Own-goal sickener for Reds as Flitcroft steps up striker search

Barnsley have now lost two in succession in the league following an opening-day mauling at home to Wigan, but they were vastly improved on the coast with striker Chris O’Grady twice going close either side of the break.

Blackpool manager Paul Ince admitted he had all but given up on victory before Scott Wiseman’s stoppage-time own goal saw the Seasiders edge out the Reds at Bloomfield Road.

After a cagey affair in which Blackpool failed to fire, it took a slice of luck late in the game to ensure Ince’s men maintained their 100 per cent Championship record.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Trying to clear a long throw-in into the danger area from on-loan Liverpool defender Jack Robinson, Wiseman could only watch as it bounced across the line off the bar.

Manager David Flitcroft admitted defeat was a bitter pill to swallow.

“If Chris O’Grady goes and sticks that chance away just after half-time then it could have been such a different game,” he said.

“As we worked hard, we’re all gutted. It was looking like whoever scored the first goal would go on to win but to lose it like that is sickening really.

“Up until that late stage in the game we had defended so well. We’d had to withstand throw-ins, corners, free-kicks, everything, but we’d defended heroically.

“It’s a difficult one to swallow.

“We created a few chances, but we’ve not been as slick or nearly as clinical this season yet.

“That’s something we’ll be working hard on, on Monday morning. It’s been a horrible way to lose, but I was always surprised at how direct Blackpool were.

“That’s been the most direct I’ve seen them in a long while.

“We’ve had chances to counter-attack, of course, but once one goes in like that right at the death then you’re never going to get it back.

“We need to bring in one, maybe two strikers. It’s been no secret that we’ve been trying to do that, but despite some frenzied work behind the scenes nothing is happening just yet.”

Counterpart Ince conceded he would have settled for a point but was delighted his players kept going until the very end.

“I’d pretty much resigned myself to it being a goalless draw to be honest,” he said. “You’ve got to keep your mind sharp, though, and you never know, a chance is always likely to come at the end like that. Credit to Barnsley. They stuck at it and as the clock ticked past 90 minutes I would have taken a point.”

Blackpool: Gilks, Broadfoot, Mackenzie, Cathcart, Robinson, Basham, Ferguson, Osbourne, Grant (Eccleston 61), Davies (Bishop 74), Chopra, Eccleston (Barkhuizen 83). Unused substitutes: Halstead,Banvo,Harris,Charles.

Barnsley: Steele, Wiseman, Mvoto, Golbourne, O’Brien, Digby (Mellis 65), Dawson, Perkins, Cywka (Noble-Lazarus 79), O’Grady, Dagnall (Scotland 58). Unused substitutes: Kennedy, Alnwick, McNulty, Cofie.

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire).