The Blackpool and District Youth Football League season has started and this saw lots of players out enjoying their football again.
The U8s kicked off last weekend with development fixtures and the reports were that a good time was had, with all the players benefitting from playing and plenty to take back to training.
For the U7s, the season started with a get together festival for all the teams at Blackpool Rangers’ ground.
The weather was not on their side but all the players were looking forward to playing in their first matches.
There was plenty of good football on show for all the parents and spectators to see.
Despite the weather all the children enjoyed the morning, and with further teams enquiring to join in, this looks good for the future.
At U14 level, there was a very tight, competitive match on Common Edge where Foxhall Hoops played Wyre Juniors.
The match saw Wyre Juniors grab the three points with a nailbiting 6-5 win, courtesy of a hat-trick by Oliver Broughton, two from Adam Stafford and one for Will Whiteside.
St Anne’s Diamonds took on Warton Typhoons and it was another close contest till Typhoons came out on top with a 2-0 win.
The U15s Division saw Squires Gate Reds take on Kirkham Juniors Reds at Collins Park where both teams played some excellent football.
Squires Gate take the spoils with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Corey Foster and Liam Ruddy; see pages 24-25 for more details.
AFC Blackpool travelled to Boundary Park where they played FC Rangers, who eventually won 4-2 in another close match with Matthew Guy (2) Connor Willis and Lee Carmichael on target.
In the U18s, Blackpool Rangers beat Poulton Town 5-1, while Foxhall were too strong for FC Rangers and won 9-1.
In the other match, Thornton Cleveleys battled it out with Clifton Rangers in an excellent game which kept all spectators on the edge to the very end.
The match finished 2-2 with Thornton’s scorers being Connor Thompson and Billy Cartmell, while Finley Clarkson and Theo Ioannou netted for Clifton.
In the U15 Lancashire FA Cup matches there were mixed fortunes for our teams.
Poulton FC lost to Globe Bullough Park Bulls, while Thornton Cleveleys Whites won and progressed to the next round with a 4-0 win against Crooklands Casuals.
Thornton’s goals were scored by Jake Evans and Luke Roper, both of whom scored twice.
Two goals in the opening minutes set the pattern as YMCA’s U12s Blacks had a 9-1 win against Fleetwood Town Reds.
They shot into a 4-0 lead and then, after Town had pulled a goal back, YMCA added two more to take a 6-1 lead into half time.
YMCA remained well in control after the restart and the visitors continued to struggle to cope with the home team’s speedy attacks and fluent football.
Felix Twitchet, Connor Norman and Mason Wilkins all claimed pairs with James McNamara, Billy Breakell and Callum Brown also scoring.
They followed that up with a 10-0 Lancashire FA Cup win at Southport FC Whites.
They completely dominated the first half and reached the interval 7-0 ahead before scoring three more in the second half.
Twitchet led the way with four of the goals with Wilkins notching a pair.
Also on target were Billy Breakell, James McNamara and Ben Fitzjohn.
The week before they had lost 7-3 against St Annes FC Greens with Twitchet (2) and Tom Woodington on target.
YMCA’s Orange team were beaten as they lost 4-3 to BJFF Blades despite leading three times in their match at Seafield Road.
Strikes by Noah Nicholson and Will Scott put them 2-1 ahead at the break but the visitors levelled again after the restart.
A Cole McGuirk goal put YMCA ahead again after the restart, only for BJFF to equalise for the third time and then grab a dramatic winner in the closing minutes.
However, they were victorious in the Lancashire FA Cup after beating Bury Rangers 4-1.
They scored twice in the opening six minutes through the impressive Dan Brimble and Cameron Clark.
As YMCA continued to have the edge, Clark bagged his second goal of the game to give his team a 3-0 interval lead.
Bury were given hope by pulling a goal back from the penalty spot 10 minutes into the second half but YMCA were always the better side.
The outstanding Theodore Mawene put the issue beyond doubt with a superbly-taken goal to complete a welcome victory for YMCA for who Sam Littler was also notable.
At U16 level, YMCA were made to work hard for their 2-0 win against BJFF Viper Whites at Bispham on Sunday.
They went ahead when Dimitri Jackson converted a penalty kick and then doubled their lead with a Zaman Amin strike to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
Facing the stiff breeze in the second half YMCA were forced on to the back foot but, with some committed and solid defending, YMCA kept their goal intact and held out for three well deserved points.
It followed on from an emphatic 9-0 win against South Shore to start the season.
Three goals in the opening 10 minutes set the pattern for the game and further goals were added before the break.
YMCA’s dominance continued after the restart and they added more goals to their tally.
The U15 girls were also successful as they were 19-0 winners against Barrowford Celtic last Sunday.
They took the lead in the second minute after a throw-in by Ellie McNally found Isabelle Kells who struck a shot on the half-volley.
Kells made it 2-0 before crossing for Mia Woodhouse to score the third, while Fran Lyons scored directly from a corner.
An own goal and Woodhouse’s second made it 6-0 at half-time, after which Kells scored another five.
McNally (2), Woodhouse (3), Lyons and Abigail Smith also scored with Madison Lucas and Saisha Bracken also standing out.