Fylde coast hockey round-up: Blackpool, Lytham, Garstang, Rossall
Blackpool Men lost top spot in North West division one after a hard-fought 2-2 draw away to Bowden Thirds, where they let a two-goal lead slip in the last 10 minutes.
Both sides struggled to create clear-cut opportunities in the first half, though the home side went closer when they pulled a shot wide.
Blackpool came out the stronger in the second period and took the lead after 10 minutes, when Jordan Payne scored after good build-up play from Jay Currey, Steve Whitley and Dave Morgan.
Five minutes later, Blackpool doubled their lead when Ian Swaine fired home from a penalty corner.
Just as Blackpool were looking comfortable, a mistake in possession allowed Bowdon to break and pull one back.
Bowden pressed for an equaliser but Blackpool looked like holding out until a break from their penalty corner resulted in an equaliser.
Simon Thomas gave a great performance in the middle of the park but this was a fair result.
Blackpool 2 were beaten for the first time this season in division four north and could have no complaints over visitors’ Kirkby Lonsdale’s 5-2 win.
Blackpool were penned in their own half in the early stages but should have taken the lead when good work by Adam George and Martin Hayes resulted in a penalty flick, though Hayes’ effort struck a post.
The one-way traffic of Kirkby attacks then continued and they broke the deadlock after 25 minutes, soon adding a second.
Two down at half-time, Blackpool came out much stronger for the second period and George soon pulled one back after Ollie Thomlinson and Will Pickles linked up.
However, the young Kirkby side continued to threaten, adding a third and a controversial fourth (the ball helped along by numerous feet) before Blackpool’s heads dropped and the visitors made it 5-1.
Blackpool man of the match Andy Mortimer was pushed up as a striker and pulled one back.
Garstang Seconds remain unbeaten at the top of Lancashire Central division one after beating Blackpool Ladies 9-1 at Stanley Park.
The visitors started strongly and opened the scoring after 10 minutes, but a depleted Blackpool equalised through new captain Chloe Mallinson after good play by their player of the match Kandy Cardwell and Jade Yarwood.
Gemma Prestwich went close to giving Blackpool the lead, forcing a save after a great run, and Garstang took a 2-1 half-time lead from a penalty corner.
Garstang took control in the second half, scoring some great individual goals, though Blackpool can take positives from their first-half display.
Garstang’s senior side are up to third in North division two after a 3-0 win at Preston.
The Reds withstood early pressure and went close to opening the scoring when Alice Marsden and Reb Worthington shot narrowly off-target.
Worthington then turned Jude Chapman’s shot in to open the scoring for Garstang on 25 minutes.
Kiery Horne soon doubled the lead with her first goal for the club following good passing between Gemma Trickett and Josie Rice.
Preston came out stronger in the second half but victory was sealed when Jude Chapman swept home from a Fran Summers strike. Di Rowe was named player of the match.
Garstang 3 were 7-0 home winners over Blackpool 2 in division two, despite some excellent saves by visiting keeper Becky Meadowcroft.
Four goals down at half-time, Blackpool did their best to take the game to Garstang after the break but the hosts added three late goals.
Heather Leonard was Blackpool’s player of the game and Stevie Ball was also impressive.
In-form Lytham Ladies were 4-1 winners at bottom club South Lakes in North division two.
Passing fluently and moving well, they had some near misses before Heidi Williams opened the scoring from a penalty corner.
Lytham hit the post twice and Georgia Perkins struck the crossbar before making it 2-0 with a fine shot following Gilly Shields’ run.
South Lakes had chances of their own, also hitting the woodwork, before Georgina Read made it 3-0 at half-time after skilful play by Williams. The hosts pulled one back but dominant Lytham completed the scoring seconds later with a second from Perkins.
Lytham 2 are still looking for their first point in Lancashire Central division one after a 2-0 loss to their Lancaster & Morecambe counterparts.
Lytham passed well but the hosts scored both goals in the first half. Injury reduced Lytham to 10 players in the second half but they gave an excellent display, with Lauren Lockhart making some fine saves and Hannah Beeby outstanding.
Lytham 3 won the battle of division three’s top two 6-2 at home to Lancaster Nomads 2. They soon took control, with quick passing and strategic positioning, as Fran Beeby scored four. Fellow scorer Jasmine Carey and Lily Ganchi were very impressive.
Lytham St Annes Men moved into the top half of the North Two West table with a 2-1 win at AKS against Windermere, who started the day in second place. LSA were soon on the attack against a Windermere side who received a card or two for rash challenges.
Lytham didn’t take advantage and trailed 1-0 at half-time, Windermere having had an earlier effort disallowed. But Lytham pressed from the restart and equalised when Neil Mallalieu latched on to Gaz Sym’s pass and lobbed the keeper.
Adam Dixon kept LSA on terms with some top saves and Mallalieu scored the winner with a sly deflection into the roof of the net. The LSA defence held firm during the tense final minutes.
Lytham 2 drew 1-1 away to Warrington’s senior side in North West four north. Lytham started strongly but fell behind against the run of play. Ryan Gill and James Wood went close, while excellent saves by man of the match Richard Sharples kept the half-time score at 1-0.
LSA started the second half strongly and Mark Green equalised with a thunderous strike. The visitors stood firm and captain Sharples pulled off some excellent stops.
Lytham 3 lost a close game 2-1 at home to Leyland and Chorley 2 in five north north.
Leyland opened the scoring after 20 minutes but LSA were level at half-time thanks to a penalty flick by David Gee, who had earlier missed one. Steve Poole was strong in defence for LSA and Aaron Gee was creative going forward, but they were beaten by a mis-hit reverse shot 10 minutes from time.
Rossall Ladies won an exciting game against Pendle Forest Thirds 4-3 to replace them in third spot in Lancashire Central division one.
Rossall started well and Elizabeth Hall opened the scoring on four minutes, following good work down the left by Alex Holden and Grace McKnight.
Pendle came back strongly to take a 2-1 lead at half-time after both sides had late penalty corners.
Rossall began to dominate the midfield in the second half, with player of the match Sam Evans and Tracey Housley making determined runs .
McKnight equalised on 53 minutes after good interplay between Housley and Holden.
Housley was also involved in Rossall’s third three minutes later, releasing McKnight, who outstripped the defence for her second goal.
Pendle looked to have earned a point with a late equaliser from a penalty corner, but Holden scored the injury-time winner from McKnight’s pass.