Pitch invasion halts Blackpool friendly at Lancaster

Blackpool fans invade the pitch
Blackpool fans invade the pitch
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Blackpool’s first pre-season friendly of the summer was cut short after a pitch invasion in protest of chairman Karl Oyston.

With the Seasiders leading 3-1 in Neil McDonald’s first game in charge , around 20 supporters walked onto the field with 15 minutes to go.

Ryan Winder battles with Blackpool's Brad Potts

Ryan Winder battles with Blackpool's Brad Potts

After both teams were taken off the field, referee Paul Kettlewell decided to abandon the game.

It’s the second Pool game in a row to end in this way, after the final Championship game of the season against Huddersfield in May was cut short after just 48 minutes.

If Neil McDonald wasn’t aware of negative atmosphere around Bloomfield Road before, he will be now after a number of Oyston Out chants rang around the Giant Axe throughout the game.

It’s a blow for the new boss, who was having his first look at his new Blackpool squad.

At the time of the abandonment, Pool were 3-1 ahead courtesy of two goals from new-boy Mark Cullen and a tap-in by youngster Henry Cameron.

Almost 800 fans made the short trip up the M6 to have their first glimpse of life under McDonald and his first line-up maybe gave a sign of things to come, with the Seasiders setting up in a 4-3-3 formation.

It saw new-boy Mark Cullen lead the line with wingers Henry Cameron and Jarrett Rivers either side of him out wide.

Blackpool’s back-four clearly is a work in progress, with regular full-backs Clark Robertson and Charles Dunne being used as a defensive pairing.

It took just eight minutes for Blackpool to open the scoring when a terrible stray ball from Lancaster’s Garry Hunter played new-boy Cullen clean in on goal.

The striker made no mistake from just inside the box, it was a clinical finish which gave keeper Mike Hale no chance.

The opening twenty minutes was played at a typical tempo of a pre-season encounter, but it was McDonald’s Blackpool who controlled the bulk of the possession.

Just a few minutes later it was another sloppy piece of play which led to the game’s second goal, sadly this time from the Seasiders.

Dunne’s hesitation allowed Matt Poole in on goal, before the striker was hauled down by Colin Doyle.

Winger Ryan Winder made no mistake from twelve yards.

Even on the first day of a pre-season it was a sloppy goal to concede and a big mistake from Dunne.

On the half-hour mark came what you’d call the games first goal of quality, as Blackpool regained the lead.

Great persistence from Cullen down the right played John Herron in behind the Lancaster defence before the former Celtic man played a clever square ball into the path of Cameron who had the easiest of tap-ins.

It was the first glimpse of Herron’s quality, and a confidence booster for youngster Cameron who signed a new deal at Bloomfield Road this summer.

McDonald made four changes to the side at the break, with Pool fans getting their first look at Liverpool loan man Lloyd Jones.

While it was tricky to judge him against lower league opposition, first impressions were strong, he certainly looks the part size wise.

After a quiet opening period to the second half Blackpool doubled their lead on 67 minutes, with Cullen firing his second of the afternoon.

Substitute Bright Samuel showed quick feet could wide before Herron’s decent effort was spilled into the feet of Cullen just two yards out.

In the end, as is becoming the norm at Blackpool, it was off-the-field issues which would steal the headlines as a group of supporters walked to the centre circle to show their anger at chairman Oyston.

After seeing both teams leave the field of play, an announcement soon followed to confirm the game would be postponed.

It could be another long season.

Pool: Doyle (Letheren 45), Ferguson (Jones 45), Robertson, Aldred (Higham 45), Dunne, Herron, Potts, Oliver, Rivers, Cullen, Cameron (Samuel 45).

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