In just a few week's time Blackpool FC travel to Anfield to play Liverpool FC in the Premier League but that's for the future. Today was designated as 'Non League day' so what better way to spend Saturday afternoon than watching AFC Blackpool host AFC Liverpool at Jepson Way? AFC Blackpool were looking to continue their great start to the season.
Every Saturday is 'non league' day for us when Blackpool FC are either not playing or away on their travels. Today, saw us make the short trip to watch AFC Blackpool host AFC Liverpool in the second Division of the Vodkat league. It's fair to say that AFC Blackpool have struggled in the last three seasons as they've finished ninth, fifteenth and fifteenth. P 100 W 27 D 25 L 48 The club has been rebuilding and is now on a sound footing with a great ground, training facilities and a thriving junior section. Most importantly, the club have kept faith with manager Stuart Parker (Ex Blackpool FC and Bury FC) through the recent lean period.
That decision looks to be paying off as AFC have got off to a great start this season. Going into September they're still unbeaten after taking ten points from the first four matches. This morning they were top of the league whilst opponents AFC Liverpool were in twelfth six points behind AFC Blackpool but with a game in hand. After a few pitch problems over the summer the surface has much improved in recent weeks. Bright and breezy on this early Autumn afternoon. As it was an 'International weekend' there was a decent crowd in attendance.
AFC Blackpool started the game brilliantly. They were playing some very attractive football and in all fairness should have had the game wrapped up after twenty minutes. The home side dominated possession and the visitors were struggling to get the ball out of their own half. Waddington and Cummins were causing the visiting defenders all kinds of problems. A mixture of rushed finishing and pure bad luck meant that it wasn't until about the 25th minute when striker Ben Waddington rounded the opposition keepere and slotted it home to open the scoring. 1-0.
The visitors were creating little offensively but equalised shortly before the break with a speculative effort from distance. A shot off the outside of the foot of AFC Liverpool's Steve Jones bent, swirled on the breeze and dipped over the head of keeper Speight. 1-1 at half time. AFC Liverpool scored very early in the second half. Aaron Stafford cut into the box and fired home past Speight from the angle. 1-2. The more the half went on, the more AFC Liverpool began to take control of the game. The started to boss the middle of the park and this resulted in the supply line to the AFC Blackpool forwards being stifled. The home side all but failed to trouble the AFC Liverpool keeper in the second half and as time went on the match became more scrappy and disjointed as well as bad tempered. In the end AFC Liverpool's dominant second half performance gave them all three points with a 2-1 win.
AFC Blackpool dropped to third but they're only a point behind leaders Irlam with a game in hand. They travel to Daisy Hill FC next Saturday looking to retain top spot. There were lots of positives to take from this game. If the early possession and fast flowing passing football had resulted in two or three goals they probably would have run away with the game but that's football. Best of luck to AFC Blackpool for the rest of the season. Support your local non-league clubs – get out and watch them.
Ex Blackpool FC player Alan Hughes
AFC Blackpool get the match underway
Young local ref Gregory Clayton – he wasn't to be as invisible as he may have wished to have been in this one
AFC Blackpool manager Stuart Parker
AFC Liverpool keeper
AFC Blackpool keeper Andy Speight
Kevan Ford (Right)
Ben Waddington (Left)
Another early near miss for AFC Blackpool
Blackpool FC photographer Phil Heywood also down watching this one.
A good take by Speight
The visiting keeper can only watch on as Waddington (10) takes the ball around him to open the scoring. 1-0
Pick that one out
The visiting Captain makes his inevitable entry into the referee's notebook
Local football watcher and ex referee Gerry Hagan
Tommy Baldwin Snr (Left)
Speight is left floundering in the back of the net after being deceived by a long range looping AFC Liverpool effort from Steve Jones. 1-1
Another AFC Blackpool chance goes begging
New signing and last season's Garstang FC player of the year Niall Cummins.
Early into the second half and the AFC Liverpool supporters go wild as their team takes the lead thanks to a strike from Aaron Stafford. 1-2
'Warm up Beattie'
AFC Blackpool shout for a penalty – referee Clayton waves it away. Great tackle.
After a controversial offside decision goes against his team Martin Baird goes in the book for dissent.
After a midfield clash with Blackpool sub Mark Ashall the AFC Liverpool player fell awkwardly and looked to have broken his wrist. He was later taken to hospital – best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Tempers and frustrations boil over in the AFC Blackpool dugout and manager Staurt Parker is ordered to the stands by Mr Clayton.
The yellow card appears again over the heads of players.
Final Score : AFC Blackpool 1 – 2 AFC Liverpool