Premier League - Stoke hold Blackpool to draw

Sat, 30 Apr 17:06:00 2011

Blackpool remain just outside the Premier League relegation places following a 0-0 draw with Stoke City at Bloomfield Road.

Match Highlights:

Kenwyne Jones passed up the only real clear cut opportunity of the game on the stroke of half-time as he contrived to miss an open goal, but a defeat would have been harsh on Ian Holloway's industrious side.

With trips to Tottenham and Manchester United as two of their three remaining games, Tangerines boss Ian Holloway will have earmarked Stoke at home as a pivotal game in their quest for Premier League survival.

Conventional wisdom dictates that you survive relegation on your home form but Holloway's men have defied convention for much of the season, and continued in that vein by recording the only scoreless game of the season at Bloomfield Road.

If they are to succeed in securing top flight football next season they will have to do it the hard way as the draw sees them remain just above the drop zone on goal difference but it could have been worse had a late penalty from Everton's Leighton Baines not denied Wigan victory at the DW Stadium.

Holloway stuck with the same side that had started the 1-1 draw with Newcastle last weekend; while, as expected, Pulis made one enforced change from the 3-0 victory over Wolves on Tuesday, with Dean Whitehead coming in for hamstring injury victim Matthew Etherington.

Despite the possible ramifications a defeat would have for the home side, they played with an attacking abandon throughout the first forty five but the only clear cut chance of the first period came in the form of a Kenwyne Jones candidate for miss of the season.

DJ Campbell had fed on scraps for much of the first half and spurned a couple of half chances - most notably a header four minutes in - before Jones latched onto a Glenn Whelan through ball on the stroke of half-time.

Having rounded Matt Gilks, the Trinidadian looked certain to give his side an undeserved lead going to the interval but he inexplicably put his effort wide of the post with the goal gaping and Ian Evatt in his wake.

Having controlled large swathes of the first period without really threatening the goal of Asmir Begovic, Blackpool boss Ian Holloway became increasingly animated on the touchline as his side handed the initiative to their visitors during the second period.

Whelan, on the periphery for much of the opening half, began to set the rhythm as Stoke put Gilks under considerable pressure from corners and long throws but the Blackpool back line remained stout to restrict the visitors to efforts from distance.

The pick of the bunch came from Whelan who whistled an effort wide from just outside the box having collected a loose ball with a little over five minutes to go.

Inevitably, with much at stake, Blackpool began to lay siege to the Stoke goal as the game drew to a close but, with a lack of genuine quality in difficult windy conditions, to little avail.

Marcus Foley / Eurosport

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