AFC Blackpool 1 Longridge Town 1: Ten-man AFC hold leaders again in controversial contest

AFC Blackpool have twice taken points for leaders Longridge this season
AFC Blackpool have twice taken points for leaders Longridge this season
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Ten-man Blackpool held the Hallmark Security League first division north leaders to a draw for the second time this season.

The match has been overshadowed by a statement from Blackpool manager Martin Baird claiming his assistant was assaulted by the Longridge chairman, an allegation denied by the Longridge club.

The home side started the brighter in very wet conditions and had the first chance when Ben Duffield’s low shot from Ryan White’s cross was turned around the post by keeper Lee Dovey on nine minutes.

Striker Duffield went close twice more before the deserved breakthrough arrived on 23 minutes, when White’s cross from the left was met by Bishop and he beat the keeper.

Town began to look more threatening and equalised on 32 minutes, when Jay Hart set up the former AFC Fylde goal machine Richie Allen.

The rain continued to pour down after the break and Blackpool were reduced to 10 men on 58 minutes, when Fran Donaghy was dismissed for a second yellow-card offence, but they gave the visitors a scare when Tom Preston rounded the keeper only to be ruled offside.

Town cranked up the pressure as Tom Ince struck the bar from 20 yards. The rebound ended up in the net only for an offside flag to reprieve Blackpool.

The home side held on for a draw and stay 14th, while Longridge’s lead has been cut to six points.

Blackpool: Cameron, Donaghy, Darnell, Vaughan, McLean, Milligan, Pickering, Bishop, Preston, White, Duffield.