Pool Progress In Dramatic Circumstances
Blackpool defied the odds and booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round in the most dramatic of circumstances, as Bright Osayi-Samuel’s brilliant last minute strike saw off Championship side Barnsley at Oakwell.
The teenager curled home at the death after 120 grueling minutes of cup football to set up a trip to Lancashire neighbours Blackburn Rovers.
Blackpool had deservedly taken the lead on the half-hour mark, as Kelvin Mellor’s brilliant volley flew into the bottom corner.
Pool were forced to change their system due to a number of injuries and allowed Barnsley back into it when Angus MacDonald’s header crept in after the break.
However, they wouldn’t be denied and Osayi-Samuel curled home the winner to put The Seasiders through.
It was a slow start to proceedings at Oakwell, with Blackpool mustering the first shot from range, but Adam Davies comfortably saved from Danny Pugh.
23 minutes in the first big chance of the contest again fell to Pool. Jim McAlister worked some room on the edge of the box, jinxed past his man but was thwarted on his left foot by Davies.
That chance kicked the hosts into gear and Liverpool loanee Ryan Kent saw his drive deflected behind for a corner which Adam Hammill, after taking it quickly, curled wide from.
However, it was the visitors who took a deserved lead on the half-hour mark. Andy Taylor’s free-kick caused carnage in the Barnsley box, allowing Mellor to pounce on the loose ball and crack a volley beyond Davies.
As The Tykes looked for a response, Sam Slocombe was at full stretch to turn away Conor Hourihane’s header.
However, The Seasiders were dealt a blow four minutes before the break, as Kyle Vassell was withdrawn due to injury, being replaced by Osayi-Samuel.
And with time running out Slocombe once again saved from Hourihane, this time more comfortably, holding his shot from range.
Osayi-Samuel’s introduction naturally offered a different option for Pool and his running created an opportunity for Pugh, who sliced wide from Mark Cullen’s layoff.
Half-Time: Barnsley 0 Blackpool 1
The Seasiders made another change at the break, with Taylor being replaced by Danny Philliskirk and Gary Bowyer reverting to a back four.
The visitors didn’t deal with the change in system quickly and from their first corner of the half Barnsley equalised. Hourihane’s delivery was met by the head of MacDonald and squeezed past Slocombe at his near post.
Remarkably, Pool’s third and final substitution was also enforced, as Jack Payne hobbled off, being replaced by Mark Yeates, who took up the deep-lying midfield role.
There was more defending to do soon after however, as Slocombe pushed away a clever flicked header from Adam Armstrong, before Josh Scowen dragged off target following a quick free-kick.
With time running out Slocombe saved from point blank range from Williams. While at the other end Blackpool looked for the dramatic late winner, but Osayi-Samuel’s powerful effort was blocked before Pugh’s strike hit Yeates on its way out.
Full-Time: Barnsley 1 Blackpool 1
A scrappy start to extra time saw little in the way of chances, with Slocombe holding on to a header from James Bree, and the same from Tom Bradshaw soon after.
In the final minute of the first period of extra time, Hourihane’s free-kick was tipped over by Slocombe, before Will Aimson cleared Adam Hammill’s devilish corner.
With the final chance of the half Pool should have regained the lead, as Osayi-Samuel twisted and turned, before having his striker pushed behind brilliantly by Davies.
Half-Time Extra-Time: Barnsley 1 Blackpool 1
The home side cranked up the tempo after the latest break and after Slocombe had parried an effort from Williams, before Mellor cleared off the line from Marley Watkins.
Hammill, who was persistent with his step overs, then exchanged passes with Aidy White, before bending over the bar.
The chances were still coming however and next Yeates set up Clark Robertson, whose well hit effort was kept out by Davies, before McAlister headed the rebound wide.
Then, in the final moment, McAlister was brilliantly placed to head off the line unbelievably from Bradshaw’s bullet header.
And, thankfully, there was still time for one last moment of drama. Yeates’ cross was met by Pugh, who was denied, but Osayi-Samuel wasn’t to be, bending a brilliant, curling effort into the bottom corner to put his side through.
Extra Time Full-Time: Barnsley 1 Blackpool 2