Reds match report: Barnsley hold title challengers BARNSLEY 1 BLACKPOOL 1

Craig Davies celebrates for the Reds

Craig Davies celebrates for the Reds

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barnsley celebrated 125 years of football at Oakwell by holding promotion favourites Blackpool to a deserved 1-1 draw today.

. In the second minute Stones curled in a perfect cross to the near post for the onrushing Dagnall, but his low effort from close range was beaten away by Gilks.

Centre-back and skipper Baptiste was allowed time to run through the Reds’ midfield before arrowing in a shot from almost 30 yards which Alnwick had to dive full length to beat away.

The corner came to nothing, and two minutes later the Reds were up at the other end opening the scoring with a cracking goal. Mellis played a shot pass to DAVIES, and the Barnsley talisman cracked home a low, angled strike from 20 yards that seemed to have simply too much power for the stunned Gilks.

Three sides of Oakwell erupted after Davies fourth goal of the season.

Cywka was again proving a handful for the opposition defence and he was next to test Blackpool when he twisted and turned before seeing a powerful shot blocked the rear of centre-back Evatt.

Cranie crossed in for Davies, but this time he couldn’t sufficiently control the ball and the opening disappeared. It was against the run of play when the visitors levelled it up with a simply-worked goal. Just when the Reds were starting to look confident and reasonably comfortable, Martinez slipped a neat through-ball to INCE and the young front-man was cool as he charged clear before slotting easily past Alnwick from just inside the penalty box.

In the 38th minute Foster – making his 200th league appearance for the Reds – was up from the back as he glanced a header wide from Mellis’s floated free-kick.

Kevin Phillips again made a nuisance of himself by squeezing between Foster and Wiseman to get a shot in, but thankfully the ball flew harmlessly wide.

HALF-TIME

Barnsley..............1

Blackpool............1

The Reds created the first chance of the second period. After a Mellis corner-kick wasn’t cleared Davies controlled the ball near the corner of the penalty box and curled in a great shot which Gilks had to dive full length to save at his far post.Blackpool Blackpool began to get back on top as the hour mark passed, with veteran Kevin Phillips again looking a threat as he twice went close. Reds boss Hill made a double change shortly after with Harewood and Done replacing the ineffective Dagnall and the unlucky Davies, but it was Alnwick who saved the Reds in the 74th minute. He saved superbly from sub Gomes after Ince had skipped past Stones to get to the by-line. Blackpool who were pressing hard in the closing ten minutes and the tricky Sylvestre was thwarted by a brave Foster block. Ince then skipped past Stones again before seeing a close-range effort somehow beaten away by the legs of Alnwick. Baptiste saw a powerful strike brilliantly tipped over by Alnwick as the game entered stoppage-time but the Reds gamely held on.

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