'Pool Send Barnsley into Bottom Three
14th March 2009 - 15:00
The Seasiders secured a vital victory away at relegation rivals Barnsley this afternoon (and their first at Oakwell since the 1930's), as a debut goal from Wade Small gave Tony Parkes' side the three points - moving them six points clear of The Tykes, who drop into the bottom three.
The manager made two changes to the side which drew at Sheffield United in midweek.
The club moved swiftly to snap up midfielder Wade Small after Gary Taylor-Fletcher suffered knee ligament damage, and the loanee from Sheffield Wednesday began on the right hand side of a midfield four. On the other side of that four, somewhat surprisingly, Joe Martin started for the first time since January, in place of Graeme Owens.
Rob Edwards and Brett Ormerod are both now back fit, and started on the bench which included young goalkeeper Mark Halstead, Owens and Claus Jorgensen.
Coid - Baptiste - Barker - Crainey
Small - Adam - Southern - Martin
Blackman - Campbell
Subs: Halstead, Jorgensen, Edwards, Ormerod, Owens.
Kozluk - Souza - Moore - El Haimour
Campbell-Ryce - Colace - Hassell - Hammill
Mifsud - Bogdanovic
Subs: Steele, Devaney, Macken, Rigters, Van Homoet
After a dour first half at Oakwell, The Seasiders will be relatively pleased at the break as the two sides go in 0-0.
Despite the game not being the best, 'Pool could've been ahead soon after the kick off as Joe Martin screwed a shot wide when he might've done a lot better.
Minutes later Charlie Adam burst through the midfield but his shot was flew wide of Muller's goal.
The home team had the majority of set plays throughout the opening period, but Adam Hammill's delivery was questionable - just as it was whilst at Bloomfield Road.
Danny Coid had to limp off midway through the half with an injury, which meant club captain Rob Edwards came on for him, shifting Alex John-Baptiste to right back.
After that switch 'Pool came under some pretty heavy pressure; Michael Mifsud went down in the penalty area under pressure from Edwards but referee Webster turned his appeals away.
What was looking promising for 'Pool in the opening stages later drifted to playing down the clock towards the end of the first half, and with constant pressure from Adam Hammill, were glad for the whistle just after 45 minutes; the former 'Pool loanee saw a rasping drive brilliantly saved by Paul Rachubka, but Hammill was pulling all the strings for the Reds - clearly keen to impress.
The second half saw more fluent football by both sides (still not great though) but there was a distinct lack of real opportunites. DJ Campbell and Hammill both traded shots on target, but there was little to choose between the two teams.
Nick Blackman was replaced by Brett Ormerod and soon after The Tangerines had their lead.
After some decent build up play and a resulting cross, it was left to Wade Small to pick up the pieces on the edge of the box, but the debutant decided to volley towards goal instead. The ball flew into the corner of Heinz Muller's net to send the 1100 travelling fans behind the goal wild. Small himself went wild as well, taking his shirt off and jumping into the crowd; needless to say he was booked for his troubles, with 20 minutes remaining.
Barnsley did press the 'Pool back later on in the game, as is expected, but they didn't really posses much threat - two shots of notes were forced towards Rabs' goal from Campbell-Ryce and Macken, but nothing out of the ordinary.
In truth we looked comfortable once we took the lead, with much more composure in the midfield with Adam (who was booked late on for diving) and Southern complementing eachother well.
A crucial result today for the team, which now takes them six points ahead of Barnsley who have dropped into the bottom three. Nottingham Forest lost heavily at Burnley, as well as Derby and Plymouth also failing to pick up any points.
Two wins and a draw in a week means 'Pool are looking up the table instead of down