BARNSLEY continued their brave battle against relegation with a 2-1 win at Blackpool, new signing Jason Scotland hitting the late winner.
For full repprt, reaction and more see The Star on Monday,
The first trademark long throw-in from Stoke loanee Delap came in the 13th minute. Out on the right flank, the Stoke loanee was clearly targeting Harewood, but Seasiders’ centre-back Cathcart headed comfortably clear.
The hosts went close again in the 16th minute. An Ince wasn’t sufficiently cleared and Basham - lurking at the far post - nodded a rather feeble header wide from barely six yards.
That wasn’t a major scare, however, and by the 20-minute mark the Reds still looked comfortable.
Flitcroft’s men then went close themselves. A well-rehearsed free-kick play saw Kennedy float a deep cross in for Foster, who headed neatly into the path of the on-rushing O’Brien.
However, the Scot’s effort from eight yards lacked real power and Gilks plucked the ball out of the air from just underneath the crossbar.
Dagnall then sneaked past Baptiste and rolled a low cross in for Harewood, but the big striker wasn’t quick enough to beat Broadfoot to the ball.
The Reds did get their goal in the 25th minute though. And it was another well-worked effort with Harewood an inch-perfect diagonal pass through for O’BRIEN, who smashed the ball clinically past Gilks from a slight angle, 15 yards from goal.
The Reds players celebrated hard and joyously in front of the travelling army - they were clearly buzzing
Just past the half-hour mark a spectacular strike almost doubled the visitors’ lead.
Goalscorer O’Brien swung over a cross that was only half cleared, and as the ball dropped to Perkins, the tenacious midfielder volleyed a cracking shot back in that only just cleared the crossbar.
There was a frenetic pace as the Seasiders were trying desperately to fashion another opening, but credit to the Reds’ back-line, they stood firm and repelled everything that came at them.
The Reds registered the first chance of the second half three minutes after the resumption.
Perkins robbed Angel 30 yards out, before taking the ball on and fizzing a low shot inches wide.
The Seasiders levelled it up in the 55th minute. Crainey stormed down the left flank before crossing in for man-of-the moment INCE, who guided a neat low shot past Steele from 15 yards.
Flitcroft made a couple of changes with the aim of revitalising his charges somewhat, but as the hour mark passed this game was still either side’s for the taking.
The game took a dramatic twist in the 65th minute, with the hosts being reduced to ten men. Wiseman lifted a through-ball into fellow sub O’Grady’s path, but as the Reds’ debutant charged towards goal, keeper Gilks came out and blocked the way with his hand some three yards outside the box.
Ref Mr Eltringham went straight for his red card, although Kennedy clipped the subsequent free-kick inches wide via a slight deflection.
Now was the time for young rookie substitute keeper Halstead to be tested with 20 minutes still to play.
Kennedy tested the youngster with a well-struck free-kick, but as full-time approached Blackpool who pressed for a winner.
Sub Derbyshire glanced a header narrowly wide, then with four minutes to go the same man thumped a cracking effort against the crossbar from 20 yards.
However, it turned out to be Reds’ sub SCOTLAND who was the hero of the hour as he slotted home at the second attempt with just three minutes to go to hand the Reds another priceless win as the battle to escape the drop continues to gather pace.