MATCH REPORT: Wycombe Wanderers 0-0 Blackpool

Wycombe v Blackpool
Wycombe v Blackpool
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Blackpool started the new season with a draw away at League One newcomers Wycombe Wanderers.

Blackpool started the new season with a draw away at League One newcomers Wycombe Wanderers.

The Seasiders opened their points tally with a solid display at Adams Park, surviving an onslaught of long balls from the home side.

While Wycombe created the more openings, it was Pool who came closest to scoring when Chris Taylor rattled the woodwork with a first half free kick.

Wycombe finished the game with 10 men after Michael Harriman picked up the second of two bookings in the final minute of normal time.

Gary Bowyer’s men did well to record a clean sheet up against the dangerous Adebayo Akinfenwa, and they had to do so without Curtis Tilt who wasn’t named in the Blackpool squad amid ongoing speculation over his future.

Pool still look short on quality in attack, something Bowyer will be looking to address in the final week on the transfer window.

It took just three minutes for Wycombe to create their first opening of the afternoon and it was their main dangerman Adebayo Akinfenwa who played a leading role.

The dominant striker flicked a header into the path of Paris Cowan-Hall who raced through on goal before lashing wastefully over Mark Howard’s bar.

The Seasiders responded well and controlled much of the early possession, although Chris Taylor was shown a booking after remonstrating with the referee. A few minutes later he was given a clattering by the man mountain Akinfenwa.

The striker remained in the thick of the action when he headed wide from a long ball into the Blackpool box, although it didn’t appear as though he got a clean connection on his effort.

Wycombe’s tactics were clear: get the ball and get it in Blackpool’s as soon as possible. It wasn’t particularly complicated but you can see why it proved so effective in League Two last season.

Pool were struggling to get to grips with Akinenfa, who again went close when he headed against the side netting from Joe Jacobson’s deep free kick.

After a brief stoppage in play for a water break, Akinfenwa tested Howard with a drilled effort after some pinball in the Blackpool box - but the Pool keeper was equal to the striker’s effort, clearing it for a corner.

On the half-hour mark, Nathan Delfouneso showed a good turn of pace to beat his man down the left before delivering a dangerous cross that Wycombe keeper Ryan Allsop claimed ahead of Joe Dodoo.

Dodoo did manage to get a head on Joe Bunney’s cross a minute later but he couldn’t quite direct it towards goal.

Taylor found Delfouneso at the back post but the winger could only nod wide of goal after climbing ahead of his marker.

A well-worked free kick, awarded after yet another foul on Akinfenwa, found Anthony Stewart unmarked at the back post.

The centre back was given time to head across the six-yard box towards Randell Williams who shot over the bar in what was a major let off for Gary Bowyer’s men.

Taylor came inches away from giving Blackpool the lead just five minutes before the interval, rattling the post with a free kick right on the edge of the Wycombe box.

It was a superb effort that left former Pool loanee Allsop rooted to the spot.

That proved to be the last action of a competitive first half. Just five minutes into the second period and Akinfenwa again went close when he headed just wide when well-placed in the penalty area.

The Seasiders returned with a chance of their own, as Delfouneso found Harry Pritchard at the near post but he couldn’t quite get the required contact on his shot.

Taylor again went close with a low, dipping effort from outside the box that Allsop did well to claim.

With 25 minutes remaining, Pool almost fell behind as Ollie Turton was caught out of position in the right-back area, allowing Williams to race through down the left only to see his shot well saved by Howard.

Akinfenwa then directed a header towards goal from the resulting corner which Jay Spearing did well to clear away.

Blackpool began to ramp up the pressure in the last 15 minutes as the home side began to tire. Pritchard had a go with a rasping volley from the edge of the box that Allsop did well to claim.

But Wycombe did remain a threat, with another dangerous ball in from Jacobson seeing Akinfenwa glance another header wide of target.

The hosts were reduced to 10 men in the final minute when Harriman hauled Delfouneso to the ground to pick up his second yellow of the game.

But Wycombe survived the four minutes of added time, despite John O’Sullivan seeing a sight of goal inside the box, leaving both sides to settle for a point.

TEAMS

Wycombe: Allsop, Harriman, Jacobson, Stewart, El-Abd, Bean, Saunders, Bloomfield, Cowan-Hall (Freeman), Williams (Jombati), Akinfenwa (Mackail-Smith)

Subs not used: Ma-Kalambay, Thompson

Blackpool: Howard, Turton, O'Connor, Heneghan, Bunney, Spearing, Taylor (Thompson), Nottingham (O'Sullivan), Pritchard, Delfouneso, Dodoo (Gnanduillet)

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Bola, Sinclair-Smith, Cullen

Referee: Nicholas Kinseley

Attendance: 5,115 (459 Blackpool)