Blackpool’s first pre-season friendly was overshadowed by a pitch invasion from fans protesting against chairman Karl Oyston. The game was called off with around fifteen minutes to go by referee Paul Kettlewell after a small group of fans made their way onto the pitch. This is the second Blackpool game in a row to end like this after last season’s final game clash against Huddersfield ended in the same way.
Nevertheless, manager Neil McDonald was pleased with his first game as Blackpool manager after the Tangerines won the game 3-1. Mark Cullen gave Pool the lead after eight minutes when he latched on to a stray ball from Lancaster’s Garry Hunter but his effort was cancelled out a few minutes later when centre back Charles Dunne hesitated in challenging Lancaster striker Matt Poole before he was taken down by Pool keeper Colin Doyle. Winger Ryan Winder then scored the penalty.
The Seasiders regained the lead on the half hour mark when Cullen played in John Herron before he played the ball into the path of Henry Cameron who tapped the ball in from close range for 2-1. Blackpool added to their lead on 67 minutes when John Herron’s effort was parried straight into the path of Mark Cullen who was able to grab his second goal of the game.
McDonald took several positives from the opening pre-season game, telling he official site: ‘The players look as though they’re working hard for each other, which is excellent, and they look as though they’re going to help each other. We’ve seen that today, especially with the three goals we scored.’ So far there has been no word on the official site or anyone at the club on the pitch invasion but McDonald appeared to be somewhat dissatisfied that the game had come to an end early.
The performances shown by some were encouraging but the game was of course overshadowed by the pitch invasion. This is not an encouraging sign for the upcoming season and we could well see more pitch invasions in future games. Lee Clark was pushed over the edge and quit when fans invaded the pitch last season and McDonald will hardly want to stick around if this sort of thing happens regularly. As badly run as the club is, another manager leaving after a short term in charge will not help things.