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Abbey Hulton United

Home | 07 October 2017 | Attendance: 253

Match Report

AFC Blackpool 3-1 Abbey Hulton United

AFC took all three points on Non League Day, in front of a crowd of 253, to move up to eighth in the North West Counties League First Divsion table, two points off the play-off places, with special guest, former Blackpool and England player Trevor Sinclair in attendance.

As part of the annual Non League Day initiative, AFC made it free for everyone. And a total of £267 was raised for the NLD official charity partner, Prostate Cancer UK.

Last time out AFC had lost a tight encounter 1-0 at unbeaten League leaders Silsden. With left back Carnan Dawson injured at that game, Stephen Betteridge came into the starting line-up along with Zack Hargreaves, Alex Taylor and Conah Bishop.

Midfielder Danny Pickering gave the home side the lead after just five minutes. From a short corner, Zack Hargreaves shot on the edge of the box was blocked. Martin Baird laid it off to Pickering whose low shot went past Abbey Hulton keeper Luke Birkenshaw to give the home side the lead.

The lead wasn't to last though when in the 13th minute Joshua Tune equalized. The away side then had most of the ball for long periods. However, toward the end of the half they were reduced to ten men, when Joshua Graham was shown a straight red card for elbowing Betteridge. Despite being a man down, they still competed well. A scramble in the AFC goalmouth saw three players go down resulting in Taylor getting a shoulder injury. After a lengthy stoppage, he returned to the pitch, but was soon replaced by Ben Duffield.

In the second half, AFC started to control the game and after 65 minutes they took the lead again. A reverse pass by Kit Gregory to Betteridge on the left wing, and his low driven cross was turned in by Bishop. Billy McKenna made it 3-1 in the 76th minute when he was put in by Gregory, and his low right foot shot went past Birkenshaw.

The mood in the dressing room after the game was bouyant with another three points moving AFC up two places in the table. Goalkeeping coach Andy Speight said after the game, "There is still room for improvement, we all know and agree on that. Our feet though are firmly on the ground, and we are looking forward to the next game."

Manager Dave Worthington was delighted with the result, whilst also pointing out the need for improvement.

"That was a great result for us today, which keeps us within touching distance of the top six. However, the result did probably gloss over the performance, mostly in the first half. We need to be better both in the last third and defensively.

"Fair play to the lads. They were told at half-time that, with Abbey Hulton down to ten men, nothing less than three points would be acceptable, and they did just that.

"Team selection is difficult for me and Willy (assistant manager, Mark Williams) at the moment. Which is though, just what we want! And again we had a strong bench today.

"We've lots of games coming up and and we need to get a run going so we can aim for the play-off places. Both the players and the management need to keep working hard, if not harder.

"Thank you to everyone who came out today to support us. We all hope you had a great day and those who haven't been before will join our loyal band of supporters and be back. It was good to learn that £267 was raised for Prostate Cancer UK. So well done to everyone today!

Next up for AFC is an away match next Saturday at 18th placed St. Helens Town.

Match Photo's

Match Stats

Starting Line Up

GK Callum Kirkland
DF Martin Baird
DF Stephen Betteridge
DF Alex Caunce
DF Jamie Nay
MD Conah Bishop
MD Zack Hargreaves
MD Danny Pickering
ST Kit Gregory
ST Alex Taylor
WI Billy McKenna

Substitutes

GK Andrew Speight
DF Francis Donaghy
MD Ben Fishwick
MD Dan Mottram
ST Ben Duffield