Avro 3 AFC Blackpool 3: Youthful Mechanics hold high-flyers

AFC Blackpool in action at Avro
AFC Blackpool in action at Avro

Having earned a point away to leaders Longridge in midweek AFC repeated the feat at the Oldham home of third-placed Avro.

Avro 3 AFC Blackpool 3

Having earned a point away to leaders Longridge in midweek AFC repeated the feat at the Oldham home of third-placed Avro.

Blackpool took a youthful squad to play on the 3G pitch at the Vestacare Stadium, featuring England Schools Under-18 triallists George Thomason, Isaac Sinclair and substitute Cameron Gourley.

Fellow teenagers Alex Caunce, Ben Bradley, Connor Finlayson also started the game as did Jack Taylor, just days after turning 20.

Another teen was on the bench in Carnan Dawson, alongside captain Danny Pickering, who picked up a knock at Longridge. Club stalwart Martin Baird was recalled to lead the team.

AFC settled well, though the hosts had numerous opportunities to take a first-half lead. It was the Mechanics who made the breakthrough with a Finlayson strike just before the interval and a second followed from the same player a minute after half-time.

The home side were back in the game just two minutes later, when Kane Wallwork pulled a goal back.

Avro pressed for an equaliser, which arrived in the 72nd minute with Joe Bevan’s super curler into the top corner.

Neither side was content with a point and AFC regained the lead in the 81st minute, when midfielder Ben Fishwich seized on a defensive error to slot home calmly.

With Gourley on for his debut, the Mechanics looked like seeing the game out until a fantastic strike from Duncan Knott levelled the scores on 90 minutes.

Despite the late disappointment, this was a good point against a top side in Hallmark Security League first division north and leaves AFC 11th.

Blackpool: Cameron, Taylor, Thomason, Caunce, Vaughan, Hall, Baird, Fishwick, Bradley, Finlayson, Sinclair; subs: Pickering, Duffield, Dawson, Betteridge, Gourley