Atherton LR 3 AFC Blackpool 0: Nightmare start haunts AFC
AFC have suffered back-to-back defeats in North West Counties first division north, conceding twice in the first six minutes at Atherton.
Danny Pickering, Ethan Van Aston, Joe Robinson and Billy McKenna all came into the side.
But within three minutes the home side were ahead. A through ball left Luke Nicholls one-on-one with Dan Hall and the striker slotted his shot under the onrushing keeper.
AFC’s appeals for offside were not heeded and Blackpool’s poor start got worse three minutes later.
Nicholls once again found himself in on goal and again made no mistake to leave Baird’s men with an uphill battle.
Billy McKenna had AFC’s best chance of the first half, hitting the bar from the right of the area, but Atherton had golden opportunities to extend their lead before the break.
The Fylde coast side had an early chance to launch a fightback in the second half, when Jacob Gregory cut inside but his right-foot shot from distance flew wide.
Blackpool welcomed Ben Roberts and Kyle White back after injury on the hour but AFC conceded again in the 68th minute.
A free-kick to the left of the penalty area was whipped into the bottom corner by Henry Massaqiou for a goal on his LR debut.
AFC pushed for a goal but could not mount a fightback and slip to fifth in the table.
They remain in a play-off spot and only three points behind leaders Bury AFC but from three games more.
Blackpool don’t return to action until a week on Tuesday, when they face Bamber Bridge in the first round of the Lancashire Challenge Trophy.
AFC: Hall, Hughes, Brooke, O’Brien, McLean, Pickering, Radcliffe, Robinson, Van-Aston, Gregory, McKenna; Subs: Simmons, White, Roberts, Buchan.
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here