Tom is just Champion to sink the Seasiders
BLACKPOOL manager Neil McDonald insisted he had respected the FA Cup, despite his much-changed side delivering a listless performance.
League Two Barnet dumped the Seasiders out of the competition thanks to two goals in five first-half minutes from Tom Champion and Michael Gash.
McDonald, who made six changes, said: “I don’t regret the changes. We’ve got a very thin squad and I needed to protect the team.
“We wanted to win the game.The utmost respect for the FA Cup and for Barnet was given, but we didn’t perform.
“When you don’t win your individual battles and each person on the team doesn’t play to their full potential you get nothing out of the game.
“We never won the ball, we never passed the ball, we never stopped them from playing.
“We didn’t win an individual battle – and I’m not saying one or two, it was all 11 players.
“I can’t find one positive. There’s been plenty of individuals knocking on my door saying they should be in the team and they’ve given me the total wrong answer.
“Not one person has taken their chance out there.”
Blackpool went behind after an injury to their goalkeeper and captain Colin Doyle.
His replacement Kyle Letheren failed to deal with a fourth consecutive corner and Champion bundled home the ball.
Blackpool had been slowly moving the burly arm-wrestle of the opening stages in their favour when they conceded, but five minutes later the lead doubled, as Letheren again failed to deal with a cross in his proximity.
Sam Muggleton produced the game’s only piece of quality, jinking splendidly into the box and placing a perfect cross onto Gash’s forehead one yard out.
After the break the slowmotion arm-wrestle returned with Blackpool never threatening a comeback. It was a torpid, desultory showing from the Seasiders, treating their first round one appearance since 2006 with minimal regard.
Only in the 87th minute did they produce a chance, when Mark Cullen’s shot hit the crossbar. Barnet boss Martin Allen said: “I don’t think anyone who watched the game will say we didn’t deserve it. Our players were excellent from start to finish.
“The players have dealt this season with a step-up in everything we do. They are all looking sharp and as though they can play.
“It was only five months ago that there were three divisions between our two clubs – they were in the Championship and we were in the Conference.
“That shows how far we’ve come. In the 18 months I’ve been here the players have come on immensely. I have faith in all of them.”
STAR MAN SAM MUGGLETON