Memory Match: Blackpool seal impressive FA Cup win at Barnsley, 2002

Martin Bullock continued his fine form for BlackpoolMartin Bullock continued his fine form for Blackpool
Martin Bullock continued his fine form for Blackpool
Matt Scrafton trawls through the archives to take a look back at Blackpool's 4-1 win at Oakwell in the first round of the FA Cup on November 16, 2002.

After four depressing defeats, Steve McMahon’s Blackpool are back in business as they sealed their passage into the second round of the FA Cup.

The Seasiders rekindled their early season magic and turned in a second half super show to rival anything they’ve produced all season.

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Okay, so the first half was a bit ropey and John Hills’ deflected equaliser was a little fortunate.

But after the break Pool were superb, scoring three fine goals (four if you count a magnificent Scott Taylor strike which was harshly disallowed) and completely demolishing a spirited yet limited Barnsley side.

For 25 minutes in the opening period it’s fair to say Blackpool played like the weather - abysmal.

As the rain poured down, Simon Grayson and Chris Clarke in particular were having a hard time at the centre of defence and Bruce Dyer’s 16th-minute opener summed up the flaws of the opening period.

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There was no danger when the Tykes striker received the right touchline 40 yards from goal, so it was a big surprise to see 10 seconds later Phil Barnes picking the ball out of the net.

Dyer got to the byline, somehow bundled past Grayson and was allowed bags of space to cut back into the area and tee up a left-footed shot which flew into the bottom corner.

Shocking defending and Barnsley had the chances to add a couple more. Thankfully they didn’t and how they lived to regret it.

It was 25 minutes in when Pool suddenly started to play. The excellent Keith Southern had a shot saved, on-form Martin Bullock was denied a penalty after a scintillating run into the box and Grayson’s goulbound header was deflected over.

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Then the breakthrough. John Hills blasted a 25-yard free kick which struck the Barnsley wall and deflected past the hapless Andy Marriott.

Parity restored and Pool went in at the break with a spring, albeit a soggy one, in their step.

Despite the cold weather, Pool were hot when they came out for the restart and quickly set about making a mockery of their manager’s pre-match statement.

McMahon had suggested he would settle for a boring performance and a lucky 1-0 win. If that followed next was boring, then an exciting performance should be something to behold.

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On 48 minutes, Paul Dalglish crossed from the right and John Murphy rose to glance a looping header into the top corner.

The big striker has been growing increasingly frustrated at not hitting the target and he was clearly ecstatic to break his mini-drought and grab his seventh of the season.

Then 30 seconds later, it was 3-1. Bullock broke through the middle, delivered a lovely ball into the path of Dalglish and the striker beat Marriott with a well-struck shot to the keeper’s left.

Pool had effectively won the match with the half just four minutes old. It got better, too.

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Taylor came on as a sub in the 69th minute and seven seconds later (surely a record?), latched onto a loose ball and unleashed a rocket of a shot into the net.

It was the striker’s eighth goal of the season which saw him reclaim top scorer’s spot from Murphy.

The Seasiders, cheered on by a jubilant visiting contingent, were now treating the match like a practice game, stroking the ball around and in total command.

Now for the move of the match. Bullock won the ball deep in his own half, skipped past three defenders and fed Wellens scampering down the right.

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The midfielder - back to his best - hit a sublime pass sideways and Taylor struck a first-time shot into the net without breaking stride.

It was a beautiful move, executed with speed and accuracy and would have been odds-on favourite for goal of the season - that is, if it hadn’t been for the linesman, who raised his flag for offside.

It was a marginal decision and, even though the match was safe, an infuriating one, too. The linesman spoiled a thing of beauty, it was like scribbling on the Mona Lisa.

Still, no matter, it was clearly Pool’s day. Even before the disallowed goal, Barnes had brilliantly saved Chris Lumsden’s penalty after Tommy Jaszczun mistimed a sliding tackle.

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And despite the referee ignoring a blatant trip inside the box on Bullock late on, no one was complaining.

The Seasiders were handed one of the toughest draws in the FA Cup first round and responded in style.

At this stage of the competition last season, McMahon’s team beat Newport County in a replay and went on to draw a Premiership side in the third round.

Same again would do nicely...


Barnsley: Marriott (Ghent), Mulligan, Austin, Morgan, Gibbs, Williams, Lumsdown, Neil, Betsy, Dyer, Fallon (Sheron)

Blackpool: Barnes, Jaszczsun, Clarke, Grayson, Hills (O’Kane), Bullock, Coid, Southern, Wellens, Dalglish (Taylor), Murphy (Walker)

Attendance: 6,857