MATCH REPORT: Grimsby 0-0 Blackpool

Kyle Vassell had two great shots saved by Grimsby 'keeper Dean Henderson .
Kyle Vassell had two great shots saved by Grimsby 'keeper Dean Henderson .
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Blackpool were left to rue a host of missed chances as they battled to a 0-0 draw at Grimsby Town - their third clean sheet in a row on the road.

The Seasiders had three or four clear opportunities to pick up a vital three points to end the year on the high in their New Year’s Eve fixture at Blundell Park.

But Grimsby ‘keeper Dean Henderson was on top form to keep Pool at bay, especially Kyle Vassell who had two shots well saved by the Manchester United loanee.

But the key talking point from the game was the referee’s decision not to award a penalty after Bright Osayi-Samuel was brought down by Henderson in the penalty area, where there appeared to be clear contact.

The game started in a slow fashion with the ball being contested in the middle of the park, although it was the Seasiders who looked the more settled side in the opening stages.

The hosts were content to play out from the back but had little joy trying to find a way through a stubborn defensive unit.

The first opportunity of the game took 20 minutes to come but it almost brought the first goal of the afternoon for the Seasiders.

It came via a swift counter attack following a long throw into their own box, but Brad Potts found Kyle Vassell in a three-on-one situation but the striker’s shot - which looked destined for the bottom corner - was superbly tipped wide of the post.

The Mariners grew into the game as the half wore on as they began to win the second balls.

Luke Summerfield had his side’s first chance of the game as he shot straight at Sam Slocombe from the edge of the Blackpool box.

Grimsby fans thought their side had taken the lead when Danny Andrew caught out Slocombe with a quick free kick, but it was a player who ended up in the back of the net and not the ball.

The highly rated Omar Bogle then was given too much space to turn inside the Blackpool box, but could only shoot low down to Slocombe’s left.

The most contentious action of the first half came just minutes before the half-time whistle, with Bright Osayi-Samuel going down in the box after taking the ball past goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

But manager Gary Bowyer was left furious after referee Darren England waved away any penalty claims and instead decided to book the young winger for his protests.

Pool began the second half on the front foot and Osayi-Samuel brought an early save out of Henderson.

Henderson was at full stretch to deny Vassell for the second time in the game, tipping the striker’s shot from range wide of goal.

The game became more open and Dominic Vose went close to breaking the deadlock with a looping effort that narrowly missed the far post.

Pool wasted another good opportunity with Mark Cullen glancing a free header wide of the far post after some superb build-up play from Kelvin Mellor and Osayi-Samuel down the right.

The visitors continued to pile on the pressure and Osayi-Samuel saw his shot blocked after quick one-twos with Vassell and Cullen.

Cullen himself had a gilt-edged chance to score his third in four games, but blazed over on his left foot after Grimsby had given the ball away from their own throw.

The final stages fizzled out as both sides seemed content for a draw, although Danny Collins almost got himself onto the end of a teasing free-kick into Pool's six yard box in the final minute of injury time.

Grimsby: Henderson, Andrew, Pearson, Collins, Mills, Bolarinwa, Summerfield (Disley), Comley, Chambers (Jackson), Vose, Bogle

Subs not used: McKeown, Davies, Gowling, Vernon, Jones

Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor, Potts, Payne (Cain), McAlister, Osayi-Samuel (Philliskirk), Cullen (Matt), Vassell

Subs not used: Lyness, Aimson, Pugh, Gnanduillet

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 5,637 (242)