Pete Tonge reflects on Northwich Victoria's 3-3 draw at FC Blackpool in Saturday's pre-season friendly...

A MATCH played in sweltering conditions proved to be somewhat of a slow burner before igniting in the last 20 minutes or so.

Vics started off well as both sides tried to push forward, and only a marginal offside denied Vics a goal early on.

However, in the 16th minute, Jacob Gregory for AFC Blackpool received the ball on the edge of the Vics' area, turned well and fired in a strike into the bottom left of the goal to give AFC the advantage.

Gregory tried another effort in the 24th minute but this time Chris Cheetham in the Vics' net was equal to it.

Vics had plenty of the ball but little penetration up front, content to pass sideways rather than forward, and it wasn't until the 40th minute that they had a shot which went over the bar.

Vics came out for the second half with a spring in their step and equalised within two minutes.

A cross into the box was weakly headed out to the left angle where Ryan Winder took one touch and fired it into the opposite corner.

Three minutes later, it should have been two for Vics, as a corner was allowed to bounce in the box to Roman Allen who headed against the bar from two yards out.

The match had livened up considerably now, and AFC Blackpool went close with a header in the 60th minute before taking the lead again a minute later, as that man Gregory did well down the right, cut in and fired a shot which was slightly deflected past Cheetham.

Vics weren't behind for long this time as in the 67th minute, a corner was half cleared out into the path of the onrushing Ash Dunn, who beat one man and fired in a cracking shot which the keeper had no chance with.

However, Blackpool came immediately back, and re-took the lead as Josh Winder did well to steal the ball, and find Ric Seear who finished well.

Vics were pushing forward and nearly equalised again in the 75th minute as a superb curving cross from youngster Bailey Sherlock just evaded Dunn at the far post.

It was all Vics now, and even defender Brandon Barski fancied his chances as he dribbled his way through the Blackpool defence before unleashing a powerful shot, unfortunately just straight at the keeper.

Vics' determination paid off however, as they earned a corner in the last minute of injury time, and it fell to Jan McPherson who fired home emphatically to tie the match up at 3-3.

Tomorrow, Vics host City of Liverpool at the U Lock It Stadium, kick off 7.45pm