Memory Match: Fleetwood Town 0-0 Blackpool, 2016

Shola Ameobi gets in a shot for Fleetwood
Shola Ameobi gets in a shot for Fleetwood
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Matt Scrafton trawls through the archives to take a look back at the relegation six-pointer between Blackpool and Fleetwood Town on April 23, 2016.


Jim McAlister on the ball for Blackpool

Jim McAlister on the ball for Blackpool

A brass band opened proceedings but there was to be no grandstand finish in this crunch relegation clash on derby day.

Jimmy Ryan did hit the woodwork for the hosts and Danny Philliskirk selfishly tapped in Jim McAlister’s goalbound effort from an offside position.

Philliskirk fancied himself the hero but his greed invoked the fury of McAlister, who knew his curling effort was going to trickle in.

Now Philliskirk’s name will go down in history but for all the wrong reasons as that disallowed goal could have sent the Seasiders above Fleetwood and out of the drop zone.

But as it stands, Fleetwood picked up a clean sheet and a vital point that sees them remain two points above the relegation zone and Blackpool still stuck in the bottom four with two games to go.

It was the first time Fleetwood had entertained the Seasiders in the league and, to honour St George’s Day, both sides lined up to sing the national anthem.

But it was not to be the blockbuster the opening deserved despite a roaring start from the hosts.

The patron saint of England is famed for slaying a dragon and as the game drew on, Blackpool tamed Fleetwood’s Welsh dragon Wes Burns and marked Town playmaker Stefan Scougall out of the game.

Neil McDonald had done his homework and, despite a blazing start by the hosts, his game plan eventually worked as Town were unable to catch the Seasiders off guard and use Burns’ pace to carve out an opening.

Full-backs Amari’i Bell and Conor McLaughlin exploited Blackpool’s narrow shape by bombing down the wings in the opening stages but their crosses failed to trouble Blackpool’s sturdy defence.

Town enjoyed 73 per cent of possession in the opening 20 minutes but they failed to turn their dominance into goals.

Antoni Sarcevic fired over and then forced Colin Doyle into a good save before Bobby Grant wasted a chance to net against his former club.

Grant then turned provider for Burns but his low strike was palmed away from the bottom corner by the diving Doyle.

Sarcevic pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the box but his thunderous effort flew past the post and into the advertising boards, rather than the back of the net.

But Fleetwood’s energy seemed to dip. And despite 30 minutes of dominance and no goal to show for it, they allowed Blackpool to grow in confidence and get back in the game.

Blackpool suddenly sprang to life in the 35th minute as Mark Cullen powerfully squeezed the ball towards the bottom corner but Chris Maxwell dive low to his right and produced a fine fingertip save to tip away the fierce shot.

And the Seasiders had the ball in the back of the net four minutes later as McAlister curled the ball past Maxwell, but fortunately for Fleetwood the offside Philliskirk fancied his name in lights as he got a touch on the goalbound effort from close range and the goal was chalked off for offside.

Blackpool started the brighter of the two in the second half with Philliskirk causing a few problems but he fired straight at Maxwell after carving out space at the top of the box.

Fleetwood wasted a number of set pieces in promising positions as they either flew straight to Doyle or directly out of play.

Captain Nathan Pond, who equallied Jack Ainscough’s club appearance record of 421 games, nutmegged a Blackpool player near his own corner flag but his touch was too much and he ended up fouling the on-running Cullen.

He was booked for the challenge and Fleetwood failed to properly clear McAlister’s subsequent set piece as Burns’ clearance was pumped back in and Jack Redshaw found space in the crowded box but his shot was deflected and eventually cleared to safety.

Fleetwood substitute Ash Hunter carved out an opening for Jimmy Ryan and his first time, curling effort from just outside the box clattered into the woodwork and out for a goal kick.

Blackpool looked to capitalise after Ameobi lost control of possession in Fleetwood’s own half but Philliskirk could only send a long-range effort wide of the post.

Pool substitute Martin Paterson had a chance as he got across his man at the near post but Maxwell tipped over his effort in the 81st minute.

David Norris then fired the ball straight down Maxwell’s throat three minutes later as both sides struggled to find a cutting edge in front of goal.

Fleetwood did go for it at the death as Ryan blasted over, Burns fired straight at Doyle and Pond then headed a set piece into the grateful arms of the Blackpool goalkeeper.


Fleetwood: Maxwell, McLaughlin, Bell, Pond, Jordan, Jonsson, Scougall (Ball), Ryan, Sarcevic (Ameobi), Grant (Hunter), Burns

Subs not used: Gogic, Forbes, Nilsson, Cole

Blackpool: Doyle, White, Higham, Aldred, Robertson, Smith (Yeates), McAlister, Norris, Philliskirk, Redshaw (Paterson), Cullen (Blyth)

Subs not used: Letheren, Boyce, Potts, Ikpeazu

Attendance: 5,123