First-half blitz sees AFC Blackpool hit for six

AFC Blackpool's Billy McKenna
AFC Blackpool's Billy McKenna

On a very wet and windy afternoon at the Mechanics Ground, AFC Blackpool were blown away as Atherton LR claimed a 6-1 victory.

Atherton stormed forward to take full advantage of the atrocious conditions in the first half.

With the wind in their sails, they cruised to a 4-0 half-time lead that left the home side scuppered.

As the weather on the Fylde Coast worsened, there was concern that the game might not go ahead.

However, the pitch held up and AFC kicked off into the driving rain which made it almost impossible for them to play the ball forward.

They still managed, though, to hit both posts in a half that became increasingly worse.

With first choice keeper Callum Kirkland out injured, Alex Cameron took his place in a strong starting XI.

Cameron was soon called into action as Atherton were backed by a very strong wind.

It took just eight minutes for them to take the lead when Gary Grier opened the scoring.

Try as they did, the weather conspired against the home team and, in the 20th minute, the away side doubled their lead through Theo Kidd.

Five minutes later and Ashley Woodhead added a third.

Although AFC kept trying hard, it was 4-0 just before the break when Grier added his second goal.

The home fans were at least hopeful of a fightback in the second half with the wind strengthening.

It was not to be as the wind dropped and the rain slackened for good measure.

Just six minutes into the second half, Grier completed his hat-trick to make the scoreline 5-0 in Atherton’s favour.

Then, in the 75th minute, Kidd added his second goal and it was 6-0 to the opposition.

AFC did manage to pull a goal back through Billy McKenna in the 78th minute but it was a bad day at the office for them.

Despite the defeat, AFC still remain just one point off the top six.

Manager Dave Worthington admitted afterwards: “Undoubtedly our worst performance of the season.

“We looked completely disjointed defensively.

“The conditions didn’t help, but it was the same for both teams so we can’t use that as an excuse.

“What’s even more disappointing is that a win would have got us into the play-off places. In my opinion the lads didn’t work hard enough, both individually, and as a unit, when the opposition had the ball.

“We must forget this result, work hard this week and try to put it right next Saturday.”

Up next for AFC Blackpool is a long trip to Eccleshall on Saturday afternoon.

AFC Blackpool: Alex Cameron, Fran Donaghy, Stephen Betteridge, Alex Caunce, Martin Baird, Danny Pickering, Billy McKenna, Sam Staunton-Turner, Ben Duffield, Zack Whitehouse, Kit Gregory. Subs: Corey Parker, Conah Bishop, Jamie Nay, Kyle Preece, Nick Corless.