Report: Blackpool 2-2 Wanderers
Dougie Freedman extended his unbeaten start as manager to three matches after Bolton and Blackpool played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Bloomfield Road.
Wanderers twice went in front, firstly through Mark Davies’ third goal of the season on 17 minutes, however Tom Ince’s curling effort got Blackpool back level less than two minutes later.
Chung-Yong Lee came off the bench to give Wanderers the lead for the second time deep into the second-half, scoring from close-range after good build-up play from Chris Eagles.
But Blackpool rescued a point late on when substitute Nathan Delfouneso poked in from close-range after the ball had fallen loose inside the penalty area following Stephen Crainey’s free-kick.
Freedman rang the changes ahead of kick-off as Jay Spearing, Martin Petrov and David Ngog were all recalled at the expense of Chung-Yong, Pratley and Kevin Davies.
A fairly even first half of football at Bloomfield Road was typified in two highly-eventful minutes.
After a slow start to the game, Bolton hit the front with ten minutes on the clock as Mark Davies capitalised on a slip from Alex Baptiste.
A slide-rule ball from Petrov, intended for Ngog, was cut-out, but Davies picked up the scraps in a flash. He raced into the penalty box, past Baptiste, and slid the ball into the back of the net, despite the best efforts of Matt Gilks who did get a touch on the ball.
From the restart, Blackpool levelled almost immediately through the lively frontman Ince.
Bolton boss Freedman had highlighted the England Under-21 star as a main threat for the Seasiders before the game, and he showed just why with a fine curling shot from the right-hand edge of the box which arrowed into the top corner.
Blackpool felt they should have had a penalty in their next attack but referee Jonathan Moss waved away strong appeals for handball against a Bolton man in the area.
Petrov was Bolton’s main source of creativity throughout the first period, whipping several dangerous crosses into the danger zone from his position out on the right.
The Bulgarian also brought a fine low save out of Gilks, as did Chris Eagles who was operating on the opposite touchline.
Bogdan’s main involvement before the half-time was producing two diving stops to deny Ludovic Sylvestre, who tested the Hungarian from distance on both occasions.
It was more of the same at the start of the second half, as both teams pressed and probed for the advantage.
There wasn’t much goalmouth however, with a wayward Chris Basham effort being the only noteworthy chance inside the first quarter of an hour after the restart.
On the hour mark, Freedman sent on Chung-Yong Lee. The substitution had the desired impact as 12 minutes after his introduction, the South Korean put Bolton into the lead for a second time.
The winger rounded-off a slick passing move, finding himself in the right place inside the six-yard box to slide in and convert Eagles’ low cross from the right.
With 17 minutes still to play, the 2,000 strong away following hoped that Chung-Yong’s strike would prove to be a winner, but for the second time Blackpool came roaring back, again through another substitute.
Delfouneso, who had replaced Gary Taylor-Fletcher at the break, got the goal to make the game all-square for a second time.
A free-kick was swung over by left-back Crainey and the on-loan Villa man stabbed home a loose ball inside a packed penalty area.
There was still time for both sides to nick what would have been a winner. Bogdan palmed an attempted chip from Kevin Phillips over the bar, while Mark Davies’ effort in the dying moments was blocked two yards from goal.
In the end, managers Freedman and Appleton were forced to accept a point which, on reflection, was probably a fair result.
Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Eardley, Matt Phillips, Grandin (Kevin Phillips 80), Ince, Taylor-Fletcher (Delfouneso 46), Sylvestre, Baptiste, Basham, Cathcart (Subs not used: Evatt, Halstead, Angel, Harris, Dicko)
Wanderers: Bogdan, Ricketts, Knight, Mills, Warnock, Spearing, Andrews, Mark Davies, Petrov (Chung-Yong 58), Eagles (Pratley 79), Ngog (Kevin Davies 88) (Subs not used: Lynch, Ream, Afobe, Butterfield)