The honours were left even at Bloomfield Road as Blackpool picked up their third 0-0 of the season on an afternoon where Blackpool paid their respects to former fans and players.
Before kick-off, Blackpool were forced to name Will Aimson in the starting XI who came in to replace defender Curtis Tilt who picked up his tenth booking of the season last week at Oxford and will now go on to serve a two-game ban.
Blackpool also gave Joe Lumley his home and league debut after an impressive mid-week performance in the Checkatrade Cup. In addition, Jimmy Ryan returned to the squad, taking the place of Viv Solomon-Otabor who missed out due to illness.
Clarke’s men must have thought that they had opened their account when Harrison’s header played Gaffney through one-on-one who calmly slotted the ball past Blackpool GK Lumley inside the opening 30 seconds, only to find that the linesman had already flagged for offside.
Blackpool from then on grew in confidence and started passing the ball around nicely with precision, particularly using the wings to attack down. The best chances of the first half fell to the feet of Longstaff in the tenth minute, who flashed a promising shot just wide of Smith’s left-hand post and Sessi D’almeida who attempted a powerful, drilled shot, which landed just wide from 25 yards before half-time.
There was very little goal-mouth action at the start of the second half and the tie looked destined to end in a bore draw.
Blackpool’s best opportunity in the second half fell to D’almeida in the 60th minute, who failed to put Delfouneso through after being left two-vs one with Bristol Rovers defender Tom Lockyer.
The Seasiders then substituted D’almeida and threw on tall striker Armand Gnanduillet in the 66th minute, who made a nuisance of himself and helped change the game for the Seasiders. After this substitution, Blackpool proceeded to punt long balls up to Gnanduillet to control and hold up play which he did nicely.
The Pirates ten minutes later then looked to seize the initiative and steal away the 3 points from Bloomfield Road. They had the chance to do just this in the 77th minute when Lumley was caught in no man’s land. From this error, Gaffney managed to round the Blackpool GK and fire the ball across goal from a tight angle which flew narrowly wide.
The Pirates now had the momentum and minutes later, Partington header and half volley was denied by Lumley made up for his previous error by showing his impressive reflexes when making a fast double save.
In the closing minutes. Gnanduillet was bundled to the ground, however, referee Martin Coy was at the center of attention and waved away any protests from the Blackpool fans and players to give Blackpool a possible penalty.
In conclusion, the tie lacked any serious goalmouth action, with The Seasiders not ever looking like taking any of the half-chances that fell their way.
The Seasiders will hope to put this poor result behind them and pick up a positive result when they face relegation strugglers AFC Wimbledon next Saturday.
In other news, local rivals Fleetwood picked up an impressive 2-1 win at Southend, which leaves them 11th, seven points adrift of the play-off places.