Report: Blackpool 1 Bolton 1If ever there was a time for a bold performance from Blackpool it was today, and they'd have been celebrating three well earned points had it not been for a late Bolton equaliser.
The Seasiders looked on course to edge a fiercely contested match when Jacob Murphy crashed a free-kick into the top corner, but their joy was short-lived.
Lee Chung-Yong smashed Bolton level with the clock ticking, as the Bloomfield Road faithful left with mixed emotions.
Murphy's individual brilliance was just reward for a strong Blackpool performance, but sloppy defending allowed the visitors a route back into the contest, which they duly took.
It was Chris Eagles of all the debutants to first make an early impact, testing Andy Lonergan following a mazy run. Meanwhile Bolton, wearing their green Blesma kit, saw Tim Ream call Joe Lewis into action at the other end.
However it was Jacob Mellis who stepped it up a notch, seeing his speculative drive deflect onto the crossbar for The Seasiders. But the midfielder was dealt a cruel blow moments later, going down with a hamstring injury, meaning Andrea Orlandi was introduced.
Seconds later Lee struck the foot of Lewis' right-hand post, as the intensity increased. The substitution had slowed down the momentum from a Pool perspective, and Lewis was forced into another smart save from Max Clayton.
And when Tom Kennedy's stray back pass put the stopper under pressure, the majority of Bloomfield Road breathed a huge sigh of relief when he avoided severe punishment. After hurtling out of his goal to remove the danger, Lewis hauled down Craig Davies, but was only shown a yellow card, before Bolton wasted the following free-kick.
The final chance of the half fell to Nile Ranger, who'd had a quiet half, and he nodded Murphy's corner over with Lonergan in no man's land.
Half Time: Blackpool 0 Bolton 0
After the interval Pool looked lively, and Orlandi shot straight at Lonergan, while Davies had his head in his hands at the other end when he glanced Neil Danns' centre off target.
On the hour mark O'Hara shot at Longergan following a swift break away, before Ishmael Miller replaced Ranger. Murphy was next to try his luck, lashing an effort wide as Pool cranked up the intensity.
Lee Clark attempted to build on the positivity, and threw Steven Davies on for his first run-out since August, taking the place of Eagles. And moments later that bit of magic which has deserted The Seasiders this season arrived right on in time.
Murphy broke with pace, forcing Jay Spearing to haul him down. Elected by team mate Jamie O'Hara, Murphy stepped up and pinged his free-kick into the top corner to put Blackpool ahead on his home debut.
From there Bolton inevitably cranked up the pressure, and it didn't take them long to level. David Perkins' headed clearance fell straight to Lee, who crashed in the equaliser past Lewis.
In the closing stages both sides showed interest in winning, but neither could force a late winner, and the entertaining clash finished level.
Full Time: Blackpool 1 Bolton 1
By Mark Ridgway