Fylde coast hockey round-up: Blackpool, Lytham St Annes, Garstang and Rossall

Janny Rawlinson in action for LSA

Janny Rawlinson in action for LSA

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Blackpool Men struggled to capitalise on their opportunities against Didsbury 2 and found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-0 score line at Stanley Park.

Blackpool Men struggled to capitalise on their opportunities against Didsbury 2 and found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-0 score line at Stanley Park.

Blackpool went into this North West division one fixture with just 11 players but looked the more solid of the two sides in the opening exchanges.

Didsbury’s well organised forward players did their best to disrupt the Blackpool defence, but the majority of chances came at the other end as Blackpool looked dangerous on the counter.

The visitors did get some reward for their attacking play and the ball was adjudged to have hit a Blackpool foot on their goal-line, resulting in a penalty stroke being awarded.

Blackpool weren’t impressed with the decision, claiming the ball had initially hit the post prior to making contact with the defender’s foot. However, the umpire saw it differently.

The stroke was converted well, giving Didsbury the lead after 20 minutes.

Blackpool pushed for an equaliser and went close from a penalty corner, when Dave Morgan’s effort slid the wrong side of the post.

Simon Thomas crashed in a shot that was well saved by the Didsbury keeper but at half-time, Blackpool were still trailing by a single goal.

Chasing the game, Blackpool were far more adventurous in the second period.

Josh Boyne’s drive into the area couldn’t be turned home, then Jay Currey’s cross flashed across the goal-line.

Morgan’s sweeping shot was kept out by the trailing leg of the goalkeeper and Thomas’ effort was denied by the post.

To top it all off, Sam Bury’s reverse-stick attempt beat the goalkeeper but clipped the heel of Morgan when it appeared to be boundfor the bottom corner.

It simply wasn’t to be for Blackpool, and to rub salt in their wounds Didsbury scored a second.

The home side were hit on the counter-attack as Blackpool pushed more men forward.

This frustrating defeat saw mid-table Blackpool slip a place to seventh, though this was a well-fought game of hockey.

Blackpool 3 had two hat-tricks to celebrate against 10-man Southport 3 as the dominant home side won their Stanley Park fixture 6-1 in North West division six north north.

Blackpool were raring to go in their first game for seven weeks as Joe Neath and Ollie Tomlinson dominated the midfield from the start, and allowed captain Matt Atherton to link up well with Martin Hayes up front.

It wasn’t long before Hayes opened the scoring with a straight strike from a penalty corner, and Atherton soon doubled the lead from a pass by man of the match Ollie Tomlinson.

Hayes made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time, and then completed his hat-trick with an outrageous flick over the goalkeeper from the narrowest of angles.

Atherton dispossessed a defender and beat the keeper one on one to make it 5-0, then completed his hat-trick with a penalty stroke after a shot was blocked by a foot on the line. James Handforth made his debut after an injury to Craig Nutter, and Southport managed a consolation goal in the last minute.

Blackpool 2 travelled to face Didsbury Northern Men 5 with only 10 players and lost 7-0 despite a valiant effort.

Lytham Ladies suffered a very disappointing 8-0 defeat at home to Liverpool Sefton 2.

The mid-table North Division Two team admitted collectively responsible and it just wasn’t their day.

At times Lytham looked pretty good going forward but Liverpool were quick to turn over possession and jump on any mistakes.

The basics were sometimes lacking and LSA conceded most of their goals to counter-attacks.

The midfield worked tirelessly but the defenders were bruised and battered.

LSA Men also conceded eight but were away to unbeaten North Two West leaders Wilmslow.

Lytham did well in the first half. Trailing 2-0, they pulled one back when Neil Mallalieu pounced on a loose ball in the D following Will Dowbiggin’s flick.

But Wilmslow pulled clear in the second half, despite some goal-line saves, and denied LSA a second thanks to their keeper’s pads.

LSA Ladies 3 remain a point behind Lancashire Central division three leaders Longridge, with a game in hand, after an excellent 2-0 win over Lancaster & Morecambe 3 at Ansdell Arena.

Lytham were back in form as Bryony Brown made some great saves to keep a clean sheet and goals by Molly Turpie and Lauren Gibbons sealed victory. However, Kim Fisher did fracture a shoulder.

LSA 2 lost their division one derby away to Fylde 3 3-2, having conceded twice in the first 10 minutes.

They did up their game and pulled one back before half-time, when Lily Ganchi finished a good passing move involving Malley Parsons and Tia Pumphrey.

LSA had plenty of possession in the second half, and with Jasmine Wright, Jasmine Tang and Fran Warren solid in midfield it was Wright who equalised from a short corner.

Fylde scored a winner despite the best efforts of Lytham’s player of the match Becky Evans.

Garstang Ladies couldn’t complete a double over Liverpool University, who defeated them 4-1.

The Reds started well and had the first chance when Josie Rice was fed by Fran Summers but shot wide.

Garstang fell behind but continued to have chances, and they equalised when Kiery Horne was introduced and crossed for Summers to finish.

The Merseysiders dominated the next 15 minutes and were back in front by half-time. Liverpool continued to press and added two more goals.

Garstang stepped up a gear, with captain Donna Richardson outstanding, but they couldn’t make their chances count.

Rossall Ladies met Garstang 2 for the third time this season and were grateful for some brilliant saves by Claire Turner in a goalless first half.

Garstang’s half-time changes had the desired effect and they scored the only goal of a fine game midway through the second half.