MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 3-1 Barnsley

Blackpool celebrate Harry Pritchard's stunner
Blackpool celebrate Harry Pritchard's stunner
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Managerless Blackpool deservedly sealed their place in the second round of the League Cup with a comprehensive win against Barnsley.

The Seasiders had to come from behind but the Tykes can have no complaints with the eventual result, which handed Terry McPhillips his first win as interim boss.

The visitors did go into the half-time interval ahead thanks to George Moncur’s stunner, but a second half blitz secured Pool’s passage into the next round.

Michael Nottingham and Harry Pritchard both bagged their first goals in tangerine before Armand Gnanduillet capped off the impressive display with a late howitzer of a free kick.

Blackpool made eight changes to their side from the one that appeared in the defeat to Portsmouth at the weekend.

Striker Mark Cullen was one of those to be brought into the starting line-up, having scored Pool’s goal in their 2-1 reversal on Saturday.

Curtis Tilt returned from illness to make his first start of the season, partnering Donervon Daniels who made his debut for the Seasiders after signing on a free transfer last week.

Jimmy Ryan and Ryan McLaughlin, meanwhile, missed out through injury for the third game running.

The Tykes made a confident start to proceedings but it was the Seasiders who saw the first sight of goal. Jay Spearing attempted the catch Barnsley keeper Jack Walton off guard with a 40-yard shot only to see his effort sail harmlessly wide.

But three minutes later, Pool should have taken the lead when they wasted a clear-cut chance. Mark Cullen showed good awareness to play in John O’Sullivan who could only drag his shot wide of the far post with the goal at his mercy.

McPhillips’ men continued their promising early start and came close again, this time through home debutant Jordan Thompson. The midfielder steered an effort from the edge of the box just wide of the top corner with the keeper beaten.

It was then typical that Barnsley broke the deadlock with their first meaningful effort on goal, but what an effort it proved to be.

A hopeful ball into the Blackpool box was headed away by Nick Anderton to George Moncur, who lashed a sublime volley into the far corner from outside the box, leaving Mark Howard rooted to the spot.

It meant Pool found themselves behind despite doing little wrong up to that point. Perhaps Anderton could have done better with his clearance but there was absolutely no stopping Moncur’s precise bullet of an effort.

Cullen almost got Pool back on level terms after stretching to meet a long ball over the top by Daniels, but his effort was well claimed by Walton with the Barnsley defence caught asleep, unsuccessfully appealing for offside.

With the game opening up, the Tykes raced up the other end and went close twice in quick succession. First Ethan Pennock directed a near post header against the post before Adam Jackson’s follow up attempt went narrowly over the bar.

A fairly even half, which Barnsley edged due to their superior quality in attack, ended with another good chance for Blackpool. Thompson delivered a sublime corner for Curtis Tilt, who almost seemed to be taken by surprise as the ball hit him and went over.

The Seasiders made a storming start to the second half and were level within five minutes of the restart.

Armand Gnanduillet originally wasted a glorious chance when he was denied by the feet of Walton after being sent through on goal.

But Pool did manage to force the ball into the net from the resulting corner, as Michael Nottingham marked his home debut with a goal by stabbing home the rebound after Cullen had been denied on the goalline.

Pool were in the ascendancy at this point and looked to immediately build on their leveller, with Pritchard curling a dangerous ball across the face of goal which no teammate could take advantage of.

The Tykes immediately broke down the other end of the pitch and should have retaken the lead through Victor Adeboyejo, but Howard produced a superb stop to keep things level.

A manic few minutes ended with Pool taking the lead with a goal certainly as good, if not better than Moncur’s first half effort.

It came after Jordan Thompson’s free kick was cleared to Pritchard on the edge of the box, and the midfielder produced a majestic effort with the outside of his boot which beat Walton and flew into the top corner.

It was just desserts for Pool who had been probing all evening, but finally they managed to find that clinical touch in front of goal.

Barnsley struggled to create any clear-cut chances of note despite desperately looking to get back on level terms.

Striker Tom Bradshaw did see a brief glimpse of goal when full back Dimitri Cavare pulled the ball back to him on the penalty spot, but he couldn’t untangle his feet to produce a shot on goal.

Pool substitute Nathan Delfouneso had a good chance to give his side a two-goal lead when a pinpoint Thompson free kick found him unmarked in the middle, but he could only steer his header wide.

But the home side did eventually extend their lead, although it did come in fairly peculiar circumstances.

Barnsley keeper Walton kept hold of the ball despite wandering out of his own box, resulting in the referee awarding a yellow card and a free kick right on the edge of the area which Gnanduillet lashed home with aplomb.

That proved to be the last real action of the game as the visitors struggled to get past Pool’s strong rearguard.

TEAMS

Blackpool: Howard, Nottingham, Daniels (Bola), Tilt, Anderton, Spearing, Thompson, Pritchard (O'Connor), O'Sullivan, Cullen (Delfouneso), Gnanduillet

Subs not used: Sims, Turton, Sinclair-Smith, Dodoo

Barnsley: Walton, Dougall (Potts), Pinnock, Cavare, Isgrove (Thiam), Jackson, Pinillos, Adeboyejo, McGeehan (Mowatt), Moncur, Bradshaw

Subs not used: Davies, Lindsey, Williams, Williams

Referee: Mark Heywood

Attendance: 1,937 (990 Barnsley)