Blackpool FC Community Trust – FA People’s Cup (Regional Finals)
On Sunday 31st January 2016 Blackpool FC Community Trust 7-aside ‘Pan-Ability’ team took part in the Lancashire ‘regional final’ of the FA People’s Cup which was held at Lancashire FA. It was the first time BFCCT had entered a team into the competition so the day was exciting from the off.
The Blackpool Pan-Ability teams are made up with individuals who mostly have disabilities such as Mild Learning Disability, Severe Learning Disability and Deaf but do have participants who have various other impairments such as Autism, Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Amputations. With this in mind they were entered into the ‘disability’ section of the event.
The team were one of six teams who entered the competition on a wet and windy Sunday morning. They faced very tough competition from Sir Tom Finney A/B team, Manchester City FC Amputees, Everton FC Amputees and AFC Masters White. The competition was set up in a league format with the top four teams going through to the semi-finals, and winners of the semi-finals competing for the trophy.
The BFCCT team faced Sir Tom Finney ‘A’ in the first fixture of the day which the narrowly lost 1-0 although BFCCT had the majority of pressure and chances throughout the match, they couldn’t find away through a stubborn and well organised Sir Tom Finney side. The second fixture was against Sir Tom Finney ‘B’ which seen the team come out comfortable 2-0 winners in a very confident display.
The next two fixtures featured against two excellent sides in the form of Everton FC Amputees and Man City FC Amputees. The first game vs Everton was played 6v6 due to the opposition only fielding 6 players which the BFCCT team agreed, out of sportsmanship, to play with one less as well. After huffing and puffing the team eventually scored a marvellous twenty yard rocket resulting in a 1-0 win. The side then secured another 1-0 win in a very tough game vs Manchester City FC Amputees.
In the final match of the day, the team won 3-0 against AFC Masters White leaving BFCCT to finish top of the group and progress on to the semi-finals where they again met 6 man Everton FC Amputees. The BFCCT team played with six players and managed to win 3-1 after scoring two late goals.
The final of the FA People’s Cup (regional section) beckoned. The BFCCT team would face Sir Tom Finney ‘A’ who were the only unbeaten team in the competition and the only team to beat BFCCT in the group stage. The game kicked off with both teams very nervous and not retaining any great deal of possession, the scoring was opened after 4 minutes when BFCCT striker Matty Tuggard spun and smashed his shot low into the bottom left corner (1-0). Regaining possession straight from kick off, the Blackpool team then went on to score again this time another low effort from Curtis McDonagh beat the keeper from close range. The result was sealed for BFCCT on the 10th minute after another cracking strike, from distance, from Heritage which made the scoreline 3-0, this ensured Blackpool FC Community Trust pan ability team had won the competition.
Congratulations to all members of the Blackpool FC Pan Ability ‘7-aside’ team who won the regional final of The FA People’s Cup, they will now take part in the National Final which will be held in the coming months.