Blackpool and Fleetwood’s League One survival battle looks set to go right to the wire after their dull goalless draw at Highbury, which Pool boss Neil McDonald insisted his side deserved to win.
In a scrappy and even affair, neither side could find the breakthrough, meaning Pool remain in the final relegation spot two points behind Town, who are now just one place above them.
With Colchester now down and Oldham safe, it’s two clubs from five for the remaining relegation spots – Chesterfield, Shrewsbury, Fleetwood, Blackpool and Doncaster, whose win over Coventry kept their slim hopes alive.
Fleetwood will stay up if they win their final two games, though Pool need other results to go their way to avoid back-to-back relegations.
McDonald’s men, who face Wigan at Bloomfield Road on Saturday before a final-day trip to Peterborough, desperately need two wins after a frustrating day at Fleetwood.
Many felt the draw was fair but McDonald claimed Pool were much the better side.
“I thought we dominated all the way through. That was a really good performance,” he said. “We had some good chances and hit the post. We put them on the back foot and stopped them playing at home.”
Fleetwood had 55 per cent of possession and 10 shots to Pool’s nine, but the Seasiders went closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half, when Jim McAlister’s effort was tapped in by Danny Philliskirk, who was ruled offiside.
McAlister was furious with his team-mate for getting a touch but McDonald defended Philliskirk.
“It’s only just offside,” he said. “We can’t really tell (from replays) if it’s going in or not, so Philly had to make sure.”
With so much at stake in the teams’ first League meeting at Highbury, it was a scrappy and nervy affair but McDonald feels his team handled the occasion well.
“Nerves didn’t affect my team,” he insisted. “I felt we were a lot better than against Rochdale, more determined and played some good football.
“We created a fair few chances and should have won. It’s a point gained but certainly disappointing we didn’t win.
“We knew we had to stop their flow of play. They move the ball well and I think we stopped them doing that.
“We certainly got the ball down. We just didn’t take our chances.”