Fleetwood Town 1-1 Blackpool: Fylde Coast neighbours play out draw in bounce game
Fleetwood Town and Blackpool played out a 1-1 draw at Poolfoot Farm this afternoon in a bounce game.
Both sides featured first-teamers that didn’t get many minutes in Saturday’s opening fixtures.
The Fleetwood team included Ash Eastham, Paddy Madden and Ash Hunter, while the likes of Rocky Bushiri, Michael Nottingham, Jamie Devitt and Ryan Hardie were named in Pool’s side.
Despite featuring players that are likely to rack up a number of appearances this season, it was a game low on quality and lacking in intensity.
The match was also played in blustery conditions at Fleetwood’s training ground, which saw the hosts dominate the opening 45 minutes with the wind behind them.
Town saw a couple of early sights of goal within the opening minutes, Hunter fluffing his lines following a pullback before Ross Wallace - named on the teamsheet as a trialist - sent a long-range shot just over the bar.
In fact it was Wallace, who dictated play in the early exchanges from midfield, who opened the scoring after just 16 minutes, producing a neat turn and shot from the edge of the area with his shot flying past the outstretched dive of Christoffer Mafoumbi.
As Simon Grayson and Joey Barton watched on, the opportunities continued to come Fleetwood’s way, Daniel Mooney wasting a good chance to double his side’s lead when he could only shoot straight at Mafoumbi with his attempted lob.
Pool had to wait 20 minutes for their first sight of goal, where Devitt’s dangerous cross in from the right just eluded Adi Yussuf in the centre.
At the other end, Michael Nottingham - playing in the centre of a back three - was required to make a vital last-ditch sliding challenge to stop Madden getting a shot off at goal.
Opportunities to get into Fleetwood’s final third were few and far between for Pool in the opening half, and when they did come they usually broke down at the final hurdle.
One such opportunity came when Pool worked the ball well into the Fleetwood box only for Harry Pritchard’s attempted pull back to be cleared before Hardie could shoot at goal.
Fleetwood still had time to produce another couple of chances before the interval, Hunter flashing a dangerous low shot across the face of goal before Barry Baggley curled a low effort straight at Mafoumbi.
The second half began in quiet fashion, but on 58 minutes the Seasiders finally managed a shot on target, Devitt shooting straight at Billy Crellin.
The home side came within a whisker of extending their lead when Hunter slammed a curling free kick onto the outside of the post.
Town were made to regret another missed opportunity when Madden glanced a near-post header inches wide of the far post, with Eastham nearly managing a touch.
Hardie, who was forced to live off scraps for much of the game, was denied by an impressive stop by Crellin halfway through the second period.
But there was nothing Crellin could do to stop Michael Nottingham heading Pool level when the tall defender met Pritchard’s corner.
Both sides exchanged a couple of half chances in the final stages but in truth, the game fizzled out with neither team making too much of an effort to search for a late winner.
Fleetwood: Crellin, Jones, Eastham, Sheron, Rydel, Wallace (Smith), Sowerby, Baggley, Mooney, Madden (Saunders) Hunter.
Subs not used: Cottam, Hill, Fowler, O’Halleron
Blackpool: Mafoumbi, Bushiri, Nottingham, Anderton (Roache), Shaw, Tollitt (Ceesay) Guy, Pritchard, Devitt, Yussuf, Hardie
Subs not used: Sims, Jaaskelainen