Big game took Small to smash Barnsley
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. The hour came, but the men of Barnsley Football Club certainly didn`t turn up.
Blackpool took all three points back to the seaside thanks to Wade Small`s debut wonder-strike in the second half, in what was a must-win game for the Reds.
That now means the Tykes` Tuesday night clash with Neil Warnock`s Crystal Palace is a must must-win game, as the Championship`s trapdoor creaks frighteningly open.
Two changes for the Reds saw former Blackpool favourite Adam Hammill step into the frame on the left wing and Mounir El Haimour filled in at left-back.
A windswept Oakwell failed to witness a real chance for either side in the opening stages, but Blackpool were willing to get forward in search of a goal.
Just after ten minutes the Seasiders should have been in front. Rob Kozluk misjudged Wade Small`s deep switching cross but Joe Martin dragged his 8-yard effort wide with only Muller to beat.
Barnsley`s only real chance of the first half came on 22 minutes when Souza`s looping header was tidily cleared off the line by the impressive Baptiste.
The Reds finally found some momentum but couldn`t find the back of the net, failing to create any real clear-cut chances to test Rachubka.
All of the home side`s efforts were either too high, wide or blocked by a stubborn Pool defence.
The Reds did eventually force a save from the American as Hammill`s curling free-kick look destined for the top corner before the former Huddersfield stopper tipped around the post for a corner.
The Tangerines were the first to go close in the second period. Small`s deflected strike fell into the arms of a grateful Heinz Muller.
Darren Moore did well to get in a great block on 55 minutes as Tony Parkes` side set out for the opener.
Hammill produced a good save from Rachubka and the resulting corner saw the youngster cause worry in the Blackpool area. A wicked corner almost went straight in but for Baptiste on the line with a crucial clearance.
The opening goal, that the game had longed for since the start, finally arrived in spectacular fashion. Wade Small marked hid debut with a vicious volley into the top corner after a great cross from Martin.
Barnsley did press but lacked any creativity; the closest they came was in a goalmouth scramble. Substitute, Martin Devaney`s effort was blocked on the line and Souza couldn`t poke the rebound home.
Macken took one touch too many in the 90th minute with the Reds in desperate need of at an equaliser, at least.
What Barnsley wanted to see from the fourth official came, as four minutes of stoppage time was thrust into the air despite Oakwell being half empty.
All in all it was a disappointing performance from the Tykes who never turned up. So Tuesday`s match just doesn`t get any bigger.
Barnsley: Muller, Kozluk, Souza, Moore, El Haimour, Campbell-Ryce, Colace (Devaney 76), Hassell, Hammill, Mifsud, Bogdanovic (Macken 56).
Subs not used: Steele, Rigters, Van Homoet.
Blackpool: Rachubka, Barker, Campbell, Small (Jorgensen 83), Crainey, Baptiste, Adam, Coid (Edwards 20), Southern, Blackman (Ormerod 61), Martin.
Subs not used: Halstead, Owens.
The Men in Black:
Referee: Coling Webster (Tyne & Weir)
Assistant Referee: Robert Jones (Cheshire)
Assitant Referee: David Storrie (West Yorkshire)
Fourth Official: Mark Heywood (Cheshire)