MATCH REPORT: Walsall 0-0 Blackpool

Joe Dodoo tries his luck with an overhead kick
Joe Dodoo tries his luck with an overhead kick
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Blackpool extended their unbeaten run to six games with a well-earned draw against in-form Walsall.

The Saddlers were unbeaten going into today’s game, having won four of their opening five league games, but Blackpool dealt with them well and restricted them to no shots on target.

Pool were the better side and had the chances to win it, with Curtis Tilt wasting two headed chances and Mark Cullen going close from close-range.

But Terry McPhillips’ side were forced to settle for a point as they picked up their fourth clean sheet of the season.

After failing to seal a move to Ipswich Town during the transfer window, Tilt was brought back into Blackpool's starting line-up.

The defender had been left out of Blackpool's squad for their previous two games but started at the Bescot Stadium in the centre of defence against his hometown club.

He partnered Ben Heneghan in defence, with Paudie O'Connor dropping to the bench.

He was the only change to Pool's side from last Saturday's 1-1 draw against Accrington Stanley, although it was six changes from Tuesday's League Cup win at Doncaster Rovers.

Callum Guy, who signed from Derby County yesterday, was not included as his signing came after the 12pm registration deadline.

Jimmy Ryan, Ryan McLaughlin, Joe Bunney and Donervon Daniels missed out again through injury.

The Seasiders made a strong, positive start to the game and even came close to opening the scoring inside the first 60 seconds, but Walsall’s defence managed to scramble clear from inside their own six-yard box with Joe Dodoo looking to pounce on Nathan Delfouneso’s cross.

Pool continued their promising start as Mark Cullen played in Marc Bola, but the left back’s fizzed effort flew wide of goal.

A couple of careless passes from Blackpool allowed the home side to grow into the game, with Morgan Ferrier posing a threat up front alongside Andy Cook.

The two almost combined when Ferrier provided a teasing cross for his forward partner but Blackpool managed to recover and clear their lines.

Walsall came even closer when they were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the Blackpool box, with Zeli Ismail curled just over the bar.

Blackpool have looked a huge threat from set pieces so far this season and that was how they almost broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark, with Tilt sending a powerful downward header towards the bottom corner only for a Walsall defender to clear off the line.

Dodoo then came close with a 30-yard free kick which dipped just over the Walsall crossbar.

Jay Spearing was the next Blackpool to have a go at goal as he rifled in an effort from outside the box which Walsall keeper Liam Roberts dealt with at the second attempt.

Pool were given a bit of a let-off on the stroke of half time when Ismail was allowed too much time to cross. Tilt missed his clearance but thankfully for the Seasiders the ball fizzed out of play for a goal kick.

Half-time substitute Liam Feeney, who replaced the underwhelming Dodoo, was straight into the action as he headed over from a difficult angle at the back post.

On 57 minutes, Blackpool saw a huge chance go begging. Feeney was denied at the near post by Roberts before Cullen swiveled and turn before shooting wide from close range.

This handed the Seasiders the momentum with Nottingham beating his man to the ball on the corner of the 18-yard box before rifling into the side netting.

It was all one-way traffic with Pool camped in the Walsall half, with Tilt going close from another Thompson corner only to head well wide when well positioned in front of goal.

The game fizzled out towards the end but substitute Harry Pritchard did go close for the Seasiders with five minutes to go, only to see his drilled effort deflect into the arms of Roberts.

Walsall did have a chance of their own with a minute of normal time to go, but thankfully for Pool Kane Wilson’s effort went wide after the substitute was left unmarked in the box.

Delfouneso had the ball in the back of the net for Blackpool after he had rounded the goalkeeper, but the linesman’s flag went up to see his effort ruled out.

That proved to be the final action of the game as neither side were able to make the breakthrough in the six minutes of injury time.

TEAMS

Walsall: Roberts, Leahy, Dobson, Guthrie, Devlin, Morris, Ismail (Wilson), Fitzwater, Osbourne, Ferrier, Cook (Gordon)

Subs not used: Dunn, Kinsella, Kouhyar, Cockerill-Mollett, Parker

Blackpool: Howard, Nottingham, O'Connor, Tilt, Bola, Turton, Spearing, Thompson (Pritchard), Delfouneso, Dodoo (Feeney), Cullen (Gnanduillet)

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, O’Connor, Taylor, Sinclair-Smith

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 4,762 (364 Blackpool)