Blackpool Ladies suffered their second league defeat of the season at the weekend, losing 2-1 to second-placed Tranmere Rovers.
The first significant action saw Rovers open the scoring, a cross from their right finished at the back post. Pool looked to hit back immediately and after Charlotte Gill had a strike cleared, May levelled matters with a top corner finish.
The hosts looked to regain their lead but Pool captain Sarah Jones cleared an effort off the line, and then a corner was headed clear at the post by May. A subsequent Tranmere effort went wide of the target, prior to an attempt on 20 minutes hitting the bar. The home side were forced into an early substitution soon after due to injury to their number nine.
A Lauren Oatley corner was headed over by Jones as Pool looked to go ahead in the game, although the players then had to deal with goalmouth scramble at the other end. On the half-hour mark, however, Tranmere restored their advantage, a ball across the box was finished at the far post by the advancing striker. Gill then went closest to scoring a desired equaliser just before the interval, forcing the home keeper into an excellent save.
Early into the second-half a dangerous ball into the box was cleared by the Rovers centre-back, in advance of Oatley. The subsequent corner was somehow cleared by the home defence after somewhat of a scramble. End to end action saw May clear a Tranmere corner at the post with Steph Findlay saving a follow up effort. At the other end Oatley’s corner was delivered across the face of goal but unfortunately for Pool nobody was able to provide the finishing touch.
On the hour mark Mac Barlow made way for Sian Dillon, the latter seeing a header cleared off the line as Pool searched for a way back. April Oldfield then played through a ball for Oatley but the keeper gathered proficiently. With Dillon’s effort on target and Oatley’s low free-kick going wide of the mark, Pool seemed unable to find the elusive equaliser. Rovers, however, were still looking to extend their lead and forced Findlay into a fine palming save.
With 10 minutes remaining Charlotte Banner replaced Gill and Jenni McGill came on for Cross soon after. A late Claire Kilner free-kick was gathered by the Tranmere keeper as the home side held on for the victory and all three points.
The Ladies next game is a home league tie against fifth-placed Bolton Wanderers on Sunday 3 March. This a must win game to maintain the pressure on league leaders Morecambe and second-placed Tranmere.
Team: Findlay, May, Turnbull. Jones (Capt), Perrett, Gill, Kilner, Oldfield, Cross, Barlow, Oatley.
Subs: Banner, McGill, Dillon.