WANDERERS exorcised some of their demons with a well-deserved victory over Blackpool.

If only more fans had been around to see it.

A measly 1,589 turned out in the latest instalment of the Checkatrade Trophy fiasco but those who did will be glad they made the effort.

Sammy Ameobi scored the night’s only goal, the least he deserved for a fine individual performance. Wanderers could have had others, but let’s not get greedy.

Such was the disappointment at the Macron in the last few days, any victory will be greeted with enthusiasm regardless of the competition. And, though this was against a much-changed side from League Two, a win is a win.

Given the criticism his side received in defeat to Oxford United on Saturday, Parkinson may have had a change of heart in the last few days when selecting his side.

He named the minimum five players who had started against the U’s but in keeping the likes of Zach Clough, David Wheater and James Henry in the starting line-up it, it was clear he was not messing around.

And the manager was rewarded for his bravery in selection, with the Whites playing some imaginative football in the first half, light years away from the nervous fayre they served up at the weekend.

The pre-match gloominess felt entirely fitting with three stands immersed in darkness.

Wanderers had gone 443 minutes without a goal but didn’t wait long to press the reset button as James Henry’s corner was headed back in towards goal by Jamie Proctor and Ameobi only had to poke the ball over the line from three yards out.

The on-loan Newcastle United man has struggled to make an impact thus far in his Bolton career but with a goal under his belt his confidence was visibly lifted and he started to show some of the skills and flashes of pace which have made him such a dangerous customer in the Championship with Cardiff and Middlesbrough.

Wanderers’ build-up was inventive, if at times a little over-elaborate.

Ameobi produced one moment of magic on the left, leaving Eddie Nolan for dead and seeing a low cross hooked away from his own line by Will Aimson.

The same defender then threw his body in front of Josh Vela’s goalbound effort after Clough had pulled a great ball back towards the penalty spot.

To suggest the Whites had it all their own way would be wrong. Blackpool were content to hit on the break and as Henry and Ameobi started to cough up possession with more regularity later in the half, the chances started to flow.

Danny Philliskirk – son of Tony – had the kind of chance his dad converted regularly in his Bolton days as David Wheater’s half-clearance landed at his feet eight yards out. His effort could only find the side-netting, and another deflected effort moments later then landed on the roof of Ben Alnwick’s net.

Wheater should have doubled the lead, putting a free header wide from Henry’s corner but Blackpool came back again, and only a brilliant block from Josh Vela denied Mark Cullen an equaliser.

Restored to central midfield after an unhappy afternoon at full-back on Saturday, Vela had been the first-half’s outstanding player. His heroics continued after the break as he hooked away a header from Jamille Matt on the goal line.

Proctor’s misfortune in front of goal continued as Henry’s corner bounced off his knees and wide of the post.

Clough went even closer; bearing down on goal he curled a shot around Dean Lyness against the post and then agonisingly failed to turn the rebound into the net.

The Whites striker was soon replaced by Gary Madine, who immediately picked up the baton. Ameobi raced around Nolan for the umpteenth time on the night and pulled a ball back to the penalty spot – but Lyness produced a magnificent save to push Madine’s shot wide of the post.

The second goal would have been nice. Wheater thought he had it when he got the slightest touch to Henry’s free kick only for Lyness to make the save.

With eight minutes to go, Alex Samizadeh came off the bench for his first taste of football this season. Despite being just 17, the attention lavished upon him has often hit fever pitch on social media and his youthful exuberance showed in one late challenge on defender Aimson.

Unfortunately – and not for the want of trying – the young striker did not have a chance to show what he could do in the penalty box, as Blackpool finished the stronger. Both Michael Cain and Kyle Vassell had shots saved in the final stages by debutant Alnwick, whose goal led a charmed life at times.

It might be the competition nobody wants but last night it provided some salvation for a team that will take any break it can get.

If nothing else, victory at the Macron made sure next month’s trip to ‘northern rivals’ Cheltenham Town is no dead rubber.