BLACKBURN Rovers kept their unbeaten pre-season record but had to settle for a draw in the seaside sunshine at Bloomfield Road.

In a classic game of two halves, Owen Coyle’s side were below par for the first 45 minutes and fell behind when Kyle Vassell’s shot was deflected past Jason Steele by Shane Duffy, back in the side for the first time this pre-season.

They were level minutes before the break as Ben Marshall showed some neat footwork to fire in a left-foot shot that beat Seasiders keeper Sam Slocombe, also via a deflection.

The second-half showing was much better and the visitors could have won the game as Duffy and Danny Graham both headed good chances over the bar.

Coyle made five changes from the side that took the field against Rochdale on Tuesday night, with Duffy back for the first time since his Euro 2016 exertions with the Republic of Ireland in place of Scott Wharton at the heart of the defence.

Adam Henley started at left-back in place of Stephen Hendrie, Jack Byrne and Danny Guthrie were paired in midfield, and Marshall had recovered sufficiently from illness to come in for Elliott Bennett.

The 10-man bench also featured a new name, with former defender Gordon Greer back for a trial at his former club.

The troubled Seasiders are led by former Ewood Park manager Gary Bowyer and he received a great welcome from the travelling supporters as the game got underway.

It was Bowyer’s new team who enjoyed the better of the first half as Rovers laboured.

Graham, looking for his fourth goal in four pre-season fixtures, was again paired with Anthony Stokes in attack but despite trying their best, none of the link-up play came off.

Danny Philliskirk had the first chance of the game for the home side when he found space down the right of the Rovers box and fired in a shot that Steele did well to tip onto his post.

Stokes the managed to wriggle free on the left of the Blackpool area after nine minutes but was thwarted by a sliding tackle as he prepared to shoot.

The Seasiders started to command more of the possession and Brad Potts had a sight of goal when he hit an arrowing right-foot drive that just cleared Steele’s crossbar, although the Rovers keeper had it covered.

That was a warning, though, and Vassell’s goal arrived two minutes later - the first time Rovers have fallen behind during their pre-season campaign.

He lost Elliott Ward outside the box before seeing his shot fly in off Duffy.

Rovers lost their way for a while and Tom Aldred almost put Blackpool further in front when he got to a corner ahead of Steele but headed wide.

But Rovers found an equaliser a minute before the interval when Byrne picked out Marshall on the left and he executed a slick step-over before smashing in a shot that flew past Slocombe.

Coyle brought on Elliott Bennett, Darragh Lenihan, Greer and Hope Akpan for the second period, in place of Stokes, Guthrie, Elliott Ward and Byrne respectively, and switched to a 4-2-3-1. Immediately his team looked more balanced.

Akpan fired over the top after a lay-off from Graham before Feeney dragged an effort wide of the target.

Nine changes on the 60-minute mark from Bowyer disrupted the game, but Rovers came back again and Bennett got to the byline but his cross was too strong.

Duffy headed a decent chance just over the bar before he was replaced by Scott Wharton, with Jack Doyle, and Corry Evans also getting a run-out.

Graham then had an even better chance nine minutes from time, but the striker was also off target.

That summed up a day when Rovers didn’t quite click.

Rovers: Steele, Lowe, Duffy (Wharton 76), Ward (Greer 46), Henley (Doyle 76), Feeney (Evans 76), Guthrie (Lenihan 46), Byrne (Akpan 46), Marshall, Stokes (Bennett 46), Graham.

Subs not used: Raya, O'Sullivan, El Bakhtaoui.