Seasiders battle to ex­cit­ing stale­mate

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP THIRD ROUND - By Scott Hunt

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.”

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