HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
FIRST DIVISION NORTH
AFC DARWEN 2 AFC BLACKPOOL 3
A below par performance, especially in the first half, saw Darwen crash to defeat in their first home league game of the season. Sam Knowles was making his competitive debut for the club.
The first real chance fell to Darwen against the run of play, as Danny Taylor broke through two tackles to chip over Alex Cameron’s head in goal, but over the bar.
The visitors took the lead on twenty six minutes when a shot from outside the corner of the penalty box by Connor Finlayson looped over the head of James Whittingham into the top corner of the net.
Five minutes later, Blackpool’s Martin Baird ran onto a ball over the top, but Whittingham was bravely out of goal quickly to block the effort. Darwen rarely troubled the away defence, but Danny Taylor was through on goal with less than ten minutes to go but shot straight at the keeper.
With a minute of the half left, Darwen gave a poor goal away when the defence dithered in clearing the ball and Finlayson nipped in to slide home.
Darwen had created very few openings, whereas Blackpool dominated the half and would have scored more except for poor finishing and good goalkeeping.
Half Time: AFC Darwen 0 AFC Blackpool 2
The home side improved as the second half progressed and came close on the hour when Karl Turner set up Adam Heaney, who drove the ball just wide of the post. Three minutes later Kiel Lonsdale put a long ball over the top. Yahya Saeed was first on it, and attempted to head over the onrushing Cameron on goal, but failed to get enough height on the ball, which the keeper caught above his head.
On sixty four minutes, Finlayson was through and looked certain to score his hat-trick, but James Whittingham got the ball full in his face as he stopped the danger. A minute later Saeed had another chance as a bad back pass failed to reach Cameron and the Darwen striker was quickly in but struck the side netting.
Yahya Saeed made amends with twenty minutes to go when he latched on to a through pass to slide the ball past Cameron to put Darwen back in the game. Three minutes later Danny Taylor took the ball down the wing, into the box and hooked the ball back along the Blackpool goal area line. Jamie Edwards made contact, but the ball went the wrong side of the post.
Just as the home side were looking good to salvage something from the game, a quick Blackpool attack saw the ball put across to the far post where Conah Bishop was waiting unmarked to tap in.
As the game moved into the last five minutes, a rasping effort by Danny Taylor was well punched away by Cameron. With two minutes to go, Liam Cole hoisted a free kick into the Blackpool area, and Martin Parker tapped in at the far post to reduce the deficit to one goal, but Blackpool held out for the win after five minutes of injury time.
Full Time: AFC Darwen 2 AFC Blackpool 3
REFEREE: James McNee
ASSISTANTS: Don Lennon, Dan Slater
GOALS AND TIMES:
AFC Blackpool: Finlayson (26, 44), Bishop (76)
AFC Darwen: Saeed (69), Parker (88)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
AFC Blackpool: Benjamin Duffield
AFC Darwen: Danny Taylor
YELLOW CARDS: Donaghy, Betteridge, Caunce, Pickering (AFC Blackpool), Langford, Taylor, Lonsdale (AFC Darwen)
1 Alex Cameron
2 Francis Donaghy
3 Stephen Betteridge
4 Alex Caunce
5 Jack Taylor
6 Daniel Pickering (Capt.)
7 Martin Baird
8 Benedict Fishwick
9 Benjamin Duffield
10 Connor Finlayson
11 Conah Bishop
12 Carnan Dawson (replaced Fishwick, 70 minutes)
14 Jack Williams
15 Jamie Nay
16 Ben Bradley (replaced Betteridge, 84 minutes)
17 Daniel Mottram (replaced Baird, 78 minutes)
1 James Whittingham
2 Kieran Wood
3 Sam Knowles
4 Adam Heaney
5 Martin Parker
6 Kiel Lonsdale (Capt.)
7 Jamie Edwards
8 Karl Turner
9 Danny Taylor
10 Yahya Saeed
11 Bobby Langford
12 Harrison Green (replaced Turner, 65 minutes)
14 Liam Cole (replaced Saeed, 78 minutes)
15 Matt Cain
16 Corey Harrison
17 Josh Cosgrove