Report: Crewe 1 Blackpool 1
Blackpool were forced to settle for a point after Crewe Alexandra came from behind to cancel out Jon Guthrie’s first-half own goal at Gresty Road.
The defender had headed Andy Taylor’s cross into his own net to put The Seasiders in front, but Ryan Lowe saved his blushes when he nodded beyond Dean Lyness.
It was deja-vu for Pool, who had been dominant in the opening period and would have led further had Armand Gnanduillet’s header not been cleared off the goal line.
Blackpool started on top at Gresty Road and thoroughly deserved their early lead, which came courtesy of an own goal. A delightful cross from Taylor was too much for Guthrie to handle, with the defender looping a header beyond the helpless Ben Garratt.
Looking to assert their dominance further, former Crewe full-back Kelvin Mellor then clipped in a cross which in-form Gnanduillet nodded wide.
Crewe’s first attempt came though Zoumana Bakayogo, but after outmuscling Mellor, he dragged his effort well wide of the target. Sam Slocombe was called into action a minute later however, turning behind a bending George Cooper free-kick.
However, it was still Blackpool asking the questions and a Mark Yeates corner caused havoc on the half-hour mark, as Tom Aldred was denied by Garratt and Danny Philliskirk blazed the loose ball over.
Next Philliskirk fed Jim McAlister, but the on-rushing midfielder’s prodded effort was kept out by Garratt. The goalkeeper was less convincing soon after however, missing his kick and needing Harry Davis to clear Kyle Vassell’s header.
It was all Blackpool and next Gnanduillet’s thumping header was cleared off the line by Cooper. For all their dominance, Blackpool were almost pegged back on 39 minutes, as Ryan Lowe’s header was ruled out for offside.
On the stroke of half-time Vassell linked up with Taylor, but the left-back’s dragged effort would have had more purchase with his stronger foot, as Garratt made a simple save.
Half-Time: Crewe 0 Blackpool 1
Blackpool were dealt a blow at the break, with Slocombe revealing a groin injury and needing replacing by Lyness, who was making his third debut for the club. Blackpool continued to be the better side but failed to create much in the way of chances.
That meant Jamille Matt was introduced on 58 minutes, taking the place of Vassell. And his strike partner Gnanduillet tested Garratt from long range soon after.
With Crewe starting to come into proceedings much more as the half wore on, Gary Bowyer opted to shore things up by bringing on Colin Daniel for Yeates, however the hosts pulled themselves level seconds later. A swinging cross from Cooper was nodded his beyond Lyness by Lowe for 1-1.
Blackpool needed to respond well to that set back and Mellor’s cross was headed into the arms of Garratt by Philliskirk soon after. At the other end, McAlister’s miss-placed pass fashioned an opening for Lowe, who curled onto the outside of the post.
Another let off followed soon after, as Aldred’s header fell as far as Cooper, who was denied by the feet of Lyness, after Taylor had halted his progress.
There would be no further opportunities however, and Blackpool were forced to settle for a point at Gresty Road.
Full-Time: Crewe 1 Blackpool 1