Appleton reign begins with draw
Michael Appleton opened his points account as Blackpool manager with a hard fought draw against Lancashire neighbours Bolton Wanderers. The Seasiders came from behind twice to claim a deserved point at a wet Bloomfield Road.
Bolton took an early lead when Mark Davies' shot squirmed under Matt Gilks, but Blackpool hit back immediately, as Tom Ince cut inside his full back and unleashed a thumping strike past Adam Bogdan. Bolton regained the lead when substitute Lee Chung-Yong turned in a Chris Eagles cross, only for 2 of Appleton's changes to combine for the equaliser, as the returning Kevin Phillips teed up Nathan Delfouneso.
Blackpool remained unchanged from their impressive win at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, with Chris Basham retaining his place in midfield against his former club. Bolton boss Dougie Freedman handed David N'Gog the task of the lone striker, choosing to add Spearing and Andrews to the midfield alongside Mark Davies.
In what was a classic derby opening, in which both sides battled for supremacy, Bolton struck first as Neal Eardley was caught out of position allowing Mark Davies to run through on goal. Gilks got a solid hand on the shot, but the ball trickled over the line.
Many teams with Blackpool's recent home form would have crumbled, but before Bolton touched the ball again, Blackpool were level. Ince gathered the ball on half way, skipped beyond Stephen Warnock and smashed a wonderful strike from 20 yards into the top corner.
Neither side threatened changing the scores before half time, with Ludo Sylvestre going closest with a number of low efforts from distance which drew saves from Adam Bogdan.
It was much of the same after the break, with Delfouneso brought on for the injured Taylor-Fletcher, as Freedman looked to stifle Blackpool's threats. He added Lee to his attacking options, and the Korean made an instant impact, connecting with Eagles' low cross after a Crainey mistake to put the visitors back in front.
Blackpool, however, have retained their never-say-die spirit, as Crainey atoned for his error with a pinpoint delivery picking out Kevin Phillips at the back post. Phillips shot was smothered by a combination of the Bolton defence and Bogdan, only for Delfouneso to pounce and notch his 3rd of the season with just 10 minutes left on the clock.
Neither side were able to convert late pressure into a winner, and neither set of fans can be too disappointed with a point, as Michael Appleton's Blackpool career got off to a solid start.