South West Challenge Cup Group Matches
Vital Blackpool forum member reedo90 takes a look back at the Seasiders two Group D matches in the South West Challenge Cup.
Two days after their first win it was time for another match, this time against Western League club Barnstaple Town in the South West Challenge Cup, a tournament where Blackpool are the highest ranked team to take part. Again, like the previous game, Ollie brought the whole squad down to take part in the 80 minute match.
Blackpool's line up looked like this:
Mark Halstead, Alex John-Baptiste, Rob Edwards, Ian Evatt, Joe Martin, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, David Vaughan, Keith Southern, Billy Clarke, Brett Ormerod, Ben Burgess.
The game started brightly, but same can't be said about the weather, and in the fifth minute BEN BURGESS nodded home the first goal after a great cross form Alex John-Baptiste. The big man looks set to be ready for the season opener after being injured from the back end of the season. But it wasn't just Big Ben who had the ability to nod home goals as six minutes later Billy Clarke popped up and crossed a delightful ball for BRETT ORMEROD to head home for 2-0.
As the half wore on, Blackpool's new style of play certainly stretched the opposition and number three came from that exact style. BILLY CLARKE running through the Barnstaple defence to slot the ball into the bottom corner. This player looks set to wow fans this year. Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Burgess both had changes to make it 4-0 before the break but both missed by a narrow margin.
HALF-TIME: BARNSTAPLE TOWN 0-3 BLACKPOOL (Burgess, Ormerod, Clarke)
The second half, like at Burscough, saw changes as Ollie brought on Matthew Gilks, Danny Coid, Shaun Barker, Ash Eastham, Stephen Crainey, Richard Langley, Eric DeFreitas, Daniel Nardiello and Danny Mitchley. With Vaughan and Burgess the sole survivors. So the second half team:
Matthew Gilks, Danny Coid, Shaun Barker, Ash Eastham, Stephen Crainey, Eric DeFreitas, Richard Langley, David Vaughan, Daniel Nardiello, Danny Mitchley, Ben Burgess.
Nardiello could have opened the second half with two chances both being blocked and Mitchley having his attempt blocked as well. The fourth did come though from a well worked short corner where Langley played it to Nardiello who crossed it to Burgess who nodded it to the back post for ERIC DEFREITAS to score his first goal for Blackpool on trial. Barnstaple made a number of subs and Blackpool brought off Burgess for Louis Almond. Nardiello sealed a hat-trick of chances after his third cannoned of the bar. Almond could have made it five narrowly shooting wide, but the fifth towards the end of the match where DANIEL NARDIELLO finally made it on the score sheet this being his fourth major chance.
FULL TIME - BARNSTAPLE TOWN 0-5 BLACKPOOL (Burgess, Ormerod, Clarke, DeFreitas, Nardiello)
Good news was followed by sad news as the news of Shaun Barker leaving Blackpool was announced before the team played Rushden & Diamonds. They did welcome new trailist Seb Carole, former Leeds United midfielder, to the team. Team to play Rushden:
Matthew Gilks, Danny Coid, Alex John-Baptiste, Ian Evatt, Stephen Crainey, Keith Southern, David Vaughan, Billy Clarke, Sebastien Carole, Daniel Nardiello, Gary Taylor-Fletcher.
Action was limited in the first half which saw Taylor-Fletchr and trailist Carole limp off, but it was Rushden who were making Blackpool sweat earning free kick after free kick and really making Blackpool work, showing that they would be no pushovers like Barnstaple. O'Connor could have put Rushden in the lead but fired over after beating Baptiste. A neat one-two combination from Clarke and Taylor-Fletcher could have put Blackpool in the lead but the latter of the two couldn't seem to finish. Chances came thick and fast as Southern powered a shot straight at the keeper while Baptiste got a last ditched challenge in on Cousins at the other end. Before half time Carole and Taylor-Fletcher limped off with Mitchley and Burgess the replacements.
HALF TIME: RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS 0-0 BLACKPOOL
Second Half Line Up:
Paul Rachubka, Alex John-Baptiste, Rob Edwards, Ash Eastham, Joe Martin, Billy Clarke, Richard Langley, Jeff Imunda, Danny Mitchley, Daniel Nardiello, Ben Burgess.
Blackpool couldn't break down the Rushden defence as Rushden continued to attack and in the 52nd minute inspirational O'CONNOR found the back of the net after several attempts, breaking past Eastham to slot home. Blackpool began to attack more and it paid off as in the 57th minute BEN BURGESS wrapped up an equaliser when Ormerod's cross found Mitchley who linked well with Burgess to score. Knowing a draw would mean penalties both teams battled for the winner. Rachubka made a great save at one end while a Nardiello free kick almost crept in. Nardiello continued to impress after a poor season last term and should have slotted in the winner in the 81st minute but dragged it wide. It meant that penalties were the fate, not Blackpool's strong point given past times and it weren't getting better. Rushden won 4-2 on penalties and it means that Blackpool have to hope Barnstaple Town beat Rushden in order to progress or its game over.
FULL TIME: RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS 1-1 BLACKPOOL (O'CONNOR.- BURGESS) RUSHDEN WIN 4-2 ON PENALTIES
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