Blackpool FC Ladies finished off their season in style with a fine 5-2 victory over Crewe Alexandra at Bloomfield Road yesterday.
The Seasiders started brightly by taking an early lead, Sian Dillon scoring at the far post after some good work by Jenni McGill. Dillon would have had other opportunities but for the alertness of the visiting keeper, who gathered proficiently in advance of her. Danni Cross then had a shot on target from an April Oldfield ball down the line.
On 23 minutes Morecambe levelled the scores, with James equalising from just inside the penalty area. Just after the half-hour mark Oldfield’s pass to Cross forced the Crewe keeper into making a good save, before Cross put another shot on target. Crewe also pushed to try and take the lead but James fired over. The sides therefore remained level at the interval.
In the second-half Crewe were the first to attack but the threat was well defended by the Pool backline. On 50 minutes an excellent turn and through ball from Emma Perrett afforded Cross the opportunity to finish and re-establish Blackpool's lead. Oldfield nearly made it three moments later but her strike hit the crossbar.
Just before the hour mark Mac Barlow replaced Cross and the Ladies soon scored their third of the game, Banner converting from the penalty spot following a foul on Dillon. A foul on Barlow then saw a Jones free-kick spilled by the Crewe keeper and Banner was on hand to score her second and Blackpool's fourth of the afternoon.
On 64 minutes Gill made way for Claire Kilner. Crewe searched for another goal, a dangerous cross going across the box but fortunately for Pool nobody following in with Oatley safely gathering a subsequent cross. With Olivia Turnbull intercepting a number of the visitor’s attacks in midfield it was the Crewe keeper who was next called into action out well in front of Dillon. Kilner then had an effort wide, with Mariella Hemmingway then replacing Gaby May.
On 76 minutes Pool made it five, a Jones ball over the top was met by McGill who rounded the keeper to finish. Dillon saw an effort go wide before Crewe pulled a goal back, a well struck effort from distance hitting the crossbar then falling kindly for their striker to finish. Just before the final whistle an injury to Kilner saw the Ladies see out the remaining minutes with ten players, having made all allowable substitutions.
Team: Oatley, May, Banner, Jones (Capt), Oldfield, Perrett, Turnbull, Gill, McGill, Dillon, Cross
Subs: Barlow, Kilner, Hemmingway, Walford, Lyng
With rivals Morecambe drawing at Bolton, the three points took the Ladies back to the top of the table and assured them of runners up position, with Tranmere needing two points from their final two games to be crowned champions.