Report: Blackpool 0 Barnsley 0
Blackpool earned themselves a replay in the third round of the FA Cup as they draw a blank against Barnsley.
The hosts dominated much of the match against a Championship outfit, seeing the lion’s share of chances, with Kyle Vassell and Brad Potts going close.
Sam Slocombe superbly stopped Barnsley captain Connor Hourihane in injury time as both sides pushed to enter the fourth round.
Jamille Matt dramatically squandered the last chance of the game, firing over from close range, meaning Pool will travel to Oakwell in a replay.
The hosts started the brightest at a foggy Bloomfield Road, as they looked to prove their worth amongst Championship opposition and could have found themselves with an early lead.
Jim McAlister’s late run into the Barnsley area was found by a low cross from Andy Taylor, but the Scotsman could only flick the ball inches wide at the near-post.
Then, Vassell mustered the game’s first shot on target, forcing a fine, low save from Adam Davies after breaking in behind The Tykes’ defence. Mark Cullen headed wide moments later, as Blackpool asserted their early dominance on the game.
Will Aimson came into Gary Bowyer’s side to make a back three, and, in the first 45, the tactics were astute, restricting Barnsley to a wild Josh Scowen strike from range and two offside efforts from striker Sam Winnall.
Top scorer Vassell was again causing havoc to the Barnsley defence, but his strike late in the first half fell comfortably into Davies’ hands after a swooping Kelvin Mellor cross from the right.
Half-time score: Blackpool 0 Barnsley 0
The in-form Championship outfit started stronger after the interval. Winnall and winger Adam Hammill tested Pool’s resolute defence early in the second half, but neither could test Slocombe in the Blackpool goal.
With just over an hour on the clock, Blackpool saw two chances go agonisingly close as an upset was looking likely.
First, Vassell made space for himself after continued pressure from The Seasiders, and forced a fingertip save from Tykes’ goalkeeper to divert it for a corner.
From the following set piece, Tom Aldred rose tallest to meet with his bandaged head. He could only direct the ball inches wide of the opposition post.
Bright Osayi-Samuel was introduced to replace Cullen, and his pace breathed new life into the Blackpool attack, shooting just over after some excellent individual skill from the youngster.
Potts was next to try his luck at the Barnsley goal. This time from range, his left footed strike skidded off the slippery surface and had the goalkeeper scrambled down low to make a smart save.
Another substitute, Matt, entered the field and he himself almost broke the deadlock with 10 minutes to go. A mix-up at the back for Paul Heckingbottom’s men allowed him to sneak in and send a looping header over Davies in the Barnsley goal. The header was to beat the goalkeeper but unfortunately for Pool, the ball was to land on the roof of the net.
Barnsley skipper Connor Hourihane saw an opening twice late on in front of the travelling fans, but dragged his half volley wide from the edge of the area, then dramatically came out second best to Slocombe in injury time, who saved with his feet.
With the last chance of the game, Jamaican striker Matt was all set to complete a late cup upset, but after being played through by Osayi-Samuel, fired over with the final kick of the 90.
Full-time result: Blackpool 0 Barnsley 0
By Peter McCarthy