Manager Brent Peters had this to say “ was I happy with our overhaul performance ? NO I was far from happy given the team I had put out, Peters said “ we started well in the first quarter of the game, our link up play and the manner in which we used the ball was impressive, this was how we scored our opener with quality link up play and an excellent finish from Anthony, Peters added “ at this point I cant get my head around whether some of my players felt it was too easy, therefore it was exhibition time and an excuse to ignore their roles & responsibilities, this or just down right bad play, what I do know is we gave Blackpool a life line at a time in the game we should have been easily doubling our lead, Peters went on “ for one, unless it is absolutely necessary I do not like going back to our keeper, one of the reason’s being what actually happened in Blackpool’s second goal, the ball gets played back to our keeper who shanks his kick which goes direct to an opponent, this then resulted in my other centre back making a clumsy challenge leading to a penalty to Blackpool which they scored, another goal Blackpool created through some of our players not carrying out their roles and responsibilities out of possession, their full back gets forward not tracked creating an over load before delivering a quality cross which was perfectly headed into our own net by one of my defenders, but why he was facing his own goal when that cross was delivered is beggars belief, for this to happen he was obviously not set and his body position wrong, it was poor to say the least, Peters added “ thank fully Matthew Bryan and Anthony Hall were on it, fully focussed and delivering when it mattered, Peters went on “ We had several opportunities to score more goals than the three we actually did score, but at the opposite end of the pitch in the last quarter of an hour, for some in explicable reason our midfield constantly backed off, not only encouraging pressure but strangulating our defenders at the same time, during this time AFC Blackpool could easily have got themselves an equaliser, Peters added “ I cant explain why we were dropping so deep but it most certainly was a dangerous game to play, but thankfully we got through the game with three points, we got lads through the game injury free, so we take our focus now onto two extremely difficult games with Avro in the Semi Final of the First Division League Cup, we have enough talent to see us through, but talent without the work rate and discipline will not be enough, this message will be ringing in our players ears during the build up, this in order to ensure we are has a squad in its entirety fully concentrated and ready to go, the next two weeks are vital to our season
BACUP WIN AT THE SEASIDE, NOW THE FOCUS IS ON SATURDAYS LEAGUE CUP SEMI FINAL FIRST LEG.
AFC BLACKPOOL 2 – BACUP BOROUGH -3
On an afternoon when the weather played a part in several games in the league being postponed the Bacup Manager Brent Peters was relieved and thank full to AFC Blackpool in working hard ensuring this game went ahead, Peters explained “ Ahead of our League Cup Semi Final I have worked hard in an attempt to bringing back Matthew Bryan who finished last season as not only our leading goal scorer but also the leading scorer in the North West Counties League which rightly earned him the Leagues player of the year, but for him to be eligible for our Semi Final I had to get him over the line fourteen days prior to the Semi Final, this I did, but then we had to ensure Matty got in at least one game which could only be AFC Blackpool, had this game have been postponed the work to get Matty over the line would have been in vain, Peters added “ I am so grateful to all at Blackpool for their efforts in ensuring the game did get the go ahead “
It did not take Mathew Bryan long to make a positive impact when Michael Gervin found Bryan with an exquisite ball, Bryan then had to ride an attempted challenge before a nice weighted pass into the path of his strike partner Anthony Hall who finished off what was an excellent footballing move to shoot Bacup into a fifteen minute lead, further goals should have followed, Kyle Brooks intercepting a ball to his captain Adrian Bellamy who knocked the ball long, Matthew Bryan struck the ball first time has it dropped into his path but the ball whistled over, further good link up play involving Matthew Dell, Matthew Bryan and Anthony Hall which resulted in a good strong challenge averting Bacup doubling their lead, at this point it only seemed a matter of time before Bacup doubled their lead but this was not legislating for the Blackpool full back pushing forward before delivering an excellent cross that Bacup defender Sven Gibson ended up heading the ball into his own goal, not only was this a bad goal to give away but it gave the home side a terrific lift and belief, if the headed own goal was not bad enough what happened next was a total disaster, the ball was with defender Laquan Esdaille who for some reason under no pressure made a decision to play the ball back towards his keeper who then shanked his kick with the ball going to a Blackpool player who then advanced into the penalty area where the covering defender Sven Gibson made a clumsy challenge giving the referee little opportunity but to award a penalty which was converted, with half time approaching and Bacup trailing, a position they should not have been in,, it was left to Man of the Match Anthony Hall to drive his side the equaliser when he picked the ball up deep before driving forward into the penalty area where he was sent to the ground, again an easy penalty decision for the Referee, it was Hall himself who stepped up to make it 2-2 at the break.
The second half got under way with Bacup creating several good opportunities which came to nothing, this so easily could have had far reaching consequences when Bacup Borough defender Laquan Esdaille was late with a challenge in the box which resulted in the third penalty of the afternoon being awarded, the second for AFC Blackpool, this time Bacup Borough’s keeper Thomas Lamlot was equal to the spot kick by pulling off a good save, Bacup at this point got out of jail with that save, this spurred Bacup on to create further opportunities, when Matthew Bryan collected the ball from deep and ran into the heart of Blackpool’s defence before a deft pass over defenders into the feet of Michael Gervin who unflustered got himself half a yard before placing the ball into the corner of the net, giving his side a 2-3 lead.
For the closing minutes of the game Bacup were dropping deeper inviting extreme pressure onto themselves but has easily has they won, they could so easily have dropped points, at times desperate defending prevented this happening to eventually win the game 2-3 with all focus now on a difficult Semi Final first leg game at Bacup on Saturday.