Blackpool 1 Barnsley 1: Match analysis

Barnsley celebrate Conor Hourihane's goal
Barnsley celebrate Conor Hourihane's goal
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Lee Johnson accused his side of playing ‘Ole Football’ after they failed to win at basement boys Blackpool.

The Reds cruised in the first half but only had a 1-0 lead to show for it at the break.

But after a second half struggle they were forced to settle for a point.

Johnson’s side couldn’t have got off to a much better start when Conor Hourihane fired them ahead after just eight minutes. And a fine goal it was too.

Marley Watkins broke into the box on the right before picking out Hourihane in the area for him to guide the ball past Colin Doyle.

Some would say it was a scuffed effort from the midfielder, but it mattered not.

For the rest of the half it was a walk in the park for the on-song Reds although Johnson would have been disappointed not to have turned the dominance into chances.

But after the Seasiders changed their formation the visitors endured a tough second period by the seaside, much to the disappointment of their boss.

“We were dominant in the first half without having enough opportunities on goal,” reflected Johnson.

“They [Blackpool] threw caution to the wind in the second half and we got into some great areas but couldn’t find the quality in the final third.

“They had a couple of good chances themselves and it was probably a fair result in the end.

“I said at half time I thought they were enjoying it too much if anything.

“We were playing some ‘Ole’ football but it wasn’t really penetrative enough and that’s something we needed to address.

“If you do that you’re always in the hands of the gods, with a breakaway or whatever.”

It was another eye catching display for Irishman Hourihane, and Johnson feels it’s time national boss Martin O’Neil also took note.

He said: “I thought he [Conor] played very well again.

“If anyone from Ireland are watching him, and I’m sure they are, then he’s certainly knocking on that door.

“It was another good display from him.”

After Barnsley’s dominant first half display, Blackpool introduced striker Jack Redshaw at the break, and it was the former Morecambe man who equalised on 55 minutes.

And he could have sealed the win for the Seasiders, if it wasn’t for a superb stop from young keeper Nick Townsend.

Johnson said: “I know a few of the fans aren’t sold on him yet, but he’s a top keeper.

“Saturday was only his second ever league game and his save at the end was huge.

“He’s an outstanding shot stopper, as good as I’ve seen, and he saved us a point on Saturday.”

Johnson recalled forward Sam Winnall to the starting 11 but was again without midfielder Dan Crowley.

The Arsenal loan man failed tests on his torn thigh on the morning of the game.

“We want to get him back in because of his quality and thought he might make it.

“We sent him for some testing on his thighs and his right isn’t as strong as the left.

“So we hope to have him back for next week.”

Despite the result, boss Johnson feels his side are at least moving in the right direction.

He said: “I thought we did Ok.

“When you have a young group like ours this is what you get, we have to continue to be better.

“I thought Redshaw was dangerous when he came on and that was really the difference in the second half.

“If you watched the game back again you’ll probably find we dominated the second too.

“We are still a couple of points from the play-offs and I think we are still in a good position.”

Blackpool: Doyle 7, Boyce 6, Aldred 7, Jones 6, Ferguson 6, Cubero 5 (Redshaw 45, 8), Herron 5 (Norris 75, 5), Potts 7, McAlister 7, Cameron 4 (Thomas 45, 6), Cullen 6.

Subs: Letheren, Robertson, Oliver, Paterson.

Barnsley: Townsend 7, Smith 6, Nyatanga 7, Scowen 6, Hourihane 7, Winnall 6 (Smith 72, 5), Watkins 6, Pearson 8 (Jackson 90, 2), Mawson 6, Harris 6, Wabara 7.

Subs: Davies, Bree, Roberts, Williams, Rothwell.

REFEREE: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire)