Blackpool 0 Sheffield W 0: Owls stalemate pulls them downward

Sheffield Wednesday were pulled a point closer to the npower Championship relegation zone as they played out a drab goalless draw at Blackpool.

Results elsewhere mean the Owls are now just three points clear of the drop-zone, while the Tangerines are one point better off.

The visitors subjected their opponents to a barrage of early pressure, but Matt Gilks pulled off a string of crucial saves to keep the scores level.

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Paul Ince’s men settled as the half progressed, with Thomas Ince having his side’s best opportunity tipped around a post by Chris Kirkland.

Danny Pugh and Steve Howard replaced Reda Johnson and Leroy Lita for Wednesday after their 2-1 defeat at Elland Road on Saturday.

Jermaine Johnson forced Gilks into an early save when he latched onto the end of a Howard cross with a volley inside the opening minute, but the Blackpool goalkeeper was equal to it.

Gilks needed to be alert once again just a few minutes later, as Johnson capitalised on some lax defending to surge into the penalty area, only to see his shot tipped around a post.

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The hosts went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock shortly after half-time as Kirk Broadfoot headed against the crossbar.

Kirkland had to wait until the 86th minute to be called upon to make a save in a second half largely void of goalscoring opportunities, with Gilks’s first action coming in stoppage time as he parried a late Chris Maguire shot.

Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, MacKenzie, Broadfoot, Crainey, Ferguson, Basham (Grandin 78), Sylvestre,Phillips (Taylor-Fletcher 74), Delfouneso (Derbyshire 90), Ince. Unused substitutes: Halstead, Eardley, Cathcart, Martinez.

Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Gardner, Pugh, Holden (Lee 60), Coke, Prutton, Jermaine Johnson (Maguire 68), Howard, Helan. Unused substitutes: Bywater, Taylor, Mattock, McCabe, Lita.

Referee: K Wright (Cambridgeshire).

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