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A slightly different blog today, but after Blackpool FC's Under 18s beat Newcastle United's Under 18s at Bloomfield Road on Wednesday 9 February, I thought I would write about my experiences covering the match.

The Young Seasiders - who are managed by Blackpool legend, John Murphy (pictured later in this blog) - outplayed the Young Magpies to reach the Quarter-Finals of the FA Youth Cup, meaning a trip to Stamford Bridge is on the cards to face the mighty Chelsea FC. Blackpool closed out the match in style and it was a privilege to be pitch side to photograph this fixture.

After my game on Tuesday night covering Fleetwood Town, I was left frustrated with myself and the images I produced. I know some of it was down to the awful conditions but I wanted to get back on the horse as they say and get back shooting straight away, and I am so glad I did as it does go to show that conditions can play a huge factor in the quality of work.

I made a decision to switch things around and use my Canon EOS 1DX MKII camera body on my 70-200mm f2.8 lens and put my trusted 1DX MKI body on the 300mm f2.8 lens. With using the MKI for over a year now I have somewhat become reliant on that and trust it so much that I have been hesitant to use my MKII camera for the close action / penalty area action shots, so this match was perfect to give it a try. In my head I still prefer the images from the Canon 1DX MKI but maybe it's a matter of time and also putting my own stamp on the new camera body.

Anyway, it was a trip down the road to Bloomfield Road for me and a chance to work with Adam Gee (Blackpool FC U18s photographer) again as he comes and supports me at Fleetwood Town at home matches - Here's a link to Adam's twitter page. Please do check out his images! Let's get on with the match shall we...finally haha (Report taken from Blackpool FC's Website)

"Goals from Arnold Matshazi and Jake Daniels in a comfortable game saw Blackpool cruise through to the next stage of the competition to set up a quarter-final tie at Chelsea. Both teams were up for it early and you could tell it was a cup contest.

The first proper opportunity in the game for Blackpool came when Tayt Trusty set Jake Daniels free, with Daniels’ shot going narrowly wide of the target. But then, the breakthrough. Blackpool took the lead in the 22nd minute after some nice work down the right side and a great pass from Luke Mariette, Arnold Matshazi was set free and his shot was comfortably slotted past the visiting keeper.

Just over half an hour in, Blackpool stepped up the gears a bit and began to really take the game to the team from the North East. Dannen Francis had an effort, which went over but his footwork was most impressive. Then came a second, in the 37th minute, an identical finish from Matshazi again. A great team effort from the young Seasiders saw Daniels tee up Matshazi for another slotted finish, which went in off the post.

With 20 minutes to go, Blackpool were in the ascendancy and game management was key for Murphy’s side. Blackpool were home and dry nine minutes from time when the ball fell to Daniels at the back after a mishap from Thompson in the Newcastle goal. The keeper was off his line and the striker didn’t miss the open net."

Well, let's take a look at some of the best images from the night- FOR THE FULL GALLERY, PLEASE CLICK HERE!

The European Champions Chelsea are Blackpool's next opponents and I believe it's going to be played at Stamford Bridge. Hopefully Adam and I are asked to cover the game in the capital and I will be able to shoot there for the very first time!

Thank you for reading this blog. Your support is much appreciated.


I was using my Canon EOS 1DX Mark One camera body with the Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L IS USM lens, along side my new Canon EOS 1DX MKII with the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II USM lens. I take my stadium shots and wider angle frames on either camera body, using the Canon EF 24-105mm f4 lens. If you would like to see what I use, please click on the links. If you'd like to know more on my camera set-up, please leave me message or find me on social media. Thank you!

Sam Fielding / SLF-Studios

Photographer & Videography


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