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Match Report: Bolton Wanderers 1 Blackpool 0

After two disappointing results, Bolton hoped to return to winning ways, as local rivals Blackpool visited the Reebok Stadium

Paul Thomas

Dougie Freedman was forced into one change from the team that started against Yeovil, with David Wheater coming in for the suspended Alex Baptiste, which saw youngster Andrew Kellet earn himself a spot on the bench.

The game would be a special milestone for Adam Bogdan who made his 100th appearance for the club.

The game got off to a slow  start, with Blackpool FC edging out the possession stats in the early stages, as they'd go on to do for most of the game.

The first chances of the match both fell to Lukas Jutkiewicz: the first one that came his way was courtesy of some excellent work from Joe Mason down the left channel, but his cross into the box was slightly behind Jutkiewicz and he ended up missing the ball completely.

His second attempt came on the edge of the box, after he did well to keep hold of the ball and set himself up, but he slipped as he shot and the ball went wildly into the Blackpool fans behind the goal.

We didn't have long to wait for Bolton to get another chance on goal, and this time they made it count. A Jay Spearing out-swinging corner was met by the towering David Wheater, who headed the ball back across goal and into the bottom corner.

After the goal Blackpool began to run the proceedings, creating countless opportunities. A quick counter attack from a Bolton corner saw Ricardo Fuller slip through Andy Halliday, who'd unsurprisingly managed to ghost past Alan Hutton, but he smashed his shot wide of the near post.

Zat Knight, continuing his fine form, excellently blocked a dangerous Fuller cross,Elliot Grandin fired across goal but nobody in luminous orange was there to meet it and captain Gary MacKenzie bent a shot just wide of the post after being teed up by Fuller.

Bolton's one reply to Blackpool's dominance was from Neil Danns, who set himself up on the edge of the box to bend one into the top corner, but instead it went quite a way over the crossbar.

The half wore on with Blackpool dominating possession, midfielder David Perkins being the standout player, and Bolton relying far too heavily on the counter attack, when we had next to no pace on the field at all. It lead to Bolton not being able to hold onto the ball in midfield and left the defence under constant pressure.

With Mark Clattenburg doing his best to keep his excellent record at Bolton intact, he blew for half time with the score 1-0.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with Blackpool on top. Ricardo Fuller beat a couple of men as he cut inside and teed up Grandin, whose shot was deflected over by Wheater, the resulting corner resulted in the ball staying in the box for an uneasy amount of time until Knight hacked it clear.

Bolton's first chance of the half fell to Medo, whose effort sailed high and wide past the goal posts. Blackpool then got themselves another chance, this time Halliday who fired goal wards, but his shot was blocked well by Knight once again.

For all of Blackpool's possession and chances however, they had failed to test Bogdan on a single occasion, as Grandin and McMahon both fired wide for the Tangerines.

Two Bolton substitutes then combined for the best chance of the game, as Chung-Yong Lee slipped through Jermaine Beckford, who poked the ball past the outrushing Matt Gilks but also agonisingly just past the far post. Despite the miss it was nice to see that Beckford hasn't lost any of his pace after his injury.

It was then turn of Neil Danns, who brought a good save out of Gilks, after some fancy footwork in the area to get away from a defender, Beckford then hit a glancing header, from Jutkiewicz' cross, straight into the hands of the Blackpool goalkeeper.

Blackpool's golden chance for an equaliser fell to new signing Robert Earnshaw, as he found some room in the Bolton box all of seven yards from goal, but he could only hit his tame effort straight at Bogdan, who happily gobbled up Blackpool's first and only attempt on target.

The game ticked on with continued Blackpool pressure as Halliday blazed the ball just over the bar from the edge of the area, however, a chance to seal the win for Bolton came Beckford's way as he nicked the ball off fullback Tony McMahon, but he could only bend his shot wide of the far post from a tight angle.

The game then began to fizzle out as the resilient Bolton defence held firm for three hard fought and very valuable points.