donaghy, Dawson, Vaughan, Darnell, Pickering, Leyland, Robinson, Morris, Bromley, Bishop; Subs: Buchan, Fishwick, Duffield, McKenna, Penswick