MATCH REPORT: Milton Keynes 0-0 Blackpool

Viv Solomon-Otabor went close for Blackpool at the start of the second half
Viv Solomon-Otabor went close for Blackpool at the start of the second half
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Blackpool edged another point to safety as they played out a bore draw with relegation strugglers MK Dons.

While the game was low on action, the Seasiders had a massive chance to win it in the final minute of the game when Sean Longstaff smashed an effort against the crossbar.

Pool skipper Jimmy Ryan in the thick of the action

Pool skipper Jimmy Ryan in the thick of the action

Viv Solomon-Otabor had earlier gone close at the start of the second half when he was left unmarked at the back post but he could only side foot over the bar.

The home side did have their chances though, but Pool keeper Joe Lumley made a string of fine stops to earn himself a clean sheet.

Pool had to withstand some pressure from the home side in the final 20 minutes of the match but they stood firm to claim their second consecutive draw.

The point takes Blackpool up to 14th in the league table and, thanks to Fleetwood’s win against Northampton, extends the gap to the bottom four to seven points with just eight games to play.

Two of those matches come next week in the Easter double header, where Gary Bowyer’s men host Doncaster Rovers on Friday before making the short trip to Oldham three days later.

Nathan Delfouneso returned to Blackpool’s starting line-up having missed last weekend's 1-1 draw at home to Southend United through concussion.

That came after the forward was rushed to hospital following a nasty clash of heads in the previous game against Charlton Athletic.

He was given the all-clear on the same night, but had to miss the Southend game due to concussion protocol.

Longstaff was the player to make way, with the on-loan Newcastle United midfielder dropping to the bench.

It meant Danny Philliskirk played in the number 10 role behind Kyle Vassell, with Delfouneso playing out on the wing.

Christoffer Mafoumbi is on international duty with Congo so his place on the substitutes bench was taken by Ben Williams.

A slow start to the game meant we had to wait until the 11th minute for the first shot on goal, but it did come Blackpool’s way.

Kyle Vassell was found in space on the right-hand side of the box and the striker cut inside before shooting at goal, but his effort was weak and straight at Lee Nicholls in the MK goal.

The Seasiders followed this is up with another shooting opportunity as Danny Philliskirk laid the ball off to Jay Spearing 25 yards out from goal, but the midfielder blazed well over.

Peter Pawlett glanced a header wide of goal for the home side after their longstanding captain Dean Lewington had found the midfielder with a pinpoint cross.

Kieran Agard and Chuks Aneke were beginning to look dangerous up front for the hosts and they combined to create another opening, which saw Aneke turning Curtis Tilt before sending a low shot straight at Lumley.

Lumley was called into action again as he made a fine stop to deny Pawlett, who had looked to pick out the top corner with his shot from the angle.

The Seasiders fired back with a chance of their own as Colin Daniel fired a superb ball across the face of the MK goal, but Elliott Ward did well to clear away before the cross reached Vassell at the back post.

A Milton Keyes corner caused a goalmouth scramble in the Blackpool box on the stroke of half time but Gary Bowyer’s men eventually managed to clear their lines.

It proved to be the last action of a non-event of a first half where neither keeper was really tested.

But we didn’t have to wait long for goalmouth action in the second period as Blackpool wasted a gilt-edged chance to take the lead.

It came via a superb deep cross from Ollie Turton which found Viv Solomon-Otabor at the back post only for the winger to wastefully side foot over the bar.

The home side thought they had a good shout for a penalty when Clark Robertson appeared to bring George Williams down in the box but the referee ignored the desperate appeals.

That sparked a spell of pressure from the hosts but, despite seeing plenty of the ball in the final third, they struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities.

Pool managed to weather the storm before coming close themselves, as Solomon-Otabor beat his man with ease down the left only to see his pullback evade everyone in the box.

MK substitute Robbie Muirhead was straight into the action as he tried his luck from the edge of the box, only to see Lumley get down to his left to palm his effort away for a corner.

Scott Wootton then directed a looping header towards the Blackpool goal which Lumley had to be alert to, which he was as he tipped over his bar.

The dangerous Aneke came close with just over 10 minutes to play as he turned his man inside the Blackpool box before firing his shot against a defender.

As the game entered its final stages the home side knew only a win would do, so piled forward in numbers.

A deep cross found substitute Ike Ugbo in space but Lumley pulled off yet another good stop to deny the striker from close range.

Pool sub Sean Longstaff almost won it in the final minute of normal time as he was found in space in the MK box by Solomon-Otabor, but he fired his effort against the underside of the crossbar.

MK: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington, Wootton, Upson, Cisse (Thomas-Asante), Pawlett, Ward, Ebanks-Landell (Muirhead), Agard (Ugbo), Aneke

Subs not used: Sietsma, McGrandles, Jackson, Reo-Coker

Blackpool: Lumley, Turton, Tilt, Robertson, Daniel, Ryan, Spearing, Philliskirk (Longstaff), Delfouneso, Solomon-Otabor, Vassell (Agyei)

Subs not used: Williams, Aimson, D'Almeida, Cooke, Gnanduillet

Referee: Graham Horwood

Attendance: 8,094 (490 Blackpool)