Blackpool frustrate Robins
Bristol City's bid to cement their spot in the play-offs was frustrated by a 0-0 draw with Blackpool.
Last Updated: 28/02/09 5:48pm
Bristol City's bid to cement their spot in the Championship play-offs was frustrated by a 0-0 draw at home to Blackpool.
Though the hosts dominated the second half at Ashton Gate, and created the best chances, there was no way past Blackpool keeper Paul Rachubka.
The Seasiders stood firm to pick up a priceless point, with the result keeping the Robins in fifth place in the table after rivals Cardiff lost and Preston won.
The game began with City looking the more likely side to take an early lead with in-form midfielder Gavin Williams and defender Bradley Orr both coming close with early half-chances.
But it was the Seasiders who registered the first shot on target as the ball broke to veteran striker Brett Ormerod, who directed his ninth-minute drive straight at goalkeeper Adriano Basso.
Striker DJ Campbell, rejuvenated since his loan move from Leicester, was lively during the opening periods and almost broke clear of the Robins defence but his path was blocked by a well-timed tackle from Liam Fontaine.
Gary Johnson's side soon found their stride and Michael McIndoe's 20-yard strike had Blackpool goalkeeper Rachubka scrambling to turn the ball away in the 27th minute.
Genuine goalscoring chances were few and far between in the first half and Campbell's lofted effort over the City crossbar in the 39th minute was as close as either side came to breaking the deadlock.
The beleaguered visitors came out of the tunnel after the interval in attacking mood and almost snatched the lead as Charlie Adam's inswinging corner was met by Gary Taylor-Fletcher but his far-post header narrowly missed the target.
That close shave seemed to awaken the Robins and they surged forward in search of the opener - Jamie McAllister's left-footed strike from the left channel skidding inches wide of the left-hand post.
Robins winger Ivan Sproule came on to replace striker Nicky Maynard as Johnson's men piled on the pressure.
Midfielder Williams watched his effort from distance drag inches wide while Cole Skuse had his strike from the edge of the area courageously blocked and Louis Carey should have hit the target with his close-range effort.
The home side were relentless in their attacking and Blackpool had Rachubka to thank for keeping them in the game as he showed great reactions to stop Liam Fontaine's header and McIndoe's drive from 12 yards.
It was back-to-the-walls defending for the visitors as they rarely broke out of their own area - defender Alex Baptiste stretching to hook another Fontaine header off the line.
However, Seasiders substitute Graeme Owens did test Basso in a rare late attack but the Brazilian goalkeeper was equal to the midfielder's drive from distance.
City striker Stern John and midfielder Williams both came close in the frantic closing minutes but neither team could break the deadlock.