Abbey Hulton 4 AFC Blackpool 2: Defeat dashes play-off dream

Four games in eight days took their toll on AFC Blackpool
Four games in eight days took their toll on AFC Blackpool
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AFC Blackpool's hopes of reaching the Hallmark Security League First Division play-offs ended with this defeat in Stoke

The team arrived in sun-drenched Stoke for their fourth game in eight days boosted by Thursday's win at Daisy Hill. And it was the visitors who thought they'd taken an early lead after a Ben Duffield pass across goal was tapped in but disallowed.

In the 12th minute, Abbey Hulton scored the first goal, with captain Josh Tune converting a right wing cross after good work in the box.

Stung by the goal, AFC pushed forward in search of an equaliser and found it via the penalty spot in the 20th minute, with Ben Duffield sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

The top scorer then added a second six minutes later in spectacular fashion, hitting a first-time volley into the top corner from 25 yards to make it 2-1 to AFC.

After a welcome half-time break, both teams carried on where they left off and after two AFC attempts were cleared off the line from corner the hosts equalised from the penalty spot, Tune grabbing his second of the game in the 56th minute.

Disaster then struck for AFC as a cross was diverted in for an unfortunate own goal six minutes later.

With AFC players tiring in the heat after a busy week, Abbey Hulton finished the game off in injury time as Tune completed his hat-trick by firing beyond Callum Kirkland.

The defeat ends eighth-placed AFC's hopes of climbing into the top six to bid for a return to the premier division.

The players, staff and fans can all reflect on a season of great progress on and off the pitch for the club, with the final game of the season at home against Oswestry Town on Saturday.