Match report: AFC Blackpool 4 Nelson 2
Blackpool maintained their Hallmark Security League play-off push with this hard-fought win which lifted them into seventh spot.
Relegated to the first division last season, the visiting Admirals are bottom of the table and lost 6-0 at home to Litherland REMYCA the previous weekend, though they did knock AFC out of the Macron Cup on penalties last month.And just like that night, they defied their lowly position to give AFC a stern test.The hosts included new signing Jack Burgoyne on the bench, while Alex Taylor replaced the unavailable Ben Duffield up front. And when Kit Gregory opened the scoring after only four minutes, it looked like AFC could be in for an emphatic victory. However, Nelson came back strongly and went close to an equaliser several times in a first half they proceeded to dominate, though a hand injury to their keeper Dean Ashby held up play for six minutes. Fylde gave themselves the cushion of a second goal 10 minutes into the second half, when Taylor powered through and drilled the ball under Ashby. However, Nelson continued to push forward in this open game, even after Jack Corcoran was sent off for a second yellow card in quick succession, and they pulled one back on 70 minutes through Ash Brierley.However, AFC restores the two-goal margin just five minutes later as Billy McKenna broke clear to slot home smoothly after good build-up play. But again the 10 men hit back, Ross Knight netting a superb free-kick on his full debut with 10 minutes remaining. AFC finally sealed the points in stoppage time, when a clearance header from McKenna’s cross rebounded off another Nelson player and into the net for an own goal.The win leaves Blackpool just outside the play-off zone on goal difference going into Thursday’s match at Bacup Borough (8pm). Blackpool: Kirkland, Donaghy, Betteridge, Caunce, Baird, Pickering, Bishop, Fishwick, Taylor, Gregory, McKenna’ subs; Speight, Hargreaves, Preece, Dawson, Burgoyne.