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Match Reports

Report: Derby day ends with share of the spoils

25 November 2017

Fleetwood marked their 250th Football League game with a point as they drew 0-0 against local rivals Blackpool at Highbury on Saturday.

In front of a sellout crowd in FY7, Wes Burns had the best chances of the game for Fleetwood, as they earned their third straight home clean sheet.

The Tangerines rarely threatened in the second half but did have the better of the first period, but it was Uwe Rosler’s side that dominated the possession in the final 45 minutes.

Rosler made five changes to the side that played in Tuesday’s 4-2 defeat to Walsall, with Nathan Pond returning to the starting line up alongside Jack Sowerby, Devante Cole, Burns and George Glendon.

The atmosphere was electric at Highbury from the off and had all the hallmarks of a typical derby game, not just in the stands but on the pitch as well as a few early challenges flew in.

The possession fluctuated between the two sides in the early exchanges as both teams looked to find a foothold in the game. Blackpool had a golden chance to break as a Fleetwood corner led to a counter attack for the visitors, but good defending from Amari’i Bell put paid to any danger from Kyle Vassell.

It continued to be a scrappy affair with most of the battles coming in midfield, but the game did open up slightly when Jay Spearing’s free kick into Fleetwood’s area caused trouble, but fortunately for the hosts the referee deemed there was a foul.

Burns then broke free down the right hand side before whipping the ball in, but Ryan Allsop in the Blackpool net claimed the ball after Kyle Dempsey’s attempted header.

Burns continued to cause trouble down his side a forced a succession of corners, which eventually led to Ashley Eastham heading over Glendon’s delivery.

Up at the other end, the away side did well as Vassell held off Pond on the break before cutting across to Solomon-Otobor, who had his shot deflected wide. Alex Cairns was then forced into a diving save to deny Sean Longstaff as Blackpool began to control the possession.

They weren’t making their dominance count though, and Fleetwood were given the opportunity to pounce on a defensive error, but Sowerby couldn’t find a red shirt in the box with his cross.

Moments before the half time whistle, the Tangerines should have probably taken the lead as Solomon-Otobor drove a low ball into the area, but it didn’t get the touch it needed from a Blackpool player, and fortunately for the Cod Army, it sailed wide.

Town started the second half much better than the first and looked good going forward but were still struggling to find that right end product. Bell had ventured forward but under pressure from the defence his cross was forced out.

The game soon opened up completely with play soon end to end, as the noise value was ramped up by both sets of supporters. Rosler introduced Hunter and O’Neill to the action in an effort to turn the tide in what had so far been a tight game.

Hunter began making a difference from the off as he caused problems down the right hand side for Blackpool’s back line. But still there was no breakthrough for the hosts as the game went into the final twenty minutes of the game goalless.

A goal-saving header from Will Aimson was to deny Town an opener as he got in the way of a Dempsey free kick but Town continued to knock on the Tangerine door.

The action dulled down until Longstaff fired at Cairns in the final five minutes, which had been the first effort on goal for a while, but the game still hung in the balance for both sides.

With the clock ticking towards 90, Burns squandered a golden effort to win the match as his low shot rolled centimetres wide of the net – agonising for Burns, and Fleetwood, as the match ended goalless.

Fleetwood XI: Cairns (GK), Bell, Eastham, Pond ©, Hiwula (Hunter), Dempsey, Burns, Bolger, Glendon, Sowerby (O’Neill), Cole.

Subs not used: Neal (GK), Maguire, Schwabl, Nadesan, Cargill.

Blackpool XI: Allsop (GK), Mellor, Aimson, Vassell (Cooke), Ryan ©, Longstaff, Tilt (Taylor), Solomon-Otobor, Turton, Daniel (Delfouneso), Spearing

Subs not used: Williams (GK), D’Almeida, Gnanduilet, Menga.

Referee: O Langford

Attendance: 5,035 (1114 away)

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