Match report: St Helens Town 2 AFC Blackpool 3

St Helens Town v AFC Blackpool
St Helens Town v AFC Blackpool

Three points from this keenly-fought contest left AFC just one place and one point outside the top six in the Hallmark Security League first division.

St Helens Town 2 AFC Blackpool 3

Three points from this keenly-fought contest left AFC just one place and one point outside the top six in the Hallmark Security League first division.

St Helens were seeking a fourth straight win on the artificial pitch at their new Ruskin Park home but AFC had the first chance after seven minutes.

Kit Gregory set up Danny Pickering, whose shot beat Town keeper Adam Fairchild but went just wide.

The visitors were ahead three minutes later, when Gregory's shot was blocked and the ball rebounded to Cohan Bishop, who found the top corner with a first-time thunderbolt from 25 yards.

Blackpool keeper Callum Kirland saved Shaun Brady's shot but could not deny Town an equaliser on 33 minutes, when Alex Ashby's low free-kick from the edge of the box found the bottom right corner.

Gregory saw a shot turned around for a corner but AFC regained the lead two minutes before half-time, when Ben Duffield's curler went in off the crossbar.

But Blackpool lost the lead again just seconds into the second half, when Brady slotted past Kirkland from six yards.

AFC went in front for the third time on 57 minutes as Duffield's free-kick struck team-mate Steve Betteridge in the wall and deflected past Fairchild.

Town looked set to equalise again six minutes later, when Kirkland was adjudged to have brought down Ben Boulton but his penalty struck a post.

Boulton's misfortune continued as his hamstring injury forced Town to play the final 13 minutes with 10 men as their substitutions had all been made.

And AFC's victory was sealed when Kirkland saved superbly from Beck Murray's long-range shot.

Blackpool are at home to Nelson in the first round of the Macron Cup tomorrow (7.45pm).

Blackpool: Kirkland, Donaghy, Betteridge, Caunce, Baird, Pickering, McKenna, Hargreaves, Duffield, Bishop, Gregory; subs: Preece, Muscroft, Speight.