NELSON FOOTBALL - Disappointing week!

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THE best and the worst was how Nelson manager John Bailey described his team's performances this week.

The Blues were narrowly beaten 3-2 by UniBond First Division side Bishop Auckland in an entertaining game on Saturday in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

However, on Tuesday, Nelson produced an abject display against Blackpool Mechanics in the North West Counties' Second Division to lose 2-1.

Bailey said: "It's been a disappointing week, especially Tuesday night.

"I was a little bit disappointed on Saturday but I thought we played quite well.

"It was a good performance overall against a side from two divisions above us.

"But we never got going first half on Tuesday, we played a bit better second half but they defended in numbers."

Nelson are back on cup duty tomorrow when they welcome Curzon Ashton to Victoria Park in the first qualifying round of the Carlsberg FA Vase.

Bailey added: "They have not had a great start to the season but I'll be looking for a big improvement on Tuesday's display, especially the first 45 minutes."

Nelson travel to Oldham Town on Tuesday.

<b>Nelson 1 : Blackpool Mechanics 2</b>

AFTER two weeks of FA Cup action, it took Nelson half of this game to come to terms with their North West Counties Second Division opponents, by which time Blackpool had built a two-goal lead.

The visitors grabbed the initiative with a goal after just five minutes when Robert Moore stole in at the far post to head home a cross from the by-line.

Worse was to follow, as Nelson tried to build from midfield, they were caught out, with Moore breaking clear from the halfway line to score Mechanics' second goal past a helpless Billy Carrington.

Within a minute, Kieran Roberts fired a shot against the Blackpool crossbar, but it was destined to be an unlucky night for the Blues, with striker Carl Howarth out of touch.

Moore almost had a hat-trick after 37 minutes when he headed a high cross onto the Nelson crossbar, while at the other end Howarth saw his shot at goal scrambled away off the line.

John Bailey tested the Blackpool keeper just after the interval with a great 25-yarder that had to be turned over the bar, and Nelson pulled one back ten minutes into the second half with a well-worked goal.

Brad Pates and Glen Little found a way through the Blackpool defence and released Dave Gray, who beat the keeper with a low shot to reduce the arrears.

As the hosts tried desperately to find an equaliser, their best chance fell to Kieran Roberts on 75 minutes when he controlled the ball in the goalmouth, only to see his shot cannon wide off a defender.

As the visitors defended stubbornly, the Blues had a penalty appeal waved away in the closing stages but never really looked convincing against a well-organised Blackpool side.

<b>Nelson 2 : Bishop Auckland 3</b>

NELSON deserved more from this game against UniBond opposition in the FA cup preliminary round at Victoria Park on Saturday.

The Blues deservedly led twice with goals by strikers Carl Howarth and Dave Gray, and, with a little more composure, would surely have held on to take the tie.

Nelson took control of the game from the start and hardly gave the visitors a sniff of the ball in the first half, while creating plenty of openings themselves.

Lee Coldridge should have put the Blues in front after 25 minutes but shot wide from a great opportunity after Howath had set him up.

Howarth himself ran clear just two minutes later, but allowed keeper Keith Finch to block his shot at the expense of a corner.

On the half-hour the young striker made amends when he finished off a great move to put Nelson 1-0 up.

Bishop Auckland hit back to even the score at 1-1 just one minute later, the goal coming from Gustavo Dilella who turned a low cross into the Nelson net.

In the second half the action was end to end with Brad Pates forcing a good save from the visiting keeper and Simon Burrows saving well from Bishop's Steve Jones.

After 63 minutes the Blues regained the lead when Mick Molyneux forced his way to the by-line, and his low cross was met by Gray who slotted home a great goal.

Bishop Auckland once again drew level after 72 minutes when Wayne Edgecumbe drove in a low free-kick which keeper Burrows could not hold, and Craig Wilkinson forced home the rebound to make it 2-2.

Nelson were hit on the counter attack after 82 minutes when the Blues defence were beaten by speculative ball played down the right wing which fell perfectly for Wilkinson to strike an immaculate shot just inside the far post for the winning goal.

Nelson were in no way humbled and can be well pleased with their performance on the day - and with their first appearance in the FA cup for 34 years.