Division Three

BlackpoolvPreston45021 January ~ There is surely a trivia quiz question along the lines of: "How many players have scored the winning goal in a Lancashire derby after coming on as a substitute to replace someone who had already come on as a substitute?" I doubt even Google would be much help.

You will be enlightened to know, however, that at least one of the players in the answer would be Blackpool's Chris Thompson, who in this fixture replaced Keith Walwyn, who in turn had been a sub for Colin Methven. Thompson scored and Blackpool took the three points.

Was the second substitution the result of an injury, or a tactical masterstroke on the part of manager Sam Ellis? Either way, the goal proved decisive at the end of the season as Blackpool escaped relegation by a single point. Preston, on the other hand, snuck into the play-offs, where they lost to third-placed Port Vale, who'd finished 12 points ahead of them.

Meanwhile, former Bolton and Blackburn striker Thompson retired two years later at 31. In 2012 his decomposed body was found in his flat several weeks after his death, aged just 52. The coroner pinpointed cirrhosis of the liver as the likely cause, but Thompson had also suffered from depression.

The news wasn't much more cheerful for Blackpool fans reading this programme back in 1989. Both the Reserves and the “A” team had lost all four of their recent games, but at least the excuses were good. "We conceded a very dubious goal to an offside decision that we felt was a good three yards offside in only the second minute," explains the match report of the Stiffs' 3-0 loss at Stoke. The “A” team's 1-0 loss to Marine was not really a defeat due to the blustery conditions, where "the wind was really the winner". No doubt Marine were happy to concede the three points to the delighted elements.

Finally, when the Reserves were 3-0 down at half-time at home to Notts County, it was purely down to "goals which you would expect only schoolboys to concede". Blackpool's second string came back after half-time, but still lost 4-2. "It would all have been so different," concludes the report, but doesn't elaborate why. If. Just if.

Targeting the fan demographic "Enjoy the BIG 6." What, a struggling Third Division side is encouraging its fans to go and watch First Division football instead? No, the Big 6 refers, of course, to Stones Best Bitter, Bass Light, Carling Black Label, Tennents Extra, Bass Mild and Tennents Pilsner. Yes, that Big 6.

Result Blackpool 1 (Thompson) Preston 0

Crowd 8,951

Blackpool Siddall, Burgess, Morgan, Gore, Methven (Walwyn (Thompson)), Elliott, Davies, Cunningham, Garner, Deary, Madden

Preston Tunks, Williams, Rathbone (McAteer), Jones, Wrightson, Hughes, Mooney, Joyce, Ellis, Brazil, Patterson

Ian Plenderleith

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