Report: Bolton 1-0 Blackpool
Wanderers picked up their first win in the group stages of the Checkatrade Trophy with a 1-0 victory over Blackpool at Macron Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The opening goal of the game came in the fourth minute as Sammy Ameobi was given the simple task of poking the ball home on the line.
It was very much one-way traffic from the Whites during the remainder of the clash with a number of chances going begging, but it remained just the one goal-advantage at the final whistle.
There was a first start for goalkeeper Ben Alnwick in a Bolton shirt following his deadline day move to the club, while Derik Osede came into the fray for the Whites.
With proceedings getting underway at Macron Stadium, the visitors were the ones who enjoyed the majority of pressure early on but it was Wanderers who broke the deadlock inside four minutes as Ameobi turned the ball home on the goal line following a Clough shot from a corner.
The goal certainly appeared to boost Wanderers, their hard work was almost undone as an unmarked Danny Philliskirk somehow fired wide from 12 yards soon after.
The home side were looking lively though, with their confidence growing with each passing attack.
Goalmouth chances were few and far between though as the match reached its halfway point in the first period, with nothing too much of note to report on from either side.
The Whites were biding their time however, with a number of promising forays into Blackpool’s area causing problems for the Seasiders and signalling Bolton’s intent.
Josh Vela and Zach Clough almost combined perfectly on the half hour mark with the latter finding the former just inside the 18 yard box, but the midfielder’s eventual effort was blocked on the goal line.
Having barely troubled Phil Parkinson’s side however, Pool almost snatched an equaliser against the run of play following a goalmouth scramble with Will Aimson’s effort being cleared off the line.
Mark Cullen was next to see a shot blocked by a Bolton body with Vela the saviour for Wanderers just outside the six yard area.
After withstanding a period of pressure from the Seasiders, Bolton responded in turn with a spell of their own but they ultimately couldn’t add to their tally before the half time whistle was blown.
With a handful of changes for the visitors at the break but none for the Whites, the game got back underway.
The game restarted at a canter, with Wanderers visibly not keen to rest on their laurels in this clash.
Yet again though, goalmouth action was few and far between with much of the play being contested in the middle third of the pitch.
Out of nowhere though, Vela was again Bolton’s saviour as he headed a Jamille Matt effort off the line from a Blackpool corner with the second period 12 minutes old.
Clough looked to have doubled Bolton’s advantage just after the hour mark meanwhile after shrugging off the challenge of his man and aiming for the bottom corner, but the little man’s effort cannoned off the post and along the goal line to Wanderers’ anguish.
The academy graduated bowed out of the clash soon after though, with Gary Madine taking his place.
And the striker came within inches of making the perfect introduction, only to see goalkeeper Dean Lyness palm away his 18-yard strike from an Ameobi pass.
It was very much one-way traffic for the Whites as the game ebbed away, and with 15 minutes remaining Blackpool were camped inside their own box under a barrage of Bolton pressure.
The final ten minutes meanwhile saw the introduction of young Alex Samizadeh for his second senior appearance in a Bolton shirt, with the Iranian replacing Proctor upfront.
Michael Cain meanwhile gave Alnwick food for thought inside the last five minutes of the clash as he tried his luck from distance, but the goalkeeper was on his guard and scooped the ball to safety.
Buoyed by a rare attack, the Seasiders enjoyed a spell of possession inside Bolton territory inside the closing stages of the encounter with Bolton having to be on their toes, but their efforts failed to cause too many problems for the home side as the match came to its conclusion.