sport

Ipswich, Blackpool draw blank

Blackpool's winless run stretched to 15 games after a dismal goalless stalemate with play-off hopefuls Ipswich Town in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.

A dire match in equally dire conditions was played out at Portman Road - but it was Seasiders interim player-manager Barry Ferguson who would have been the happier after his third draw in his first five matches.

After recovering from a fast, attacking start from the home side, Blackpool shaded the better of the chances and Ipswich were indebted to Scott Loach who denied Faris Haroun on three separate occasions.

Against a side who have not tasted a competitive victory since November, it was little surprise that it was the play-off hopefuls who looked for an early goal.

David McGoldrick had two attempts at Luke Chambers' inviting cross, the second denied by a brave block by David Perkins before Daryl Murphy was gifted too much time to ghost past Gary MacKenzie before being denied by Blackpool keeper Matt Gilks.

On eight minutes, the home fans should have been celebrating the opening goal when a lovely switch by Luke Hyam allowed Chambers to send over another cracking cross but McGoldrick's header narrowly missed the near post.

Blackpool slowly worked their way back into the match as Ipswich failed to live up to their early showing.

And the struggling visitors could feel aggrieved not to go in at half-time ahead after Loach smartly denied Haroun and Chambers just beat Perkins to the rebound.

The same match-up ended the half when Loach blocked Haroun's drive at his near post.

A similar pattern began the second half with Dobbie feeding Haroun on the right-hand side of the area, but the new signing's drive across goal missed both team-mates and the far post.

A gritty game threatened to come to life when Murphy found some space after Christophe Berra's clearance but his speculative shot went wide of the far post.

Minutes later, Stephen Hunt had time to control and volley a 20-yarder but it sailed over Gilks' crossbar.

With chances at a premium, sub Jay Tabb found a rare bit of space in the Blackpool box, after good work by Murphy, but his shot under pressure was held by Gilks.

As a mundane match drifted towards its conclusion, Loach again got the better of Haroun after the midfielder latched onto a loose header from David Goodwillie.

At the other end, Murphy's goalbound shot was blocked by Ricardo Fuller and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake failed with an attempt at an overhead as Ipswich rallied in the closing minutes.

The final chance of an ultimately disappointing afternoon for Mick McCarthy's men fell to top scorer McGoldrick but he scuffed his shot from 12 yards.