Report: Cambridge 0 Blackpool 0
Ten-man Blackpool held on for a hard-fought draw at Cambridge United, as Sam Slocombe stole the headlines with another vital penalty save.
The goalkeeper saved Luke Berry’s spot kick after Tom Aldred had been controversially dismissed for allegedly pulling back Conor Newton.
Mark Cullen and Andy Taylor came close to earning Pool all three points, while Slocombe made a series of routine saves throughout.
The in-form hosts looked a threat instantly from set pieces and could have led early on when Leon Legge’s planted header bounced back off the inside of Slocombe’s right-hand post.
Cambridge were brimming with confidence on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run and neat football fashioned an opening for George Maris, who shot at Slocombe with the inside of the right foot.
Former Pool loanee Uche Ikpeazu was proving a nuisance for his old team mates and shot on the turn on 25 minutes, but Slocombe was equal to it.
Blackpool’s first sight of goal came in fortunate circumstances, as Brad Potts’ wayward shot fell into the path of Cullen, who instinctively stuck out a foot and was denied by Will Norris, with the rebound coming off the striker and out for a goal kick.
In first-half stoppage time Luke Berry was denied by Slocombe from a Piero Mingoia cross, as The Seasiders went in for half-time on level terms.
Half-Time: Cambridge 0 Blackpool 0
Blackpool started the second period much better and started asking questions of their hosts, who did well to block Kyle Vassell’s goal ward volley.
Taylor then nearly caught out Norris, who claimed his miss-hit cross, as it sailed towards his top corner, at the second attempt.
The left-back tested the goalkeeper once again soon after, but his free-kick was comfortably parried, before Potts tracked Berry all the way to deny the midfielder brilliantly.
The game turned on 74 minutes, as Aldred was adjudged to have brought down substitute Newton inside the area, despite Slocombe already being in possession of the ball.
The referee brandished a red card, but Slocombe was the hero once again. Diving to deny Berry from 12 yards to keep his side level.
Not deterred by the red card, Pool continued to push for a winner and Bright Osayi-Samuel replaced Cullen soon after.
The winger set up an opening for Potts with timing running out but the midfielder blazed over, before being replaced by Danny Philliskirk, with Jamille Matt following for Vassell soon after.
In stoppage time Slocombe saved a Berry free-kick and Will Aimson did even more at the death, throwing his head in the way of Ikpeazu’s shot to earn a point.
Full-Time: Cambridge 0 Blackpool 0