MATCH REPORT: Fleetwood 0-0 Blackpool
Blackpool and Fleetwood Town had to settle for a share of the spoils in the first Fylde coast derby of the season.
Chances were few and far between at Highbury as both sides struggled to get to grips with the wet and windy conditions.
But it was Blackpool who had the clearest chances, with Sean Longstaff bringing a good save out of Alex Cairns at the end of a first half in which Gary Bowyer’s men had been the better side.
While Fleetwood had the better of the second period they struggled to make Ryan Allsop work in the Blackpool goal.
Blackpool made the brighter start to the game, with Jimmy Ryan ignoring the boos from the home supporters to spray the ball out from deep against his former side.
Just four minutes in, the Seasiders created the first opening of the afternoon and it came for left back Ollie Turton, who found himself in some space inside the Fleetwood box but he couldn’t quite get the required contact on his shot.
After a cagey opening, the home side began to grow in confidence and threatened to cause problems on the counter attack, but struggled to create any real chances of note.
At the other end, Amari’i Bell had to be at his best to stop Kyle Vassell getting through on goal after the Cod Army had been exposed with just one at the back.
Neither side were able to get to grips with the wet and windy conditions in the early stages, as highlighted by Fleetwood ‘keeper Alex Cairns who punted his kicks out of play three times in a row.
Curtis Tilt nodded just wide of the far post from Jay Spearing’s inswinging free kick when it looked easier to score, but it wouldn’t have counted had it hit the back of the net anyway as the referee blew for a foul in Fleetwood’s favour.
We had to wait until the 36th minute for Fleetwood’s first genuine chance on goal, and it came via the head of former Blackpool defender Ashley Eastham - who headed over the bar after stealing a march on his defender.
But it was Blackpool who ended the half the stronger, coming close with the clearest chances of the half.
The first one fell to Viv Solomon-Otabor whose shot from inside the Fleetwood box was deflected wide of goal before Sean Longstaff brought out a smart save from Cairns after he was played in through the middle.
Another opportunity came their way on the stroke of half-time after Solomon-Otabor and Spearing had exchanged passes on the edge of the Fleetwood box only for the latter to drag his shot wide of goal.
Blackpool continued to dominate possession at the start of the second half chances were again few and far between.
Fleetwood substitute Ash Hunter brought more of a threat to the home side’s forward line, and it the 22-year-old who almost capitalised on a short back pass from Will Aimson - but Ryan Allsop just managed to clear away.
The home side took control of the game in the final 20 minutes but still found it difficult to get past Blackpool’s stubborn defence.
Kyle Dempsey whipped in a dangerous free kick to the back post but Aimson was there to head away from danger at the back post.
With just four minutes left to play, Longstaff tried to catch Cairns out with an ambitious effort from a tight angle but the Fleetwood ‘keeper got down to save well.
Meanwhile at the other end, Wes Burns flashed a cross into the Blackpool box but none of his Fleetwood teammates were able to get on the end of it.
The last action of the game came on the touchline with Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler being sent to the stands in injury time.
Fleetwood: Cairns, Eastham, Pond, Bolger, Bell, Burns, Glendon, Sowerby (O'Neill), Dempsey, Cole, Hiwula (Hunter)
Subs not used: Neal, Maguire, Schwabl, Nadesan, Cargill
Blackpool: Allsop, Mellor, Aimson, Tilt (Taylor), Turton, Spearing, Ryan, Longstaff, Solomon-Otabor, Daniel (Delfouneso), Vassell (Cooke)
Subs not used: Williams, D'Almeida, Menga, Gnanduillet
Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 5,035 (1,114 Blackpool)