South Liverpool 3 AFC Blackpool 3: AFC let three-goal lead slip
Blackpool’s standards slipped in the second period and so did their three-goal lead in this classic game of two halves in North West Counties League first division north.
Oscar Radcliffe, Billy McKenna and James Hughes all came into the side a week after AFC’s FA Vase exit at Barnoldswick Town on penalties.
The 4G surface looked to be suiting AFC in the early exchanges, and winger James Hughes saw his shot blocked from a short corner.
There was a worrying moment for AFC at the other end, when keeper Dan Hall was stranded outside his area but Brendan O’Brien was on the line to clear.
Liverpool keeper Oliver Farebrother pulled off a superb save to deny John-Jo Morris on 18 minutes, when the winger cut inside and looked to curl the ball into the top corner.
Morris wouldn’t be denied five minutes later, when Jacob Gregory was bought down on the edge of the box. Many stopped expecting a free-kick but Morris played on to fire low past the static keeper.
AFC’s second on 35 minutes saw man of the match Gregory beat his man before rolling the ball past the keeper.
Liverpool keeper Farebrother again showed great reactions as he denied first Ryan McLean and then Radcliffe, who would grab his fourth of the season four minutes before half-time.
Radcliffe reacted quickest to tap in after Gregory’s shot was saved.
Whatever was said in the Liverpool dressing room at half-time clearly worked as the hosts came out looking a different side.
Five minutes after the restart, a low cross from the left and a brave header from Stephen Doyle brought the home side back into the game.
A couple of changes followed as Liverpool looked to keep the momentum and they did just that by winning a penalty on 75 minutes.
Keeper Hall came out for the ball but caught the Liverpool man, leaving the referee no choice, and Doyle netted his second from the spot.
Offsides and the loss of their cutting edge denied AFC a fourth and they were punished with two minutes remaining, when a cross from the byeline was turned in by James Davies from virtually on the goal-line.
Blackpool remain fourth, three points behind new leaders Golcar United.
AFC: Hall, Bishop, McLean, Brooke, O’Brien, Gregory, Morris, Sumner, Radcliffe, McKenna, Hughes. Subs: Marshall, Buchan, Aspinall.
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