Second Division Blackpool left Home Park with
heads bowed after being well and truly scuppered by their former striker,
Rafferty, in devastating form, savaged his old
club by rapping in both goals to complete yet another great personal triumph.
He struck once in each half and that was enough to send his old buddies away
wondering what hit them.
So once again Rafferty takes the hero's acclaim
for finishing off the enemy with the golden touches that send Argyle
plundering on seeking even bigger giants to cut down to size. The ruthless
Scot has grabbed crucial goals in each of the three rounds to date to hoist
his personal League and Cup tally to 19.
His positive contribution in the Blackpool
penalty area was as important as ever, but don't run away with the idea that
this victory stemmed purely from one man's gifted opportunism. Argyle needed
every player chasing relentlessly and toiling unselfishly to compete.
Defensively, Argyle reigned supreme. They
suffered a few moments of stress during the opening minutes of sparring but
grew in strength and authority. They made the occasional mistake but recovered
with the quickness and alertness to make it doubly difficult for Blackpool to
find any productive areas where they might hope, sooner or later, to exploit a
But the real impetus to keep going as
enthusiastically as ever came from the tremendous work of Peter Hardcastle,
slotting in energetically again for the injured Colin Randell, and John Delve,
who raced round the field winning the ball with regular success and setting up
attack after attack with astute passes.
Hardcastle also enjoyed himself immensely
against his old club and the crowd expected the worse when he was carried off
ominously on a stretcher in the 75th minute after a mis-timed tackle caught
him ankle-high. But no bones were broken and it was revealed afterwards that
the player had needed five stitches inserted in a gash on his ankle.
Mike Green set Rafferty up for his first goal.
His long clearance sent the striker off down the middle to torment the one and
only Blackpool defender blocking his path. Rafferty, thinking and plotting
ahead, beat off the challenge by swaying to his left and picking his spot with
a crisp, low shot from the 18-yard line.
The pressure intensified and another Argyle
goal looked imminent. It came in the 60th minute when the impish Delve turned
up trumps again in the the goal-mouth to head on a corner from Brian Johnson.
The ball went up over the heads beyond to the far post where Rafferty, with an
ambitious back-heel flick, surprised everyone in the ground by finding the net
with the deftest of touches.
- Fumell; Hore, Burrows, Saxton, Green, Delve, Hardcastle (Rogers), Johnson,
Mariner, Rafferty, McAuley.
- Burridge; Curtis, Bentley, Hatton, Hart, Alcock, Moore (Tong), Ainscow,
Walsh, Davies, Evanson.
Argyle - Rafferty (2)
Mr. A. Hamil (Wolverhampton)