Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Blackpool: Seasiders play out drab goalless draw in front of TV cameras

Liam Feeney came closest to scoring for the Seasiders
Liam Feeney came closest to scoring for the Seasiders
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Blackpool laboured to a goalless draw away at Bolton in a dull, actionless game of football played in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

READ MORE: Bolton Wanderers v Blackpool as it happened

The Seasiders were unable to penetrate Bolton’s stubborn backline with clear-cut chances few and far between for both sides.

The only genuine chance came Blackpool’s way, which Liam Feeney spurned by striking the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.

Pool were pedestrian throughout and struggled for creativity once again, but they were able to hold on for their third clean sheet of the campaign.

The result, which sees Simon Grayson’s men move up to fourth in the table, also extends their unbeaten run to four games.

Grayson made just the one change to his side from the 2-1 win against Lincoln City, replacing Jordan Thompson in midfield with Callum Guy.

Thompson missed out having been called up to Northern Ireland’s squad for their international double header.

Nathan Delfouneso, Sullay Kaikai and Joe Nuttall remained sidelined with injuries, while youth-team striker Ewan Bange was rewarded for his recent goalscoring form for the reserves by being named on the bench.

Although the game took some time to spark into life, that didn’t stop the travelling Blackpool fans from producing a raucous atmosphere in the opening stages.

The first real glimpse of goalmouth action came the way of the home side after 15 minutes, when tricky winger Thibaud Verlinden saw a shot blocked by Guy on the edge of the area.

Tall defender Jack Hobbs was the next Bolton man to have a sniff at goal, seeing his header from a corner easily claimed by Jak Alnwick.

All of a sudden, the Seasiders burst into life and came within a whisker of taking the lead on 18 minutes.

It came via a wayward shot from Guy, the midfielder’s skewed effort reaching Liam Feeney at the back post but, with the goal at his mercy, the winger could only brush his shot off the crossbar.

Pool threatened again four minutes later, the ball falling kindly for Matty Virtue 10 yards from goal but the midfielder’s first-time effort was well blocked by Hobbs.

Bolton’s first real chance came the way of experienced striker Daryl Murphy, who was denied by an important save from Alnwick after being slipped in down the left.

The end-to-end nature of the game continued, with Virtue’s low shot being well claimed by Bolton keeper Remi Matthews when Armand Gnanduillet was in space to his left.

In Jordan Thompson’s absence, it was left to Virtue to play in a more advanced midfielder’s role and it was one he was relishing, almost getting on the end of Feeney’s ball in from the right.

Alnwick was called into action five minutes before the break to get a vital touch to Ali Crawford’s long-range free kick, tipping is around the post.

Bolton, searching for their first win of the season, threatened from the resulting corner, Pool just about scrambling the ball away from their six-yard box ahead of Murphy who was ready to pounce.

The first chance of the second half came the way of Blackpool through the unlikely source of James Husband.

The left back was allowed to cut inside and, with space opening up for him, his eyes would have lit up but his shot was straight at Matthews.

Fresh from bringing on former Blackpool loanee Joe Dodoo, the Trotters went close to breaking the deadlock 10 minutes into the second period as a Blackpool defender headed narrowly past the near post.

Dodoo then went close for the home side, heading wide of goal after timing his jump well to meet Verlinden’s cross.

The Seasiders, meanwhile, were really struggling to make the ball stick in the final third, with the pace of Delfouneso and Kaikai a big miss.

Bolton remained a threat, with Dodoo going close with a couple of chances in quick succession.

His low shot was fumbled by Alnwick leading to the ball returning to the forward, who then drilled narrowly wide of the far post.

Grayson knew he had to change things up and that’s what he did halfway through the second half by replacing the largely anonymous Sean Scannell with Ryan Hardie.

We had to wait until the 70th minute for Pool to create a chance and even then it wasn’t particularly clear, with Jay Spearing stabbing well wide after Feeney’s cross had been cleared to him.

Gnanduillet was then set free down the left a minute later, but the striker blazed his shot well over the bar it actually ended up nestling in the upper tier where the Blackpool fans were housed.

Space began to open up for the Seasiders in the final stages but there was no conviction whatsoever when it came to the final ball.

Grayson’s men forced some late pressure by winning four corners in quick succession, but it was all to no avail.

TEAMS

Bolton: Matthews, Emmanuel, Lowe, Zouma, Hobbs, Chicksen, Bridcutt (Graham), Crawford, Politic (Dodoo), Verlinden, D. Murphy

Subs not used: Alexander, Darcy, Boon, Senior, King-Harmes

Blackpool: Alnwick, Turton, Heneghan, Tilt, Husband, Spearing, Guy, Virtue, Feeney, Scannell (Hardie), Gnanduillet

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Bushiri, Edwards, Nottingham, Macdonald, Bange

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 14,003 (2,164 Blackpool)