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Blackpool 2014

The 2014 Football Aid fixture at Bloomfield Road was filled with goals at both ends, with the Away team running out 8-4 victors in the end. In the 1st half it was a combination of the Away attack and their centre halves that ran the show, with striker Aston Jones bagging a hat-trick. The 2nd 45 saw the Home team rally but ultimately they struggled against the quality that their opponents had at their disposal up front.

Date: Sunday 18th of May 2014
Venue: Bloomfield Road
Blackpool Home vs Blackpool Away
Kick off: 12pm
Legends: Jamie Milligan, Terry Pashley, Derek Spence and Ben Burgess
Match Officials: Peter Simm, Henry Simm, Mat Scholes and Danny Sims


On a glorious morning at the seaside the Home team got the game underway, wearing the famous Tangerine Home strip and kicking from left to right. However, it was their opposition who broke the deadlock after just 10 mins. Centre mid Aidan Peaty played a low ball across the face of the goal which both winger Michael Dalton and Home goalie Richard Marsh attacked. The ball, as a result, bounced free which Dalton was beaten to again by a defender, however it fell straight to an Away player, centre forward Aston Jones, and his sliding effort flew into the top right corner of the goal (0-1). 


Two mins later the Away team made it known that they weren’t hanging about as they doubled their lead. Winger Sam Cunningham picked the ball up in the centre of the park before playing a defence-splitting pass into the run of centre forward Aston Jones. The deadly striker proceeded to dink a delightful effort from out on the left over stranded keeper Richard Marsh and into the far right corner of the goal for a quick fire brace (0-2).

It wasn’t long before the Away team came close to scoring again, but this time they were denied by the upright. Centre forward Joel Holmes swept the ball out to No 6 Shaun Porrit who was standing out on the right wing. Porrit’s long cross found the run of No 9 Aston Jones who almost got a 10 min hat-trick had it not been for the left post.

Despite hitting the post, Aston Jones kept on pushing for his hat-trick and with 24 mins gone he completed it with a classic striker’s finish after some classy team build-up play. Winger Sam Cunningham spread the play out to the right side for centre mid Aidan Peaty who set himself up before whipping in an inch-perfect ball to the run at the back post of Jones, who slid in to get his and his team's 3rd of the afternoon (0-3). 

The game started to hit a slow point, with the hot conditions taking their toll, and both sets of midfielders attempted to control the flow of the game in favour of their side. However, it was the Away side who triumphed in this battle with winger Sam Cunningham and centre mid Aidan Peaty combining to score another excellent goal. With 30 mins on the clock Peaty saw the run of the speedy winger and played a sublime chipped ball into the No 7’s path and Cunningham coolly rounded the keeper to tap it into an open net (0-4).

Even though they were 4 down the Home team didn’t give up and only needed one opportunity to get a goal back. Football Aid Legend Baljinder Singh played a lovely ball into the path of centre forward Rich Duffy out on the left. The No 11 then chipped a low ball across the box which captain, James Austin, put his head on the line for and the No 9 managed to scramble the ball into the goal with 39 mins gone (1-4).


Right on the strike of half time the Away team showed once again why they were comfortably in the lead with another brilliantly worked goal. Centre mid Shaun Porrit exchanged a one-two on the edge of the box with forward Aston Jones and when Porrit received the ball back he looked up before curling the ball over Home keeper Richard Marsh and into the far corner of the goal (1-5).


The referee brought the half to an end with the Away team comfortably in the lead thanks to some quality finishing and brilliant build-up play. It was no surprise that Jones had a hat-trick as his movement, as well as the balls played into him, were top-drawer. As well as this, the Away team's defence kept everything sewn up at the back restricting the Home team to a handful of chances. At the break the Home team were left chasing the game if they wanted to get anything out of the match.

Half Time: Team (Home) 1 - 5 Team (Away)

At the break, Home manager Terry Pashley had some great advice and some tips on how to stop their opposition. He told them that they were causing their own problems and that because of the legs in the Away midfield the Home defenders couldn’t afford to split their line allowing the opposition in behind. Pashley also pointed out that the strikers were being left stranded because of the lack of support they had behind them; some wise words that the players took with them into the 2nd half.

It didn’t take long for the Home team to put these words into action as they immediately tried to cause the Away side defence problems, winning a penalty within 5 mins of the restart. Winger Josh Davis exchanged a one-two with forward James Austin before darting into the box. As he entered dangerous territory he was brought down from behind by centre half Aaron McGarry, giving the referee no choice but to award a penalty. No 11 Rich Duffy stepped up and slammed it high into the roof of the goal (2-5).


Just 5mins later the Away team discounted any thought of a Home team comeback with another quality team goal. Substitute Jason Guy played the ball out to winger Michael Dalton who flicked it inside to centre forward Joel Holmes. Having held the ball up, Holmes laid it off perfectly for the run of Guy who powered past his marker before slamming home an excellent right foot shot, high past Marsh in the Home goal (2-6). 

After the play had been so hectic at the start of the 2nd half the game slowed up a little until the Away team seized another opportunity on 77 mins. Centre mid Aidan Peaty, who had been pulling the strings in midfield, laid it back to centre half Aaron McGarry who played a long, probing ball that perfectly found the run of winger Sam Cunningham. The No 7 attempted a chip but it was well stopped and pushed up into the air by goalie Richard Marsh, however Cunningham collected it again and squeezed the ball in at the left hand post (2-7).

With just over ten mins left to play, the game opened up as both sets of players were desperate to get their name on the score-sheet. Home winger Josh Davis played a low cross that was cleared out but it fell straight to Legend Jamie Milligan on the edge of the box. Milligan fired off a powerful shot which took an unfortunate deflection off the full back Martin McLeod and looped over the keeper into the back of the net (3-7).

With 85 mins gone the same two were involved in creating another goal for the Home team. Legend Jamie Milligan played a long ball down to winger Josh Davis who ran onto it, collected it in his stride and played a square ball across to centre forward James Austin. Austin flicked the ball up with his right before volleying it home with his opposite foot (4-7).

With the game entering the last few mins the Away No 7 Sam Cunningham still had time to score a brilliant solo goal. The ball broke to the winger inside the box and he took it round one defender before side-stepping another then took it past goalkeeper Marsh and slotting it into the open net (4-8).


This was the last kick of the ball as the referee ended the game immediately afterwards with the Away team finishing comfortable victors. A 2nd half rally from the Home team meant they came close to their opponents, but they were unable to deal with the quality of the Away attack. Sam Cunningham, Aidan Peaty and Michael Dalton controlled the midfield throughout, creating chances for strikers Joel Holmes and Aston Jones who were only too happy to accept them. Credit must be given to a hard-fought 2nd half performance by the Home team which produced three goals courtesy of some quality finishing. However, the Away defence led by Aaron McGarry and Nathan Belfield retained their solidity throughout and never allowed the Home team to find any real concerted pressure throughout the game. All in all it was great entertainment for the watching Tangerines fans in the stands and they clapped their heroes off the pitch at the end with enthusiastic vigour!

Full time: Team (Home) 4 - 8 Team (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Rich Duffy
Man of the Match Away: Nathan Belfield
Moment of the Match: Sam Cunningham and Aston Jones


Home Team: Richard Marsh, Paul Coole, Jamie Milligan, Firaz Hameed, Adam Swinney, Baljinder Singh, Jason Wake, Tim Sparks, James Austin (C), Jordan Gallagher, Rich Duffy, Chris Jamieson, Adam Swinney, Mark Feehan, Josh Davis
Home Manager: Terry Pashley
Home Mascot: George Sparks

Away Team: Ben Jones, Billy Eckersley, Ben Burgess, Aaron McGarry (C), Nathan Belfield, Shaun Porritt, Sam Cunningham, Michael Dalton, Aston Jones, Aidan Peaty, Joel Holmes, Billy Eckersley, Nathan Belfield, Martin Mcleod, Jason Guy
Away Manager: Derek Spence
Away Mascot: Harley Jones