Blackpool drop to the bottom of the Championship as winless run continues with Rotherham United draw

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Blackpool have dropped to the bottom of the Championship table after playing out a scrappy goalless draw against relegation rivals Rotherham United.
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As advertised prior to kick-off, this was an ugly battle between two sides down at the wrong end of the Championship with very little quality on show.

Neither side were able to fashion a clear-cut chance of sorts, although Rotherham did come closest to breaking the deadlock with a free-kick that clipped the outside of the post.

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Josh Bowler was kept quiet in the main as Blackpool failed to breach Rotherham's backlineJosh Bowler was kept quiet in the main as Blackpool failed to breach Rotherham's backline
Josh Bowler was kept quiet in the main as Blackpool failed to breach Rotherham's backline

Otherwise it was yet another frustrating day at the office for the Seasiders, who are now without a win in their last 13 league games.

Had Blackpool completed their aim and got back to winning ways, they would have reduced the gap to the Millers to just two points. But it remains at five.

Mick McCarthy’s side now have just 16 games to somehow find enough points to salvage their Championship status.

With Wigan Athletic beating Huddersfield Town, McCarthy’s men now drop to the foot of the table.

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Josh Bowler was rewarded for his starring role in midweek with a start on his favoured right wing after making a big impact off the bench during the 2-2 draw against Huddersfield Town.

The winger helped set up Andy Lyons’ goal before smashing home Blackpool’s dramatic last-minute equaliser as the 10-man Seasiders salvaged what could turn out to be a vital point.

Bowler was one of three changes, with Andy Lyons also handed a start after his impressive cameo off the bench against the Terriers.

Jordan Thorniley was also drafted back in having been left out completely against Huddersfield.

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The defender replaced Curtis Nelson, who was left out of the squad altogether for an as yet unknown reason.

As for Lyons, he replaced Charlie Goode who has returned to Brentford for scans on the hamstring injury he suffered on Tuesday night.

Gary Madine missed out through suspension after being handed a four-match ban for the straight red card he was shown against the Terriers.

Jordan Gabriel returned from injury to be named on the substitute’s bench, which also included younger Rob Apter.

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For the second time in five days, the home faithful brought the noise - the North Stand roaring on McCarthy’s men right from kick-off.

As advertised, the game began as a real scrap, with very little football being played but every player on the pitch competing for every ball and every inch of space.

It was only a half chance, but the game’s first opportunity came Blackpool’s way as Sonny Carey scuffed a shot straight at goalkeeper Viktor Johansson after Josh Bowler’s initial effort had been blocked.

Bowler was involved again a few moments later when he was picked out in space on the right, only to shoot harmlessly wide after being forced onto his weaker right foot.

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As if Blackpool hadn’t suffered enough injury hell this season, they were dealt another hammerblow midway through the first-half when Tom Trybull was forced to hobble off.

The midfielder, who was replaced by Charlie Patino, looked understandably devastated as he made his way off the pitch.

There was further concern for the Seasiders when Chris Maxwell continued to hold his groin, which caused Dan Grimshaw to warm up. But Maxwell was able to continue.

The atmosphere at this point had become muted, with neither set of fans given much to cheer about with no real chances of note to spark the excitement.

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In the 36th minute, applause broke out for Blackpool supporter Lee Howarth, who tragically passed away at the age of 36 last week.

Another half chance came Blackpool’s way shortly afterwards when a loose ball fell for CJ Hamilton inside the box, but he wasn’t able to make the required contact and the opportunity went begging.

On the stroke of half-time Callum Connolly produced a heroic block to keep the scoreline level, putting his body on the line to stop Ollie Rathbone’s goalbound effort.

The Seasiders had the ball in the back of the net in first-half stoppage-time when Jerry Yates steered home after James Husband had climbed above his marker to head back across the face of goal.

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But unfortunately for McCarthy’s men, Yates’ finish against his old club was met by the linesman’s raised flag for offside.

The second-half continued very much in the same vein, with both sides still struggling to carve any openings of note.

But the game’s clearest chance, up to this point, came the way of Rotherham as full-back Cohen Bramall clipped the outside of the post with a 25-yard free-kick which had Maxwell scrambling across his goal.

We had to wait until the 65th minute for Blackpool’s first chance of the second period, which was well saved by Johnannson as substitute Charlie Patino tried his luck with a half volley from outside the box.

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The second-half was a non-event, but Rotherham looked the more likely and came close with just 15 minutes remaining.

Ollie Rathbone tried his luck from the edge of the box with a shot that looked to be heading in, but Maxwell did superbly to fly across his goal and make the save.

The Seasiders hit back with a chance of their own as Jordan Thorniley’s shot was blocked inside the six-yard box after the visitors had failed to clear their lines from a corner.

Five minutes from time, Pool wasted a good chance to finally break the deadlock when Bowler fizzed a dangerous low ball across the face of the six-yard box which substitute Morgan Rogers was inches away from steering home.

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The Seasiders tried in vain to find a dramatic, last-gasp equaliser and they nearly found it only for Yates to be thwarted by Johansoon deep into stoppage-time.

It could have ended badly though, with Chiedozie Ogbene crashing a long-range effort against the crossbar in another dramatic ending to the game.


Blackpool: Maxwell, Lyons, Connolly, Thorniley, Husband, Trybull (Patino), Dougall, Carey, Bowler, Hamilton (Rogers), Yates

Subs not used: Grimshaw, Thompson, Gabriel, Apter, Poveda

Rotherham: Johansson, Peltier, Hall, Humphreys, Bramall, Coventry, Odoffin (Quina), Rathbone, Ogbene, Fosu, Hugill (Eaves)

Subs not used: Vickers, Wright, Harding, Ferguson, Washington

Referee: Josh Smith

Attendance: 12,262