MATCH REPORT: Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Blackpool

Paudie O'Connor vies for possession
Paudie O'Connor vies for possession

Blackpool laboured their way to a goalless draw at Shrewsbury Town to continue their winless start to the new League One season.

READ MORE: Shrewsbury Town v Blackpool LIVE: Updates from the New Meadow

Shrewsbury, who had lost all three of their games leading up to this fixture, were marginally the better side but never seriously threatened Pool keeper Mark Howard.

The Seasiders, meanwhile, barely created a chance from open play themselves as they failed to build on their encouraging midweek League Cup win against Barnsley.

The result means Blackpool have yet to concede on their travels this season, with their opening day game at Wycombe Wanderers also ending in a 0-0 stalemate.

Blackpool made six changes to their side from the one that beat Barnsley in the League Cup on Tuesday.

Ben Heneghan, Paudie O'Connor, Ollie Turton, Joe Bunney, Chris Taylor and Nathan Delfouneso all returned, with Michael Nottingham, Donervon Daniels, Nick Anderton, Jordan Thompson, Harry Pritchard and Mark Cullen the six to miss out.

Nottingham and Marc Bola didn’t even make the squad, having featured against Barnsley on Tuesday, while Jimmy Ryan and Ryan McLaughlin missed out again through injury.

Bizarrely, full backs Turton and Joe Bunney were both played out of position in midfield while O'Connor, primarily a centre back, started the game at right back.

The Seasiders made a bright start to proceedings and managed to force a couple of early sightings on goal.

Curtis Tilt got his head onto Joe Bunney’s corner which the hosts managed to scramble clear, before John O’Sullivan hooked an effort just over the bar - with all this happening inside the first three minutes.

But the Shrews took control from here, wasting a glorious chance to take the lead on 18 minutes.

It came after Curtis Tilt was caught in possession on the halfway line, allowing Shaun Whalley the opportunity to race through on goal where he set up Lenell John-Lewis for a tap in, only for the Shrews forward to fluff his lines and shoot wide.

There was a real tempo lacking in the game and it soon descended into a dour, actionless affair.

However Shrewsbury did look the more threatening when they did go forwards, with Josh Laurent sending a low shot just wide of Mark Howard’s near post just after the half hour mark.

Greg Docherty was beginning to become more and more instrumental in the Shrewsbury midfield and he continued to find increasingly large gaps in the Blackpool backline.

He found a couple of yards to send in a dipping effort which flew wide of the Blackpool goal, as the visitors continued to live dangerously before the half-time interval.

It appeared only a matter of time until Shrewsbury scored, and they almost did on 40 minutes when the ball was pulled back to Laurent who opened his body to side foot towards goal but, thankfully for Blackpool, it landed wide of the far post.

Blackpool, threatening the Shrewsbury goal for the first time in more than 30 minutes, forced a late corner which Tilt nodded downwards but Coleman was there to calmly collect.

The Seasiders, fresh from making a tactical change at half time, looked a more threatening outfit at the start of the second half as they caused one or two issues from corners.

Despite a general lack of openings for either side, the game began to open up from the hour mark onwards, with Shrewsbury still looking like the side most likely to get that opening goal.

Lenell John-Lewis looked set and ready to head home from close range from Shaun Whalley’s right-sided delivery but Ben Heneghan got across to make a remarkable block.

At the other end, Armand Gnanduillet looked to lob the Shrewsbury keeper after being set through on goal but he didn’t get the required contact on his effort.

John-Lewis had the ball in the back of the Blackpool net on 70 minutes only for his effort to be ruled out, after it was adjudged he had handled the ball after chesting to bring the ball down.

Gnanduillet and substitute Jordan Thompson then both came close in quick succession for the Seasiders, but still neither side looked likely to break that deadlock.

It says all you need to know about the quality of the game that we had to wait until the 89th minute for the best chance, and typically it came Shrewsbury’s way.

Laurent was sent through on goal with only the keeper to beat, but Howard stood up well and used his legs to save his low effort.

Docherty was then given space to shoot from the edge of the box but Blackpool managed to block, which proved to be the last action of the game.

TEAMS

Shrewsbury: Coleman, Haynes, Sadler, Waterfall, Whalley (Okenabirhie), Grant, Docherty, Bolton, Gilliead, Laurent, John-Lewis (Amadi-Holloway)

Subs: Arnold, Beckles, Loft, Barnett, Angol

Blackpool: Howard, Turton, Heneghan, Tilt, O’Connor (Thompson), Bunney, Spearing, Taylor (Daniels), O’Sullivan, Delfouneso, Gnanduillet

Subs: Mafoumbi, Pritchard, Sinclair-Smith, Dodoo, Cullen

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 5,216 (357 Blackpool)