AFC Blackpool 4-2 Cheadle Town

We were excellent for the opening ten minutes and all.

As early as the first Chris Sherrington had forced an excellent stop from the AFCB keeper after he sent in a thumping effort before contributing to our opener just two minutes later.

Haring down his favoured left wing he planted a teasing ball across the face of goal where his brother Mike stormed in to side-foot home his sixth of the season.

All smiles as the players celebrate the opening goal

All smiles as the players celebrate the opening goal

Chris then eyed up a spectacular volley as the ball dropped for him but that was blocked.

And then that was it. We just faded away into making poor decisions and giving the ball away.

One glimmer was a superb Rick Whyatt header from a throw-in that was brilliantly tipped over the bar as the half came to a close.

But by then AFCB had got themselves back into the game and also got themselves level just after the half-hour mark.

Danny Whiting had already made an excellent save tipping a header onto the bar but from the resulting corner Ben Duffield bundled home from close range.

Four minutes into the restart AFCB nosed themselves into the lead. A corner from the left was cleared as far as the edge of the area where Zac Hargreaves was waiting to pick his spot and drill low past Danny Whiting.

On 53 minutes we had an excellent opportunity to draw level as Liam Delaney latched onto a long ball and poked it past the onrushing keeper; unfortunately as Mike Sherrington chased the loose ball the angle died on him and he couldn't quite hook it home.

On 65 minutes the hosts extended their lead. A throw-in from the left was nodded on and Conah Bishop stole in quicker than everyone else to slide home from close range.

With 20 minutes to go AFCB were down to ten men following a straight red and within five minutes we had made our numerical advantage count and reduced the deficit; Chris Sherrington instrumental down the left again as his fizzed cross was met by a Rick Whyatt thumping header at the far post for his 26th of the season.

Alas, within four minutes of that we were back chasing a two-goal disadvantage. From another AFCB throw-in, Billy McKenna's shot from close-range spun off one of our defenders and flew into the far corner with Danny Whiting completely wrong-footed.

Fast-forward another five minutes and perhaps the biggest indication that it wasn't going to be our day as Rick Whyatt flicked home from close range to get us back into the match.

Or so it seemed, as a long consultation betwixt referee and linesman ended up with the goal being chalked off, despite said linesman not flagging for any indiscretion in the first place.



That's it for our travels this season as all of our remaining matches are at Park Road. Plus, given the North/South split in the First Division next season, that's it for our journeys to AFC Blackpool and all.

We'll miss Billy Singleton's hospitality and stories but our goalkeepers will not miss the rapier wit and barracking from AFC Blackpool's 'Tin Hut Brigade' behind the net.

Just three to go....starting tonight against Holker Old Boys.

TEAM: Whiting, Nield, Harrison, Delaney, Shaw, Dunn, Ratican (Collinson), Holt (Wood), M Sherrington (Jones), Whyatt, C Sherrington. SUBS: Jones, Wood, Collinson, Piggott (gk).

Many thanks to Simon Whitehead for the photographs.