15 February 2017 13:01
Sandbach went into this game knowing that only a win would help keep up their run for the playoffs, and they duly delivered. Blackpool, on the other hand, were looking to extend the distance between them and the drop zone, coming off the back of a 7-0 defeat by Widnes.
The game was a tight affair between the two sides and a first half of very little attacking action showed that neither team was keen on the idea of losing.
Starting slow, eventually Sandbach began to take control of the game, excellent overlapping on the left wing between fullback and winger, but nothing solid could be created from either side and apart from a long ball from Blackpool which lead to a poor shot wide and a free header from Stockton at a corner, chances were at a premium.
Kris Stockton’s ability in the air played a huge part in the result today, AFC Blackpool’s long balls were constantly handled by the towering centre back.
Sandbach started the second half on the front foot and kept it that way for most of the second half.
Early crosses from the right wing which fizzed past everyone begging to be stabbed home and Sandbach weren’t giving Blackpool a minute on the ball, frustration followed late on for the Blackpool players as they began to give away pointless fouls in dangerous areas.
The breakthrough eventually came after a great ball forward from the midfield snuck past the Blackpool midfield, a slide tackle just inside the box was deemed to have brought down the marauding Sandbach forward. Number 10 Josh Lane slotted the penalty home and settled the match.
AFC Blackpool head coach Stuart Parker said he felt “the game was even stevens, we didn’t over create but both keepers made good saves” going on to say that they can take positives from the match.
Sandbach coach Andy Hockenhull felt “happy with the result” but wanted to see more chances created from his side, agreeing with the Blackpool coach "it was a tight game and one we’re glad we got the 3 points from”.
Sandbach will now turn their attention to the home fixture against 5th place Charnock Richard, still in the playoff places with Widnes drawing 2-2 with Stockport and still lots of football still to be played.
My man of the match was Kris Stockton.
Photography: Kevin Warburton (view web site)