Michael Appleton’s first game in charge of Blackpool ended in a draw, as the Tangerines twice came from behind to take a point against Bolton Wanderers at Bloomfield Road.
A stunning strike from Thomas Ince cancelled out Mark Davies’ early goal, before Chung-Yong Lee put Dougie Freedman’s side back in front. Nathan Delfouneso then levelled nine minutes from time to give his side a share of the spoils.
With the new manager watching on from the dugout, Blackpool looked to create the first opening of the contest when Matt Phillips cut inside from the left and played a one-two with Gary Taylor-Fletcher. The 21-year-old tried to chip the ball back across goal from a tight angle, but his cross was blocked by Matt Mills.
Phillips was again involved as Pool did get their first sight of goal. This time the wide-man played in Stephen Crainey, who’s floated ball in fell eventually to Elliot Grandin, who fired over the bar from the edge of the area.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring though in the 15th minute, after Keith Andrews looked to play in Chris Eagles with a through ball. It appeared to have been cut out by Alex Baptiste, but the Blackpool skipper slipped at the most inopportune moment, allowing Davies to burst through and squeeze the ball beyond Matt Gilks.
BLACKPOOL 0 BOLTON WANDERERS 1
Blackpool showed great spirit to recover from last week’s defeat against Derby by winning in mid-week, and they bounced back at Bloomfield Road almost immediately. No sooner had the game restarted; Ince cut in from the right and, from the edge of the area, curled an unstoppable left-footed strike past a helpess Bogdan.
BLACKPOOL 1 BOLTON WANDERERS 1
Ludovic Sylvestre was the next to try and add his name to the score-sheet, as he pressed forward to the edge of the penalty area and struck a left footed effort towards goal that was comfortably held by Bogdan.
A right footed cross from Martin Petrov then caused confusion in the Blackpool back-line, but Eagles failed to control the ball and it flew harmlessly out of play.
Sylvestre again looked to beat Bogdan from range, this time almost catching the Hungarian by surprise, but the Bolton stopper gathered the ball at the second attempt.
Craig Cathcart nodded over from a Grandin corner and Taylor-Fletcher skewed an effort wide from range, as Appleton’s side finished the first half looking the more likely to take the lead.
HALF TIME: BLACKPOOL 1 BOLTON WANDERERS 1
The Seasiders continued to press for a second goal early into the second half. Chris Basham’s surging run forward saw him shrug off a number of Bolton challenges, but the former Trotters man couldn’t find a finish to test Bogdan, as he shot over.
Basham again came close to notching against his former club when he got on the end of a Grandin corner minutes later. The midfielder made a good connection with the cross, but his header was too close to Bogdan, who got down quickly to save.
The game then entered its first real lull, with neither side looking particularly threatening going forward. That was until a quick break from the visitors found Eagles in space down the right, and the former Burnley man found the perfect cross into the path of substitute Chung-Yong Lee, who slid the ball into the net from six yards.
BLACKPOOL 1 BOLTON WANDERERS 2
Ince again looked to be the catalyst for a Blackpool recovery, but he first saw a shot blocked by Stephen Warnock and then blasted a long range effort wide.
The 80th minute saw the introduction of striker Kevin Phillips, back after injury had kept him on the sidelines in recent weeks.
Only a minute later, it turned out to be another of Appleton’s substitutes who made the desired impact. A floated freekick from Crainey caused havoc in the Bolton penalty area, and the ball eventually fell into the path of Delfouneso, who struck home the equiliser from close range.
BLACKPOOL 2 BOLTON WANDERERS 2
FULL TIME: BLACKPOOL 2 BOLTON WANDERERS 2
Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Cathcart, Baptiste, Eardley, Matt Phillips, Sylvestre, Basham, Grandin (Kevin Phillips, 80) Taylor-Fletcher (Delfouneso, 46)