An Evening By The Sea.

Our first venture into the newly formatted Check-a-trade Trophy takes us to Bloomfield Road and another August cup clash with Blackpool.

I'm not sure what enjoyment The FA and Football League take from messing about with cup competitions but they seem to do it pretty regular.  The latest edition of the League Cup with a North and South draw, draws made in the middle of the night and new penalty systems is a joke and what was already a competition the big clubs disrespect is now worse than before. Another piece of genius is the new Checkatrade Trophy replacing The Johnstones Paint Trophy that we reached the Northern Semi Final of two seasons ago.

As you will no doubt be aware by now, the competition incorporates a group stage and contains additional teams in the form of Premier League U23s sides.  If I was Paul Cook I would play our U23 side, but of course the Football League clubs are bound by rules that say they are unable to do that.  That isn't the only change to the competition as we last knew it though.  As we are playing under a group system should the match end in a draw each side will pick up 1 point.  They will then have a penalty shootout to decide who gets an additional point.  So basically you can draw the game and come away with 2 points if you win your shootout.  It's getting as bad as The Emirates Cup where the only unbeaten side who finished with a 100% record failed to win the tournament as there were points available for goals scored.  At least that has the excuse of being a pre-season competition for stupid rules like that, but this is a pretty major trophy to some of the sides in it.  In 1999 I thought that would be the only chance I would get to see us lift a trophy at Wembley and for some clubs it probably will be.  Just leave it as a North/South knockout competition like it has been for so long and worked.

No doubt Cook will make plenty of changes tonight and may resort to the "second string" side that we have seen in the cup competitions so far.  Blackpool were probably the better side in the League Cup meeting between the sides and very nearly forced extra time so this will be a good test for whichever side we send out but it would be good to give the "reserves" another run because the fitter we keep the squad the better for us should we need to make changes during the season due to injury or more likely suspension looking at the number of red cards we have picked up this season so far.  Whilst we have no game on Saturday I still doubt we will see the likes of Nick Powell, Michael Jacobs and Gavin Massey who will take a well earned rest after an unbeaten start to the league campaign.

Whilst I would give the fringe players a run out in this competition I would still like to win it a third time alongside the league title.  Not sure "the Cheackatrade Trophy, we've won it three times" has the same ring to it though.


Gary Bowyer has done a great job at Bloomfield Road getting then back into League One at the first time of asking and hopefully he can keep them here for a few years as the club really needs stability.  I fear for them every time they drop a division because they can't have too much funding coming into the club from match tickets, shirt sales and the little things that clubs like ourselves rely on.  Whenever people complain about Dave Whelan and how he runs our club, the Oystons are 
the "look what we could have won" example that I use.  We don't know how lucky we are with Whelan and what he has done for us.

Bowyer has got The Tangerines playing some good football and it's a shame again that they play in front of crowds so small that are usually outnumbered by the visiting fans and may even be tonight despite us taking severely less than we will do in October for the league fixture.



League One

P 4
W 2
D 1
L 1
F 7
A 6
GD 1
Pts 7

Pos 8th

Last Game: v Oldham (H) W 2-1.

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