A late goal from Jason Scotland gave Barnsley all three points at Bloomfield Road, as they beat Blackpool 2-1.
Jim O’Brien finished off an incisive counter attack to open the scoring for the visitors, before Thomas Ince drew the Tangerines level with his 16th goal of the season.
Matt Gilks then saw red for handling outside of the penalty area, to force Pool to play the final 25 minutes with just 10 men.
Substitute Matt Derbyshire then went close on three occasions for the home side – including a stunning strike which hit the bar – before Scotland struck two minutes from time to seal all three points for Barnsley.
Blackpool started the better of the two sides, and had the first effort on goal when Alex Baptiste fed Tiago Gomes. The playmaker worked just enough space to shoot from 18 yards, but it was comfortably gathered by Luke Steele.
Minutes later it was Gomes again aiming to test the Barnsley ‘keeper, after he latched on to his own half-cleared cross. This time the Portuguese opted for power rather than placement, and his shot from the left hand side of the penalty area screwed high and wide.
After some good work from Gary Taylor-Fletcher forced a couple of corners, Pool created the game’s first big chance in the 16th minute. Ince’s ball in travelled all the way to an unmarked Chris Basham, who somehow headed wide.
The visitors had been flying in recent weeks, and they began to put together a decent spell of possession. Matt Gilks was called into action for the first time to gather an O’Brien shot, and the Scottish ‘keeper again had to show smart handling to gather a Scott Golbourne cross which had looped up off defender.
Steve Thompson’s side might have thought they had seen out the danger, but they were caught by a lightning quick counter in the 25th minute. Seconds after the Tykes had defended corner, O’Brien was set clear with only Gilks to beat. The midfielder steadied himself on the surface, and then coolly slotted the ball beyond the ‘keeper and into the net.
BLACKPOOL 0 BARNSLEY 1
On the balance of play The Seasiders could count themselves unlucky to be behind, and they continued to press for an equaliser throughout the remainder of the first half. Ince and Matt Phillips both had shots blocked on the edge of the area, and then Stephen Crainey saw his low cross fortuitously deflected into the grasp of Steele by Stephen Foster.
Phillips then agonisingly looked on as a cross of his own evaded a number of Pool attackers, just before referee Geoff Eltringham brought the half to a close.
HALF TIME: BLACKPOOL 0 BARNSLEY 1
The start of the second period saw Barnsley spurn a decent chance to double their lead, when David Perkins robbed Angel of possession 30 yards from the Blackpool goal. With no-one closing down the shot the diminutive midfielder should’ve at least hit the target, but he dragged his shot wide.
Craig Cathcart then had the Tangerine’s first effort on goal of the second period, but his fierce volley flew just over the bar.
The Seasiders didn’t have to wait too much longer for their goal however, as Ince brought them level in the 55th minute. Crainey’s bobbling cross in from the left sat up nicely on the edge of the area, and the England U21 international’s sweet left footed strike gave Steele no chance.
BLACKPOOL 1 BARNSLEY 1
With both sides back on level terms, Blackpool were reduced to 10 men in the 65th minute. Barnsley substitute Chris O’Grady looked to have broken clear of the Tangerines back-line. Gilks rushed out to narrow the angle, but handled outside of the area as the striker looked to knock the ball towards goal.
That red card prompted the introduction of Mark Halstead for the home side, with David Flitcroft’s visitors looking to take full advantage of their extra man by bringing on Jason Scotland.
Pool had looked threatening from a number of their corners, and went close again with their 11th of the game. This time it was Matt Derbyshire with the chance to score, but his header flashed wide.
The loan striker, on in place of Taylor-Fletcher, then got his head onto another ball in, this time a deep cross from Crainey, but again he couldn’t quite force the ball on target.
The ten-men of Blackpool continued to look the more likely to take the lead. Gomes’s chipped cross found Basham at the back post, but the off-balance midfielder steered his effort just wide.
Derbyshire then again went even closer to scoring his first goal in tangerine, as he produced an excellent strike out of nothing which might have been diverted by the fingertip of Steele before it cannoned off the cross-bar.
Barnsley had yet to seriously test replacement stopper Halstead, until Jason Scotland powered his way into the box in the 88th minute. Halstead was off his line quickly to smartly smother the striker’s first effort, but the former Swansea City man pounced on the rebound to score his second goal in two games for the Tykes.
BLACKPOOL 1 BARNSLEY 2
FULL TIME: BLACKPOOL 1 BARNSLEY 2