Prestwich Heys 0 AFC Blackpool 1: Match report
Dean Ing's late header sealed a third win of the season for Blackpool in the Hallmark Security League, avenging the Prestwich's 5-0 win at the Mechanics Ground in September.
With Elliot Dickson unavailable for the trip to north Manchester, midfielder Rob Hanslip slotted in at right-back for AFC, with Chris Thomas returning on the bench.
The early exchanges were quite even but AFC were given a golden opportunity on 25 minutes.
Marc Taylor was felled in the box following a corner and Blackpool were awarded a penalty but Aaron Fleming’s weak spot-kick was saved by Daniel Taberner.
A few minutes later and it was a double save by Callum Kirkland at the opposite end which kept the scoreline blank.
The AFC keeper produced another fine stop from Paul Tierney’s effort to keep the match level at half-time.
The visitors began the second half brightly as Ing forced Taberner into another save and Ryan Charnley twice went close.
The keepers continued to match each other save for save as Kirkland made another, though the AFC stopper was relieved to see Daniel Baguley head over when he looked certain to give the home side the lead.
The deadlock was finally broken with eight minutes remaining, when Ing met Charnley’s inswinging corner to find the net in front of the hardy band of delighted AFC fans.
The tension of the final minutes should have been eased with a second Blackpool goal but somehow Charnley and Declan Shaw squandered golden opportunities.
But with James Corbett and Taylor standing firm at the heart of the back four, AFC managed to cling on for the valuable three points which lift them five clear of second-bottom Eccleshall and just one behind Atherton LR in the first division.
Blackpool: Kirkland, Hanslip, Betteridge, Richardson, Corbett, Taylor, Charnley, Ing, Williams, Duffield, Fleming. Subs; Footman, Thomas, Higgins, Shaw.