Report: Barnet 2 Blackpool 0
Blackpool bowed out of the FA Cup at the first round stage, as Barnet progressed at the expense of Neil McDonald’s much-changed side. Two close-range efforts from Tom Champion and Michael Gash settled the tie, with The Seasiders returning north having never truly questioned their hosts.
Both Bees goals arrived before the break and a comeback never looked likely, despite substitute Mark Cullen hitting the woodwork in the closing stages. That’s as close as the visitors came and their first of successive cup ties ended with elimination.
In wet and windy conditions, the tie had all the ingredients of a classic FA Cup clash, and Barnet did their best to make it an uncomfortable start for their visitors, with Curtis Weston and Sam Muggleton both coming close to an early opener.
Blackpool’s first opening came through Kwame Thomas and had the visiting supporters celebrating momentarily, only for them to realise the striker’s slipped effort from José Cubero’s pass rolled the wrong side of the post.
However, they were dealt a severe blow around the half-hour mark, as Colin Doyle hit the deck off the ball, and in severe pain was forced to come off, with Kyle Letheren his replacement.
And the substitute stopper instantly had to deal with a series of aerial bombardments, the final of which produced the opening goal, with Champion getting the slightest of touches to a corner, which was enough to creep past Letheren.
The FA Cup has proved a helpful competition for Jarrett Rivers in the past, and the winger’s deflected strike forced a save out of Jamie Stephens, as Pool went in search of an equaliser. However, The Bees were now dominating proceedings and it wasn’t long before the second arrived.
Luke Gambin beat Luke Higham down the left and crossed for Gash to thump a header beyond Letheren from close range. And that was that for the first-half, as Blackpool went in for the break with a mountain to climb.
Half-Time: Barnet 2 Blackpool 0
The 15 minute break did little to upset Barnet’s rhythm and captain Andy Yiadom’s effort was claimed by Letheren at the second attempt. At the other end Pool’s frustration was starting to build, as Charles Dunne lashed an effort well off target.
McDonald had seen enough and made a double change on 65 minutes, with Connor Oliver and Cullen replacing John Herron and Martin Paterson. However, it could have been all over when John Akinde broke through the Pool defence, but lost his composure and shot over.
73 minutes in Luke Higham had an effort deflected into the arms of Stephens, as Blackpool began to think it wasn’t going to be their day. That became even more apparent when Cameron crossed for Cullen, whose effort came off the goalkeeper and the top of the bar.
That was the final action of note as Blackpool fell at the first hurdle of the FA Cup.
Full-Time: Barnet 2 Blackpool 0