March 2, 2013
Heaton heroics help Robins
Tom Heaton's superb save helped Bristol City earn a vital point in their battle for npower Championship survival as they drew 0-0 at Blackpool.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper did superbly well to keep out Kirk Broadfoot's header in a match of few chances at Bloomfield Road.
And his vital stop meant the Robins moved within two points of safety despite falling to the foot of the league while Blackpool are still without a goal or a win since Paul Ince's return.
It was the home side that had the first real opportunity of a quiet start in the 17th minute when Matt Phillips' cross found Matt Derbyshire but Liam Fontaine did enough to stop the former Blackburn man from testing Heaton.
And the City centre-back was involved at the other end a minute later, but there was no one on the end of his ball across the box after he was found by Steven Davies' deep cross.
The Robins, buoyed by relegation rivals Wolves' draw on Friday night, then had three half-chances in quick succession blocked by Blackpool defenders with Marvin Elliott, Lewin Nyatanga and Jon Stead all trying their luck from distance.
Stead's goalscoring ability helped City record a vital victory against Barnsley last Saturday and he was next to threaten with a looping header from the centre of the penalty area on the half hour mark which was comfortable for Matt Gilks.
Paul Anderson was next to threaten in a half of few clear-cut chances, but the former Liverpool winger fired just over the crossbar after being found by Stephen Pearson.
The home side, aiming to take their unbeaten run in Championship matches against the Robins to five, had half-chances of their own before the break with Tom Ince warming the gloves of Heaton and Derbyshire volleying wide from 12 yards on the stroke of half-time.
Ambitious efforts from Greg Cunningham and Angel Martinez were a long way from testing either goalkeeper at the start of the second 45 as Blackpool's drought without a goal looked set to continue.
It was City doing all the pushing as they looked for a crucial three points and, after heading straight at Gilks, Davies had the ball in the net but the former Derby man was flagged for offside.
Manager Ince introduced Nathan Delfouneso and the Aston Villa loanee was agonisingly close to connecting with Alex Baptiste's ball just two minutes after replacing Neal Eardley.
A minute later they carved out the best chance of the game for Broadfoot but Heaton was up to the challenge and the former Cardiff stopper did superbly well to keep out the Scot's header from Ince's corner.
O'Driscoll responded by introducing Ghana winger Albert Adomah with eight minutes remaining but the ex-Barnet man could not light up a forgettable 90 minutes as the Robins drew 0-0 for the first time this season.
|1 Matthew Gilks||1 Tom Heaton|
|3 Stephen Crainey||4 Liam Fontaine|
|42 Kirk Broadfoot||5 Lewin Nyatanga|
|15 Alex Baptiste||19 Brendan Moloney|
|39 Gary MacKenzie||17 Greg Cunningham|
|5 Neal Eardley||15 Stephen Pearson|
|16 Barry Ferguson||25 Marvin Elliott|
|31 Martinez Cervera Angel||21 Paul Anderson|
|7 Matthew Phillips||10 Liam Kelly|
|38 Matt Derbyshire||9 Jonathan Stead|
|11 Thomas Ince||16 Steve Davies|
|21 Mark Halstead||Dean Gerken 22|
|20 Craig Cathcart||Matthew Bates 39|
|4 Reece Wabara||Brian Howard 11|
|10 Elliot Grandin||Neil Kilkenny 8|
|14 Ludovic Sylvestre||Cole Skuse 14|
|12 Gary Taylor-Fletcher||Albert Adomah 27|
|40 Nathan Delfouneso||Sam Baldock 7|
|Nathan Delfouneso for Neal Eardley (67)||Albert Adomah for Steve Davies (83)|
|Gary Taylor-Fletcher for Matthew Phillips (83)||Cole Skuse for Stephen Pearson (88)|
|Gary MacKenzie (90)||Stephen Pearson (56)|
|· Squads: Blackpool | Bristol City|