Blackpool and District Youth League match of the week: Flannigan shines for Foxhall Under-18s against Clifton Rangers

Alfie Tomlinson shoots for Clifton Rangers against Foxhall
Alfie Tomlinson shoots for Clifton Rangers against Foxhall

Foxhall’s impressive 3-0 victory at Common Edge Road saw them overtake visitors Clifton Rangers to go second in the Blackpool and District Youth League’s Under-18 competition.

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After a tight and goalless first half, Foxhall pulled clear as the outstanding Robert Flannigan scored twice.

There was little to choose between the sides in the first half, though Foxhall had the best opportunity but couldn’t capitalise on a one-on-one .

Alfie Tomlinson went closest for Rangers, who didn’t have the luxury of substitutes and played team-spirited centre-back Luke Rawstron in goal as their first-choice keeper has a broken leg.

But Flannigan broke the deadlock shortly after the interval with the first of two well-taken individual goals.

It remained 1-0 for a while until Flannigan’s second goal, which was even better than his first.

He beat several defenders to go clean through on the keeper and fire home. Manager Austin Burrows said: “It was the sort of goal he scores in training every week.”

Joe Curry sealed the victory with Foxhall’s third, an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Though it probably came too late to make much difference to the final outcome, Clifton were awarded a penalty for handball. But just to confirm that it was definitely Foxhall’s day, Ellis Sutherland made an excellent save diving to his left to keep out Hayden Andrew’s spot-kick.

Manager Chris Snell was quick to console the penalty-taker, saying: “Hayden had a great game and does so much running.”

It continues a most promising season for Foxhall, who have won five and lost only one of their seven games to date.

And this was a vital victory in what was already a three-horse title race.

Boss Burrows said: “The first half was very tight but we took our chances.

“We are having a good season and there’s everything to play for. We drew away to leaders Blackpool Rangers last week and have to play them again, which will be key.”

And Clifton still have plenty to play for too, as boss Snell explained: “The top three still have to play each other a couple of times, so there’s plenty still at stake and the title will be hotly contested.

“Foxhall wanted it more than us on the day, though both teams had chances. One bad game doesn’t make us a bad team.”

Two-goal Flannigan was Foxhall’s man ofthe match thanks to a dynamic display behind the front two.

Luke Rawstron was Clifton’s star man. Normally a centre-half, Luke performed heroically in goal in the absence of Rangers’ injured number one.