MATCH REPORT: Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Blackpool
Blackpool ended their pre-season preparations with a 1-1 draw away at League Two side Crewe Alexandra.
The Seasiders were much improved from Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw against AFC Fylde and edged a dominant first half thanks to Chris Taylor’s fine effort.
They were unable to hold onto their lead as Crewe levelled early into the second half as the hosts took advantage of a defensive error by Nick Anderton.
The result means Blackpool, who start their League One campaign at newly promoted Wycombe Wanderers next Saturday, remained unbeaten in their summer friendlies.
Blackpool made a positive start to the game, pressuring Crewe high up the pitch and working their way from back to front with some swift attacks.
On three minutes, Harry Pritchard had their first effort on goal as he whistled a shot just wide of the post from 25 yards out.
The Seasiders were rewarded for their efforts with an early goal, and it was new man Chris Taylor who got his name onto the scoresheet.
It came after Joe Dodoo had threatened with a dangerous run into the penalty box, before laying the ball off to Taylor who curled a sublime effort beyond Dave Richards and into the top right hand corner.
One nearly became two a couple of minutes later when Pritchard saw a close-range strike hooked away from the Crewe goal.
The home side managed their first attempt on goal on 14 minutes, when towering striker Jordan Bowery directed a header towards the bottom corner which Pool keeper Mark Howard was equal to.
Joe Dodoo made a bright start to proceedings and he was the next Blackpool player to get a shot off at goal, cutting inside before bringing a smart stop out of Richards at his near post.
The resulting corner reached the unmarked Michal Nottingham at the back post but he couldn’t manage a clean connection on the ball.
The two misses almost proved costly for the Seasiders as Crewe came close to levelling a minute later.
Nick Anderton was caught under the ball at the back post leaving Bowery in space at the back post. His initial shot was blocked before a goalmouth scramble ensued, but Blackpool’s defenders threw their bodies on the line and eventually managed to clear to safety.
The Railwaymen were beginning to work their way back into the match and it was Bowery who was their main threat. He curled an effort just over the Blackpool bar after some neat interchange on the edge of the box.
Meanwhile at the other end, Pool went close from a well-worked free kick which saw Nottingham head across the face of the six-yard box only for a Crewe defender to hook away at the last moment before the ball fell to Mark Cullen.
After a promising opening half, Blackpool were pegged back just six minutes into the second half following a defensive mix up.
Nick Anderton deflected the ball high up into the air, allowing Alex Nicholls to nip in, with his effort taking a deflection which wrong footed Howard, the ball eventually nestling in the bottom corner.
The Seasiders responded well to the setback, Taylor firing over the crossbar after being found by Joe Bunney on the edge of the Crewe box.
Substitute Nathan Delfouneso was straight into action as he attempted to lift a shot over the onrushing Richards but the Crewe keeper managed to turn the effort away for a corner.
Howard was in fine form at the other end of the pitch as he made a smart block to deny Bowery’s left-footed effort.
There was nothing Howard could do but watch on as Nicholls flicked a header onto the Blackpool crossbar, but fortunately for Bowyer’s men the effort bounced onto the line and subsequently cleared away from danger.
Neither side committed too many men forward in attack in the dying stages, although sub Armand Gnanduillet did drill wide in the final minute of normal time.
Crewe: Richards, Ng, Nolan (Lowery), Pickering, Ray, Ainley, Nicholls, Wintle, Green, Kirk (Jones), Bowery (Porter)
Subs not used: Garratt, Hunt, Finney, Reilly
Blackpool: Howard, Turton, Nottingham, Heneghan, Anderton, Bunney, Spearing, Taylor (O’Sullivan), Dodoo (Thompson), Pritchard (Delfouneso), Cullen (Gnanduillet)
Subs not used: Sims, Tilt, Clayton
Attendance: 960 (172 Blackpool)