Half-time: Bristol City 1, Blackpool 0
Without a win in five games and hampered by a mounting injury list, City boss Derek McInnes announced five changes to the team beaten 3-0 at Peterborough last time out, handing a debut to midfielder Sean Davis, signed on loan from Bolton Wanderers, and recalling Louis Carey, Jordan Spence, Chris Wood and Jon Stead.
With a point to prove following a frustrating spell on the bench, Stead twice sneaked in behind the Blackpool defence in the opening 10 minutes. On the first occasion, he found Neil Kilkenny, who turned down the chance to shoot, and on the second, he delayed his pass when Stephen Pearson was screaming for the ball on the edge of the penalty area.
Deployed on the left side of a front three, Wood contrived to shoot over from close range after being set-up by fast-raiding left-back Richard Foster. But an offside flag meant it would not have counted had he hit the target.
Stead was at the heart of City's best moments and he won a free kick on the edge of the 18 yard box after going down under pressure from Alex Baptiste.
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Wood took responsibility for the free kick, only for his thunderous shot to be blocked by the defensive wall.
Although Blackpool were neat and tidy in possession, they struggled to create anything resembling a clear-cut chance and it was City who drew first blood in the 29th minute.
Albert Adomah's looping header dropped invitingly into the path of Stead who, with his back to goal, used his body strength to turn centre-back Danny Wilson and rifle a low shot beyond Seasiders keeper Matt Gilks and into the far corner for his first goal of the season.
It was the former Blackburn and Sunderland forward's first goal since he netted against Hull in the final game of last season at Ashton Gate.