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16:56 26th December 2011


Reds 1 (Done 17)
Blackpool 3 (M. Phillips 37, 67, 83)

The Reds made it hard work for themselves and were undone by a spritely Blackpool outfit on Boxing Day.

Matty Done broke the deadlock with his second of the season only for Matt Phillips to level just before the break. The Seasiders' forward then hit a second-half brace to complete his hat-trick and seal the points for his side.

It was a fast-paced opening few minutes at Oakwell on a fairly mild Boxing Day afternoon and the visitors edged possession.

The ball almost fell for Done in the area with barely four minutes gone but for an excellent Blackpool block.Five minutes later and the Frenchman Sylvestre sliced well over from 20-yards after a fast break from LuaLua.

By the 12-minute mark the match opened up and Blackpool were after a penalty when McManaman went over in the area but the referee was strong in his denial to point to the spot.

With 17 gone a tremendous ball from Butterfield split the visitors wide open down the right and O'Brien's low, drilled cross fell for Done inside the six-yard box who made no mistake for his second of the season.

The referee played a great advantage when O'Brien was hauled down on 23 - Butterfield capitalised and put in a splendid cross for Davies who just lost his footing as a result of his pace going forward.

Mark Howard underestimated a curling Butterfield effort from all of 35-yards and had to tip the Barnsley skipper's strike over on 27 minutes. The shot came after some tenacious work from the tremendous Perkins.

Moments later and Butterfield turned provider to slot in for Davies but the striker's effort bobbled wide from a fairly acute angle.

The visitors did respond and were keeping the ball down like the Reds but should have been level just past the half-hour mark when Matt Phillips blazed wide with only Steele to beat. Steele then got down smartly to deny LuaLua's drive following his jinking run.

With 37 minutes on the clock Matt Phillips powered down the left and his shot seemed to be covered by Steele, but somehow it crept in at his near post for the leveller.

Just two minutes after the equaliser Matt Done had a glorious opportunity for his second when Davies threaded through for the little forward. Despite connecting well, Howard blocked to his left what would have been a certain goal. The Seasiders responded and a deflected effort almost crept in at Steele's far stick.

Second half

Blackpool came flying out of the traps for the second period but failed to capitalise when well positioned.

It took seven second-half minutes to test Howard in the Blackpool sticks and what a save it was. Craig Davies turning after some strong hold-up play and absolutely lashing towards the top corner but Howard got across well and turned his effort over with a great stop.

Again the Reds flew forward and forced another good save from Howard. Butterfield set the ball rolling for Wiseman to bomb down the left and the defender found Vaz Te whose strike was tipped around the post by another smart Howard stop.

McEveley's half clearance allowed LuaLua in on 58 but the midfielder would have wanted more from his team-mate Phillips who blazed well over. Baptiste fancied his chances from 30 yards but sent his effort crashing straight down the throat of Steele.

The Seasiders were looking full of confidence and the Reds were working hard to deny them space and looking to hit them on the break.

For all Blackpool's passing and moving, it was a cross that sent them into the lead. Matt Phillips picked up a short corner and crossed looking for a team mate, only for Steele to miss-judge and miss his delivery to make it 2-0.

Butterfield dragged his effort wide as the clock ticked to 80 minutes - the Reds were looking to force an equaliser but were dealt a blow at the other end when Blackpool were awarded a penalty.

Matt Phillips fancied his hat-trick and stepped up from 12 yards to make it 3-1 - Steele went the correct way to his left but the forward's strike beat his dive.

The Reds huffed and puffed but must admit were beaten by the better side on the day.

Steele, McEveley, Edwards, O'Brien (Gray 62), Davies, Done , Perkins, Wiseman, McNulty, Vaz Te (Haynes 75), Butterfield.
Subs not used: Preece, Hassell, Foster.

Blackpool: Howard, Crainey, Evatt, Taylor-Fletcher (Basham 86), Sylvestre, Baptiste, Ferguson, Cathcart, M. Phillips, LuaLua (Grandin 63), McManaman (Ince 72).
Subs not used: Eardley, K. Phillips.

Referee: Colin Webster
Assistant Referees: Declan Ford & Simeon Lucas
Fourth Official: Adrian Holmes

11,776 (1,628)

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.