JASON Scotland’s goal summed up Blackpool’s luck at the moment when this goal won it for struggling Barnsley.
Scotland, who scored moments into his Tykes debut in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Millwall, sealed three points in the 88th minute after his initial shot was saved by Blackpool’s substitute goalkeeper Mark Halstead.
Matt Gilks’ red card for deliberate handball brought Halstead into the action at a time when the managerless Seasiders were in the ascendancy.
Jim O’Brien sent Barnsley in ahead at the break, the 20th time in 30 league games Blackpool have conceded the first goal this term, but Tom Ince deservedly levelled matters with his 16th of the season after 55 minutes.
Pool appeared the most likely winners despite being a man down and Matt Derbyshire rattled the crossbar before Scotland has the final word.
Barnsley move to within two points of fourth-bottom Wolves and are six behind today’s opponents in 15th.
Caretaker manager Steve Thompson named an unchanged Blackpool side from last weekend’s 2-1 win at Wolves, although Barry Ferguson was named in a matchday squad for the first time since October and took a place on the bench alongside January loan signings Derbyshire and Reece Wabara.
Stoke loanee Rory Delap made his Barnsley debut and fellow deadline-day acquisition Chris O’Grady took a place among the substitutes.
A shot from Blackpool midfielder Tiago Gomes gave Luke Steele his first work of the afternoon but the Barnsley goalkeeper was indebted to centre-back Stephen Foster when Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s seventh-minute header from Ince’s corner was cleared off the line.
Having repelled pair of Delap’s trademark long-throws, the Seasiders had another setpiece opportunity - Chris Basham heading wastefully wide from another Ince delivery.
A 25th-minute corner would provide greater disappointment for Blackpool as it directly led to Barnsley going in front.
Marlon Harewood burst past a pair of challenges following Martin Cranie’s clearance and switched play from left to right to release O’Brien, who moments earlier saw a free-kick well saved by Gilks but left the keeper with no chance on this occasion.
David Perkins fired narrowly over as Barnsley looked to press home their advantage before being forced onto the retreat in the half’s closing stages.
Matt Phillips embarrassed himself with an air shot from Angel Martinez’s cross but the Scotland international soon demonstrated his considerable skill, collecting Taylor-Fletcher delicate lofted pass to fizz a ball across the six-yard box that narrowly evaded Ince and Basham.
Blackpool kept the pressure on when play resumed and, after centre-back Craig Cathcart was narrowly off target with a spectacular 20-yard volley, they drew level.
Gomes and Taylor-Fletcher were involved in an incisive passing move, which ended with Stephen Crainey cutting back for Ince to emphatically blast past Steele.
Phillips went close shortly afterwards but had to be sacrificed when Pool went down to 10 men in the 65th minute.
Some slack play in midfield allowed O’Grady to race through on goal and Gilks handled outside his area in the process of thwarting the recently-introduced substitute, leaving referee Geoff Eltringham with little option.
Halstead came on for Phillips to make his first appearance of the season between the posts and watched Tom Kennedy curl the resulting free-kick wide.
Derbyshire replaced Taylor-Fletcher as Thompson sought fresh legs and the former Blackburn striker sent a pair of headers past the post before Steele tipped a rasping 25-yarder onto the crossbar five minutes from time.
But Blackpool’s brave pursuit of the win would ultimately be their undoing as Scotland stole in to prod past Halstead at the second attempt.