Report: Blackpool 1-1 Bolton
Wanderers were forced to settle for a share of the spoils in a hotly contested derby against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.
Following a goalless first half, the hosts did open the scoring with 15 minutes remaining through Jacob Murphy’s free-kick, but Lee Chung-Yong soon had the Whites back on level terms with a drilled angled effort.
Bolton did push late on in a bid to take all three points from the clash, but their efforts were to prove fruitless as the game ended all square.
There was one change for Wanderers, with Darren Pratley replacing Mark Davies in the starting line-up, while former Wanderer Chris Eagles lined up against his old employers in his first appearance for the Seasiders.
It was a tempestuous start to proceedings, with both sides pushing forward in their numbers inside the opening minutes of the clash.
Real clear cut chances were few and far between however, with each defence standing firm.
Wanderers were looking menacing on the attack however and looked certain to test Joe Lewis with eight minutes on the clock, but Jamie O’Hara was on his guard to hook Liam Feeney’s cross away from danger.
Blackpool themselves were also enjoying some pressure, with Eagles forcing Andrew Lonergan to dive low to keep out his curling effort from just inside the box.
Tim Ream almost opened his account for the Whites in style in the 14th minute as he turned inside his man on the edge of the box, only to see Lewis parry his sting long distance effort away from a crowded penalty area.
Having struggled to really test Wanderers early on, the hosts almost opened the scoring in the 19th minute as Jacob Mellis’ thunderous effort took a wicked deflection on its way to goal, but the crossbar was to be Bolton’s saviour with his shot crashing off the woodwork.
It was Wanderers’ time to hit the woodwork soon after, with Lee Chung-Yong’s powerful strike through a crowded penalty area smashing against the post with Lewis beaten.
Max Clayton, visibly buoyed by his goal against Wigan last time out, tried his luck from 20 yards shortly after the half hour mark, but the Blackpool keeper was on his guard to deny the young striker with a smart save.
As then half drew to its conclusion, both Ream and Neil Danns tried their luck from distance, while an unmarked Donervon Daniels squandered a glorious opportunity as he fired over from four yards out as the first period ended goalless.
The hosts started the second half brightly, with substitute Andrea Orlandi unleashing from distance with two minutes gone, but Lonergan was on his guard to collect his effort.
Wanderers were soon back on the front foot however, with Craig Davies proving himself a nuisance amongst the Blackpool defence early on, including squandering a close range header at the far post.
The introduction of Jay Spearing in place of Feeney just before the hour mark saw a change of approach for Wanderers, while Pratley was replaced by Joe Mason.
Both sides were really struggling to test either goalkeeper, with Jacob Murphy’s fizzled shot failing to hit the target with 22 minutes remaining.
With the clock ticking down, Wanderers were dominating possession and looked set to find the back of the net as Danns collected Spearing’s through ball in the six yard area, but a number of Blackpool bodies ensured that the midfielder’s effort lacked power.
Having failed to test Lonergan throughout the second period however, the hosts proceeded to open the scoring with 15 minutes to go as Jacob Muprhy thundered home a free-kick from just outside the penalty area.
Desperate to pull themselves back onto level terms, Bolton threw themselves forward in numbers and were rewarded with eight minutes left as Chung-Yong drilled home from a tight angle to send the travelling Bolton faithful into raptures.
With Wanderers back in the clash, Rob Hall was thrown into the mix in a bid to find a winning goal for the Whites and with four minutes of added time indicated, the pressure was only heading in one direction.
With time running out, Bolton did enjoy chances to win it late on as Danns’ header flew narrowly wide of the upright while Mason came within inches of collecting the ball from six yards out, but their efforts were in vain as the game ended all square.
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