Barnsley 4 Blackpool 2: Rampant Reds out of the drop zone

Barnsley hauled themselves out of the Sky Bet League One drop zone in some style as they struck four times against in-form Blackpool.

Sub Matty Templeton celebrates after scoring Barnsley's fourth only three minutes after coming on 

Picture: Dean Atkins
Sub Matty Templeton celebrates after scoring Barnsley's fourth only three minutes after coming on Picture: Dean Atkins

The Reds were irresistable at times as they saw off the Seasiders to register a very welcome first home league victory since way back in September.

Blackpool had won three on the spin heading into this game, but they were eventually swept aside as Sam Winnall shone by bagging his eighth and ninth goals of the season.

Sam Winnall celebrates after scoring his second. Picture: Dean Atkins

Delighted Reds boss Lee Johnson said: “It was a fantastic win for us, and really well deserved I thought.

“We looked a real attacking force and if I’m honest, it could have been 9-3 to us in the end. I’m delighted.”

The Reds produced a terrific first-half performance and probably ought to have led by more than the single goal they did grab.

That opening strike came after only three minutes, with Winnall diving in bravely to head home Reece Wabara’s cross at the near post.

That was the first goal Blackpool had conceded in four game, but it ought to have been two-nil minutes later.

This time Adam Hammill smashed in a super shot from Marley Watkins’ cross, an effort which was brilliantly beaten away by Seasiders’ ‘keeper Dean Lyness.

Winnall was next to go close after just nine minutes as his well-hit shot was deflected inches wide.

Skipper Conor Hourihane sliced an effort wide as the Reds began to ease off the gas a little, but it had been a splendid effort in the opening quarter of the game, a period which the hosts dominated.

Brad Potts dragged a shot well wide for Blackpool - an effort which summed up their performance thus far in the 27th minute.

Again the Reds turned on the style in the run-up to half-time, with Winnall at the forefront.

The home striker led the charge superbly, first with a smart header which drifted a whisker wide, then five minutes before the interval he forced Lyness into another sublime save.

Three goals in just over three minutes made sure there was a frantic opening spell in the second half.

The visitors equalised in the 54th minute, with Mark Cullen firing home his seventh goal of the season from the edge of the box.

It was a big blow for the Reds to concede to the Seasiders’ first effort on target, but Johnson’s men showed great character in responding with two further goals of their own.

Winnall notched his and the Reds’ second as he swept home a smart cross from the recalled Lloyd Igrove, then a minute later Marley Watkins drilled home his fifth goal of the campaign after latching onto a neat pass from star man Winnall.

The Reds were temporarily rampant, and particularly so Winnall.

He tee’d up Isgrove to drive in another shot which Lyness saved well, while Hammill also went close.

Blackpool responded briefly with Cullen firing a shot past the post, but it was another token effort as the Reds looked comfortable and were seemingly cruising to that precious first home league win in three months.

They were checked when sub Andy Little made it 3-2 as the game entered stoppage-time, but still the Reds weren’t finished as teenage sub Matty Templeton completed a splendid victory in some style seconds before the final whistle.

Templeton drilled home superbly after playing a perfect one-two with Ben Pearson.

Barnsley: Davies, Wabara, Long, Mawson, White, Isgrove (R Williams 75), Pearson, Hourihane, Hammill (Templeton 88), Watkins (M Smith 90), Winnall. Subs not used: Townsend, Bree, Abbott, Roberts.

Yellow card: Long (86).

Blackpool: Lyness, Ferguson (Osayi-Samuel 60), Robertson, Aldred, White, McAlister (Rivers 60), Norris, Aimson, Potts, Lee (Little 74), Cullen. Subs not used: Letheren, Boyce, Dunne, Oliver.

Yellow cards: Ferguson (19), Aimson (45), Cullen (83), Potts (84).

Referee: Chris Sarginson (Staffordshire).

Att: 9,072.

*The Reds confirmed the signing of 17-year-old Rhys Dolan from Ilkeston Town in the hours leading up to kick-off.

Attacking left-back Dolan joined Barnsley after a fee was agreed with his former club. He has signed a contract until June, 2018.

Boss Johnson added: “It’s great news to have young Rhys on board.

“He has good potential.”