Seasiders battle to exciting stalemate
ON PAPER, Blackpool v Barnsley wasn’t a standout FA Cup tie and a goalless draw would, at first glance, seem to support that view.
However, this was one of the more entertaining stalemates, with chances galore, that left Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer lauding a proper cup tie in which his League Two side took Championship Barnsley to a replay.
The Seasiders had the better of the chances, with Barnsley keeper Adam Davies making several saves, but Conor Hourihane had a great chance to win it late on for the Tykes.
“I thought it was a proper cup tie and we did ourselves justice against a very good Championship side,” Bowyer said.
“We had some great opportunities to have even won it. Their keeper has made some really good saves.
“It was an exciting game with loads of chances. We both pushed for a winner and we could have easily grabbed it at the end through Jamille Matt.
“The players only had one session with the new 3-5-2 formation, but they took it on and against a talented team like Barnsley they did very well with it. It might be something we look at in the league.”
Blackpool, 50 places below Barnsley in the Football League, had the only real first-half chances, with another falling to Kyle Vassell after 36 minutes but he struck tamely at Davies from 18 yards.
Vassell then swivelled in the area after 66 minutes and unleashed a powerful shot which was superbly tipped over by Davies.
Both sides had chances to win it in added time, as Hourihane carved through the Blackpool defence but was denied one-onone by the legs of Sam Slocombe, before Matt fired inches over for Blackpool at the other end.
“Blackpool came out here and had a right good go at us,” Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom said.
“The first half has cost us.
“We didn’t perform as individuals in the first half and that puts you on the back foot.
“I think Blackpool will come to Oakwell and be as determined and dogged as they were. We didn’t come here expecting to roll them over. They didn’t disappoint us.
“You just want to get through in the FA Cup. Progressing is another experience.
“The further you get the more likely you are to draw a really big team and have really big days.
“We know it will be another tough game though against Blackpool.”