Blackpool ended 2015 on a disappointing note and failed to build on their recent good form, as they were beaten 4-2 at Barnsley.
After three successive wins Pool spirits were high, but Sam Winnall had the hosts ahead after a matter of minutes, which set the tone for the afternoon.
Mark Cullen scored a cracker to put The Seasiders level after the break, but it was short-lived as Winnall scored again soon after, before Marley Watkins added a third.
The visitors did give themselves a fighting chance when substitute Andy Little registered his first goal for the club, but Matty Templeton sealed the win in injury time.
After looking rock solid at the back in recent weeks, Blackpool went behind in soft circumstances, as Barnsley scored with the first attack of the game. Reece Wabara’s cross set up Winnall to nod home a simple header after just three minutes.
Blackpool’s sluggish start to the contest continued, as Adam Hammill skipped past his marker and let fly, only to be denied by a strong save from Dean Lyness.
An enforced break, due to an injury to Aidan White, gave Pool some much needed time to regroup and they quickly carved out their first opening, when Brad Potts was inches from Cullen’s low cross.
The hosts were continuing to look threatening however, and Conor Hourihane flashed an effort wide form range. Like Hourihane, Potts then dragged wide for The Seasiders at the other end, as the game began to hit a lull.
The Seasiders were struggling to make their mark on the contest still however, and were almost punished further when Winnall capitalised on some dubious defending, before bending into the arms of Lyness.
Half-Time: Barnsley 1 Blackpool 0
After the break, as the night began to set in, The Tykes continued to look for a second goal, as Hammill produced a series of step-overs, before firing down the throat of Lyness.
However, within the space of a couple of minutes the game kicked into life. First Blackpool drew themselves level with a piece of individual brilliance, as Elliot Lee let Potts’ pass run through and Cullen carried the ball forward, before rifling into the top corner from the edge of the box.
The joy was short-lived however, as Barnsley ran up the other end and regained the lead instantly. Lloyd Isgrove skipped through unchallenged and set up Winnall to roll home his second of the game. And they weren’t finished there, putting the game out of Pool’s reach with a third goal.
This time Jim McAlister was robbed of possession, and Winnall teed up Watkins to curl home the hosts’ third goal with the outside of his foot. Neil McDonald reacted by bringing on Bright Osayi-Samuel and Jarrett Rivers, in place of McAlister and David Ferguson, forming a 4-4-2 formation.
Osayi-Samuel was instantly involved, setting up Lee, who sliced over the bar. That was the striker’s last contribution, as he made way for Little soon after.
The loanee quickly put a cross on a plate for Osayi-Samuel, who headed over with the goal gaping – at that point it appeared it wasn’t going to be Pool’s day. That was further reiterated when Rivers’ effort was kept out by a fine save from Adam Davies.
The goalkeeper could do nothing to prevent The Seasiders bagging their second of the game however, as Little latched onto David Norris’ knock to fire home. However, just like Pool’s first goal, Barnsley instantly reacted with their own strike.
From Pool’s own free-kick, Potts was muscled off the ball and Templeton skipped through before rolling home the fourth goal and finishing the contest once and for all.
Full-Time: Barnsley 4 Blackpool 2