THE wait for a win continues for Wanderers but the portents are good after a tense night on the telly.

Keith Hill’s side never quite found the finishing touch that some of their build-up play warranted, particularly either side of the interval, but they proved if nothing else that they should no longer be regarded as relegation fodder by any team in League One.

Blackpool’s fans teased with chants of “going down” in the early stages but the banter dried up as the play-off chasing visitors got a thorough workout.

Much of the talk since Hill’s arrival has been of the attacking football he pledged to play. And it showed itself in patches. But this was a night where the defensive improvements Bolton have made could be celebrated. When the Seasiders pressed, Wanderers defenders had answers – and that is a comforting thought as the season goes into an international break.

With kit on sale and season tickets now in hand, the matchday feel has returned at last, and in the hours before kick-off the sights and sounds around the ground had a pleasingly familiar air about them.

Hill made just one change from the side that was beaten at Portsmouth, Dennis Politic coming in for Will Buckley.

It took Wanderers a while to grow into the first half, their early policy of hitting diagonal balls to target man Daryl Murphy feeling a little incongruous with the football they have played thus far under Hill.

Once things had warmed up it was Blackpool who had the first meaningful opportunity. Matt Virtue skewed his shot towards the corner flag but ex-Bolton winger Liam Feeney was there to angle a shot back in on goal which bounced off the crossbar.

Moments later Callum Guy’s low shot bounced off the heels of Jason Lowe and fell invitingly for Virtue, but his shot was blocked superbly in front of goal by Jack Hobbs.

Wanderers started to bring their wide men, Thibaud Verlinden and Politic into the game, and with it gave the visitors a few problems. Hobbs sent one header at Jak Alnwick’s goal and another Ali Crawford corner dropped invitingly for Murphy only for Ben Heneghan to hook the ball away.

Verlinden began to go in search of the ball, showing more of the thrust and parry we have come to expect from the Stoke loanee. Midway through the half he threaded a ball through for Murphy which gave the Irishman a good sight of the Blackpool goal, but Alnwick was equal to his shot.

Though Ben Alnwick was absent with an Achilles injury, his brother Jak was showing the goalkeeping genes run deep in the family. A few minute later he tipped a 25-yard free kick from Crawford around the post to keep the scores level.

After his sublime goal at Rochdale, Crawford is rapidly becoming Wanderers’ go-to person for set pieces. He may not have been the most heralded arrival on transfer deadline day but the Scot’s busy style and penchant for the spectacular certainly appears to be winning over the supporters.

With 10 minutes left in the half Wanderers had to make a painful change, losing the influential Liam Bridcutt after he was clattered during a Blackpool attack. He attempted to continue after a few minutes of treatment but was clearly in some discomfort and eventually Hill was forced to put on 17-year-old Sonny Graham.

The Morecambe-born midfielder played well in the Trophy at Spotland last week and got a confidence-boosting first touch, outwitting the vastly-experienced Sean Scannell in front of the dugouts.

His arrival changed the dynamic slightly, with Bridcutt no longer demanding the ball from his defenders and playing ‘quarterback’ there was a need for Bolton to play a little quicker through midfield.

As a result, Wanderers finished the half on top. Their football had not been as free-flowing as it had been at times in the last few weeks but the home support – buoyed by around 9,000 season ticket holders – sounded their appreciation as the teams jogged back down the tunnel.

That positive vibe continued into the second half where Bolton continued to control the game.

Joe Dodoo replaced Politic early on, picking up his role on the right side of attack. Almost straight away he was involved in a penalty box scramble as Hobbs’ header was pushed around the post by Alnwick.

On the hour former Rangers striker Dodoo nearly got himself a dream debut. Denied at the near post by Alnwick, he got the ball back after good pressure from Murphy and drove another angled shot inches wide of the far post.

Bolton needed to make their superiority count. They lived to regret not doing so at Portsmouth and as Blackpool began to inch their way into the game in the final quarter, those familiar concerns began to mount once more.

Jay Spearing fired a shot across the boughs, popping up on the edge of the box in a way he did so often in his time at Wanderers. Thankfully his shot was wayward.

The game moved into a nervous final quarter, both sides knowing one goal would most likely win it.

Verlinden produced a delicious cross with the outside of his boot for Murphy, whose glance at goal was blocked well by the covering Curtis Tilt.

At the other end Armand Gnanduillet got the wrong side of his defender just the once but blasted his shot high and wide into the upper tier packed with travelling fans.

Blackpool piled on the late pressure, swinging corner after corner into the Bolton box. And if the Whites had failed to take full advantage of their possession at one end of the pitch there was something admirable about the way they preserved the point with some resolute defending in their own penalty box.