Match Report: Barnsley 1 Blackpool 3

Matt Done celebrates Barnsley's goal. Pictures: Dean Atkins.
Matt Done celebrates Barnsley's goal. Pictures: Dean Atkins.
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BARNSLEY suffered the Boxing Day blues as they slipped to a third successive Championship defeat despite having taken the lead at home to Blackpool.

It was the first time since March last year that the club had lost three matches in a row.

Matt Done’s 18th minute close-range strike, the forward’s second of the season and first since August, looked to have laid the platform for the Reds to upset last season’s Premier League opponents.

But the Seasiders hit back to snatch the points and have now not lost on Boxing Day for eight years.

And it was Sheffield United loan striker Matt Phillips who did the damage, bagging a magnificent hat-trick as the Redsfailed to grasp the chance to leapfrog their opponents in the table.

Barnsley made two changes to the side beaten 1-0 at West Ham before the festive break.

Newcastle loan striker Nile Ranger was out with an ankle injury with forward Done recalled to the starting line-up.

Winger Jim O’Brien and Derby County loan midfielder Miles Addison missed out.

Manchester United loan midfielder Danny Drinkwater wasn’t in the squad but The Star understands he could be fit for the New Year’s Eve home clash with Leeds.

There was a lively start and the hosts had the best opening chance when Ricardo Vaz Te had a right-foot shot blocked and leading scorer Craig Davies nearly slid in to score at the back post as the ball deflected into his path, but debutant keeper Mark Howard gathered under pressur.

Wigan loan recruit Callum McManaman had a penalty appeal turned down as the Seasiders pushed for the opener, but it was Done who put the Reds ahead.

A mistake from Wiseman left the Reds exposed, but the Reds needed just three touches to score following Jimmy McNulty’s superb late tackle.

Skipper Jacob Butterfield picked out O’Brien with an inch perfect pass and Done probably won’t get an easier chance to score this season, poking in from close range.

The Reds came close to doubling their lead when Jay McEveley, surprisingly playing at right-back, forced a superb fingertip save from Howard with his dipping shot looking like it would sneak under the visitors’ crossbar.

Reds keeper Luke Steele was forced into action saving well from Phillips’ low left-foot strike.

But Phillips quickly made amends when he scored with a thunderbolt right-foot strike which left Steele no chance.

Done should have bagged his second but shot straight at Howard.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher had a right-foot shot deflected wide after a superb late block from Rob Edwards, playing against his former club.

Howard pulled off a wonderful one-handed save to tip Davies’ 35-yard right-foot rocket over the bar and the Reds wasted some good pressure by gifting the visitors the lead against the run of play.

Nobody picked up Phillips in the box and he gratefully headed past the stranded Steele from Silvestre’s corner.

Hill had brought on striker Andy Gray for O’Brien with the home side desperate to at least salvage a point.

But it was Phillips who put the gloss on a fine display when he netted his third goal from the penalty spot after Wiseman’s sloppy foul on Crainey.

* Barnsley (4-4-1-1): Steele 7, McEveley 5, Edwards 6, McNulty 6, Wiseman 7, O’Brien 6 (Gray 62, 5), Butterfield 7, Perkins 7, Vaz Te 6 (Haynes 75), Done 7, Davies 7.

Subs: Preece, Hassell, Foster

* Blackpool (4-1-2-3): Howard 8, Baptiste 7, Cathcart 6, Evatt 6, Crainey 6, Ferguson 6, Silvestre 7, Taylor-Fletcher 7 (Basham 86), M Phillips 9, LuaLua 7, (63 Grandin) McManaman 6 (Ince 71)

Subs: Eardley, K Phillips

* Referee: Colin Webster (Tyne & Wear)

* Attendance: 11,776

* Scorers (Matt Done for Barnsley (18 mins); Blackpool (Matt Phillips 37, 67, 82 pen) for Blackpool.