NOT A GREAT DAY AT THE SEASIDE FOR THE EAGLES
Eccleshall travelled to AFC Blackpool with their new management of Craig Bould and Liam Kelly in the dugout for the game. New signing George Burslem was on the bench.
The match started with steady rain falling and the pitch quite greasy. Eccleshall were pegged back for the first few minutes and Matt Johnson was called into early action. Danny Needham threaded a great through ball to Louis Downs and Blackpool keeper Callum Kirkland had to race out to collect at his feet. At the other end, Kit Gregory fired just wide of the post from the edge of the box. The Eagles had now settled down and were taking the game more to Blackpool. Johnson had to come out quickly to prevent Billy McKenna scoring. Moments later, Johnson again and then Harvey Collins and Miles Johnson prevented three goal bound chances, the latter both clearing off the line. However, on 17 minutes, Blackpool took the lead when McKenna’s low drive found the bottom corner of the net giving Johnson little chance. Worse was to follow on 22 minutes when Jack Warren was sent off by referee Eaves for preventing a goalscoring opportunity. Eccleshall were now up against it and Johnson punched clear before saving well from the follow up. Needham was causing problems and he forced Kirkland into an error when closing him down and his defence had to come to the rescue. The Eagles were pushing for an equaliser and forced two quick corners. Right on half time though, they went two down when Gregory was allowed to cut into the box and his low shot found the far corner of the net.
Half Time: AFC Blackpool 2 Eccleshall 0
Blackpool continued where they left off and Alex Taylor had the first effort of the second half with a shot over the bar. On 50 minutes, it was 3-0 when Conah Bishop cut in from the right and his low ball found Taylor, who easily beat Johnson. The Eagles made a change, bringing on Burslem for Shay Finney as they looked to get back in the game. McKenna and Taylor had further efforts before Needham again forced Kirkland into a save. Eagles subs Dwayne Spence and Lewis Dunn were brought on but on 76 minutes, they were four down in controversial circumstances. Referee Eaves awarded a soft penalty when Taylor clearly went over the fallen Eccleshall defender. Taylor netted, sending Johnson the wrong way from the spot. The game was now well beyond the Eagles but Needham had another effort which Kirkland easily collected. On 88 minutes, a mistake by Collins left Mc Kenna to run clear and he easily placed his low shot under the advancing Johnson to make it 5-0 and complete a miserable day for the new management team. Taylor had one final chance before full time. The home team looked far more impressive on the day than when they visited Pershall Park earlier in the season.
Full Time: AFC Blackpool 5 Eccleshall 0
Team: Matt Johnson, Miles Johnson (Lewis Dunn), Jordan Bennion, Jake Standbridge, Harvey Collins, Jack Warren, Danny Needham, Callum Feeney, Louis Downs, Tom Wakefield (Dwayne Spence), Shay Finney (George Burslem).
Unused subs: Oliver Bradbury, Ian Maitland.
The Eagles are next in action on Wednesday 21. March with a home game at Pershall Park against Atherton LR – kick off 7.45pm.