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Report: Blackpool 0-0 Wycombe

20 August 2016

Wanderers earned a well-deserved point on the road as they matched Blackpool every step of the way in a 0-0 draw at Bloomfield Road.

The hosts enjoyed the better chances in the first period but were grateful to keeper Jamal Blackman for some smart stops to preserve the clean sheet, on a day when Matt Bloomfield made his 400th appearance for the Chairboys.

Gareth Ainsworth made four changes to his starting line-up, handing a full debut to Nick Freeman on the left of midfield while Danny Rowe, Marcus Bean and Garry Thompson all returned to the side.

The first shot of the game came on five minutes when Andy Taylor curled a shot harmlessly over the bar from the corner of the box, hoping to take advantage of the blustery conditions to catch keeper Jamal Blackman off guard.

At the other end, Garry Thompson’s long throw was chested down by Adebayo Akinfenwa into the path of Danny Rowe, who rifled a first-time shot over the bar on 11 minutes.

Marcus Bean almost opened the scoring against his former club when he found space to dart forward from midfield and burst into the box, only to be put under pressure when getting his shot away and Sam Slocombe went down to his left to save comfortably.

The keeper was called upon again midway through the half when Garry Thompson’s cross found the impressive Bean and it cannoned off a defender into the path of Joe Jacobson, whose powerful shot was parried away at the near post.

Slocombe was powerless to keep out Michael Harriman’s nonchalant effort on 26 minutes but was grateful to see the woodwork come to his rescue, as the Wycombe midfielder’s floated shot bounced back off the underside of the crossbar and fell safely.

Then Nick Freeman’s fizzing shot flew a yard wide as the visitors grew in momentum, before Akinfenwa’s flicked header saw Garry Thompson beat the keeper to the ball in the box but the striker was forced wide and the hosts recovered.

The deadlock was almost broken when Harriman headed straight at Slocombe after clever play from Freeman, before the Tangerines spurned a great chance when Brad Potts nodded wide from barely a yard after Mark Cullen drifted in from the left to deliver a cross.

Blackpool were finishing the half strongly, and Colin Daniel got his feet in a muddle to prevent him getting a shot away from a clever corner routine.

The second period began with a similar end-to-end tempo, with Blues going close when Nick Freeman sparked a breakaway which culimated in Akinfenwa’s powerful effort from 20 yards flying just over.

While Wycombe held the upper hand for the most part, the hosts did threaten on occasions, and Potts had another chance when he met a low drilled corner with a first-time shot which flew wide.

Wanderers made their first change on the hour-mark, replacing Garry Thompson with Dayle Southwell, before Matt Bloomfield came on for his milestone 400th appearance for the club, replacing the injury Danny Rowe. Meanwhile, Pool handed a debut to Armand Gnanduillet, who came on up front for Bright Osayi-Samuel.

Then Paul Hayes came on for his first taste of action this season following an injury, taking Akinfenwa’s place in attack, and he looped a header over the bar under close attention from a defender, shortly after Gnanduillet’s low shot was easily held by Blackman.

Kelvin Mellor then headed over from a corner which came about when Pierre cleared superbly from Daniel’s dangerous cross into the six-yard box, and the hosts came on strong with Potts’ shot being deflected behind, Cullen’s effort being tipped over by Blackman and then Jim McAlister’s piledriver from distance being palmed away to safety.

As the game drew closer to its conclusion, neither side was able to find a winner as the Blues added another point to their tally with a third game unbeaten.

Wycombe: Blackman, Jombati, Jacobson, Stewart, Pierre, Harriman, Bean, Rowe (Bloomfield 65), Freeman, Thompson (Southwell 61), Akinfenwa (Hayes 70).

Unused subs: Richardson, McGinn, Wood, De Havilland.

Blackpool: Slocombe, Mellor, Taylor, Aldred, Robertson, Osayi-Samue (Gnanduillet 64)l, McAlister, Potts, Pugh, Cullen, Daniel.

Unused subs: Letheren, Aimson, Herron, Nolan, Yeates, Cain.

Referee: Ollie Yates

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