AFC Wimbledon 0-0 Blackpool: Seasiders end 2018 with dull stalemate to end losing run

Blackpool's Nathan Delfouneso under pressure from AFC Wimbledon's Terell Thomas
Blackpool's Nathan Delfouneso under pressure from AFC Wimbledon's Terell Thomas
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Blackpool were made to rue a handful of missed chances as they ended their three-game losing streak with a dull stalemate at AFC Wimbledon.

Blackpool were made to rue a handful of missed chances as they ended their three-game losing streak with a dull stalemate at AFC Wimbledon.

The Seasiders’ final game of 2018 ended with a 0-0 draw at Kingsmeadow in what was a game low on both quality and goalmouth action.

But those chances that did emerge came Pool’s way, with Armand Gnanduillet missing at least three presentable opportunities.

But the clearest opportunity of the afternoon fell to substitute Harry Pritchard who blazed over from close range.

The result means Blackpool stay in eighth, eight points off the play-off places in League One.

Terry McPhillips made two changes to his Blackpool side for the clash, one of them enforced with Jordan Thompson serving the first game of his three-match suspension.

Chris Taylor was the man to take his place in midfield, with John O’Sullivan also coming into the side to replace Liam Feeney, who dropped down to the bench.

Curtis Tilt, Ollie Turton and Donervon Daniels all remain unavailable for selection, with Daniels missing through personal reasons.

Tilt and Turton are still injured but it is hoped they will be fit enough to return for Pool's game against Sunderland on New Year's Day.

Youth team midfielder Nathan Shaw was named among the substitutes.

The Seasiders almost edged ahead just four minutes in, Pool’s top scorer Armand Gnanduillet bringing a good save out of Dons keeper Tom King.

It came after Nathan Delfouneso had done well to play Marc Bola in down the left, the left back lofting a cross to Gnanduillet whose powerful downward header was well dealt with by King down to his left.

King made another fine save quarter of an hour in, getting across his goal to tip Chris Taylor’s deflected first-time hit from the edge of the area.

The chances kept on coming for Pool, with Ben Heneghan heading wide of the far post from Jay Spearing’s corner.

Despite coming into the game on the back of two straight wins, the Dons looked second best early on and were overly reliant on long punts and set-piece deliveries.

One of those free kicks brought their first chance of the game just before the half-hour marks, Andy Barcham sending a weak effort straight at Mark Howard after a bit of pinball in the Blackpool box.

The Dons continued to up the pressure just before the interval, forcing three corners in quick succession.

The last of these resulted in a clear opportunity for Wimbledon defender Terell Thomas, who somehow failed to hit the target despite being allowed to roam unmarked at the back post.

It was the home side who were looking the most dangerous at the start of the second half, with Howard called into action to get down and claim Barcham’s dangerous pullback.

Pool’s first opening of the second period fell to Gnanduillet, who met Spearing’s free kick inside the Dons box but could only direct it straight at King.

The Seasiders wasted a glorious chance to break the deadlock 17 minutes from time, substitute Harry Pritchard blazing over from close range.

It came after Delfouneso had put it on a plate for the midfielder inside the six-yard box but Pritchard somehow managed to side foot up and over the crossbar.

A minute later, and down the other end of the pitch, Howard was forced to make a vital save to keep Pool on level terms as he denied Thomas.

With the game beginning to open up, Gnanduillet came close for the Seasiders again as he got a deft touch on Spearing’s teasing cross but, unfortunately for McPhillips’ men, it looped agonisingly wide of the near post.

Pool almost won it in the third minute of stoppage time in bizarre circumstances as a Wimbledon defender almost headed into his own net from Callum Guy’s corner.

But that proved to be the last action of what was a poor game, with both sides left to settle for a point.

TEAMS

Wimbledon: King, Watson (Sibbick), Nightingale, Thomas, Purrington, Jervis (Burey) Hartigan (Soares), Wordsworth, Barcham, Pinnock, Appiah

Subs not used: McDonnell, Garratt, Kalambayi, Wood

Blackpool: Howard, Nottingham, Heneghan, O'Connor, Bola, Spearing (Davies), Guy, Taylor (Feeney), O'Sullivan (Pritchard), Delfouneso, Gnanduillet

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Bunney, McLaughlin, Shaw

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 4,416 (321 Blackpool)