Paul Ince’s first home game in charge ended in a stalemate, as Blackpool and Leicester City played out a 0-0 draw at Bloomfield Road.
Tom Ince came closest to giving his father a first win in charge of The Seasiders, but saw his efforts thwarted on numerous occasions by Leicester ‘keeper Kasper Schmeichel.
At the other end, Chris Wood twice spurned fantastic opportunities to take all three points back to the East Midlands. He crashed a penalty off the bar, before firing wide with the goal at his mercy from inside the box.
The new manager received a rousing reception on his introduction to the home crowd before the game, but it was the visitors who had much of the possession in the early going.
Pool did look content to play on the counter though, and had the game’s first effort on goal when Ince dragged a shot wide from 20 yards after a driving run at the Leicester back-line.
Despite having the lion’s share of possession and a number of set-pieces, it took Nigel Pearson’s side until just after the half hour mark to register their first shot on goal. Harry Kane’s fierce right-footed volley from the edge of the area forced the best out of Gilks, who got two strong hands behind the shot to push it away from danger.
Ben Marshall then got on the end of his own corner, dribbling into the box before hitting a shot which nestled in the side netting.
The game was beginning to open up, and the Tangerines soon had two attempts of their own. Ince raced clear of The Foxes’ defence and looked to lift the ball over the onrushing Kasper Schmeichel, but the ‘keeper did brilliantly to leap into the air and make the block.
Schmeichel again had to be alert seconds later to deny Eardley. His drilled effort from inside the area produced a good, low save from the Danish stopper who pushed it around the post for a corner.
HALF TIME: BLACKPOOL 0 LEICESTER CITY 0
The second half saw a resumption of the battle between the two sons of former Manchester United team-mates. Ince again stretched the City defence, and worked himself the space to shoot on his left. His shot was struck well, but Schmeichel was equal to it, producing the save at full-stretch.
Leicester then had an even better chance to open the deadlock, when they were awarded a penalty on 48 minutes. Kane was adjudged to have been pushed on the edge of the box by a combination of Eardley and Alex Baptiste, but Wood could only find the crossbar with his attempt from 12 yards.
Ince’s side looked to take advantage of that stroke of luck, and again it was his son Tom who looked the most likely to make something happen. His low shot from 18 yards momentarily appeared to have
caught out Schmeichel, but the ‘keeper again showed his smart reflexes, re-adjusting quickly to shovel the ball clear.
If The Seasiders thought they had gotten lucky with Wood’s missed penalty, they were given an even bigger let off by the New Zealand international in the 66th minute.
The bobbling pitch caused havoc in the Pool penalty area, and Kirk Broadfoot could only divert a Kane cross into the path of Lloyd Dyer. The winger couldn’t get a proper connection on his shot, but the ball instead fell kindly to Wood, who somehow missed the target from close range.
Again Blackpool went close. Ince twisted and turned and drew a foul on the edge of the area, giving Stephen Crainey and inviting looking free-kick. The Scot’s curling effort looked destined to land in the net, but instead the stranded Schmeichel saw it fly just wide.
With fifteen minutes to go, both sides continued to take it in turn to create goalscoring opportunities. A long ball forward was flicked on towards goal by Wood, forcing Gilks to back-peddle sharply to claw it over the bar.
Anthony Knockaert and Ince both had late shots fly wide, but in the end neither side could produce a moment of the quality required to break the deadlock and so both had to settle for a point.
FULL TIME: BLACKPOOL 0 LEICESTER CITY 0