Youths get New Year off to a bad start

Last updated : 06 January 2007 By Andy Ashworth
Rob Turner - put the Clarets in front
The coaching staff looked to have one eye on the Wednesday cup tie and this was reflected in a line up containing only one 2nd year – captain Connor Smith. There were a number of unfamiliar faces drafted in from the centre of excellence, and despite the defeat they can take heart from their performances in most of the game.

Now it wouldn't be Gawthorpe if the weather wasn't bloody awful, so needless to say the game kicked off in rain that stayed for the duration. The pitch was heavy and bobbly, meaning that our passing game was compromised from the outset.

Both sides created chances in the 1st half, ours coming through neat passing and theirs from a no-less-effective direct approach. The visitors best chance came with a near post shot, turned behind by Jon Sergeant. Burnley could have seen young midfielder Chris Anderson on the scoresheet with an attempt fired across the face of goal.

The opening goal did come our way and it was down to a combination of our persistence and the Seasiders keeper having a shocker. Rob Turner pressured a backpass, which the keeper fluffed, and the big striker stroked it home.

The 2nd half saw the surface worsen and both sides struggled to maintain their footing. Passes went astray with more regularity and everyone's 1st touch began to desert them. We should have scored a couple more at least but all too often the wrong decisions were made, with either the final ball into the box delayed too long or runs being made too early leading to a high number of offsides.

We made changes in a bid to freshen things up a little but it was our visitors who began to turn the screw. Our young defence continued to drop deeper and deeper and you felt that it was just a matter of time before we were made to pay. With around 5 minutes left on the clock a free kick on the touch line was swung into our box and a Blackpool head met it to power it past Sergeant. It was a poor goal to concede as the ball had travelled a long distance in the air and we really should have dealt better.

The visitors got their tails up with this and we lost cohesion. As the final whistle approached they carved us open and a forward popped up at the far post to lash home making it 2-1 to them.

We managed one last attack and Adam Kay was unlucky not to beat the keeper but the ref blew up after some longer than expected stoppage time to give Blackpool the 3 points.

Teams:- Jon Sergeant, Ben Hoskin (Chris Lynch), Matt (U-16), Nicky (trialist), Thomas Bradley, Alex-Ray Harvey, Chris Anderson (Lewis Craig), Connor Smith, Ash Young (Ali Akbar), Rob Turner, Adam Kay.