The Reds will look to continue where they left off against Swindon when they cross the Pennines to face Blackpool this weekend.
Goals from Marley Watkins, Reece Wabara, Lewin Nyatanga and Conor Hourihane earned Lee Johnson’s side an impressive 4-1 triumph against the promotion-chasing Robins and with it lifted the Reds into 11thplace in League One.
The win also ended a run of two straight defeats at Oakwell and with the Reds tasting victory in three of their last four away games, Johnson’s men will be going all out for another three points this weekend.
Saturday’s hosts Blackpool meanwhile, will be searching for their first home success in 13 games after ending their horrific winless away run two weeks ago with a narrow victory at Scunthorpe.
That confidence boosting success – which was Blackpool’s first win in all competitions since January - ended a spell of 17 miserable months on the road for the Seasiders, and despite suffering defeat at Gillingham on Saturday, another improved display against the Gills will have offered some hope in what has been a troubled season so far for the Club.
Four draws and eight losses in their last 12 outings at Bloomfield Road does not exuberate confidence however and the Seasiders will need to build on their recent performances if they are to avoid a fourth home defeat in a row this weekend.
After no meetings between the two Clubs last season Barnsley and Blackpool will be reunited on Saturday afternoon for the 97thtime.
Following the Reds’ relegation to League One in May 2014 the sides were kept apart last time out but with the Tangerines suffering the same fate four months ago, Bloomfield Road is set to host this fixture for the first time since August 2013 this weekend.
Jim O'Brien celebrates his goal against Blackpool in 2013.
On that occasion it was the home side that came out victorious following Scott Golbourne’s last minute own goal which handed Pool all three points in a tight affair by the seaside.
In the reverse fixture at Oakwell however, and it was the Reds who earned their 42ndsuccess in this fixture after Chris O’Grady’s brace secured a 2-0 triumph.
Those results continued a very even sequence of results between the two Clubs in recent years, with two wins a piece and two draws in the last six meetings.
Strikers Sam Winnall and Michael Smith will be pushing for a return to the Reds’ starting XI when Barnsley travel to Bloomfield Road this weekend.
New loan signing Smith was ineligible to feature against parent Club Swindon on Saturday but will be desperate to make his first start for the Reds, while top goal scorer Winnall had to settle for a place amongst the substitutes against Swindon on Saturday and will be just as eager to partner Marley Watkins in attack against Neil McDonald’s Blackpool.
That could see winger Ryan Williams drop to the bench after the Australian played just 29 minutes of the Club’s 3-1 success against the Robins following his return from injury, but one man who is set to start at Bloomfield Road is goalkeeper Nick Townsend, who made his first League appearance for the Club last weekend.
Hosts Blackpool could go with the same side for the third game running following much improved performances in their last two outings.
That would see youngsters John Herron and Henry Cameron continue to provide support for lone front man Mark Cullen, however if boss McDonald does opt for change, both Jack Redshaw and Kwame Thomas will be chomping at the bit for a starting berth against the Reds.
Another player hoping for inclusion from the off will be experienced midfielder David Norris, with the ex-Leeds United man still awaiting his maiden start for the Tangerines.
Man in the Middle
Barnsley will be hoping for a much pleasanter afternoon in the company of Christopher Kavanagh today. Last season the Lancastrian met with the Reds for the first time but watched over the Club’s 3-0 home defeat against Swindon, before running the rule over the Reds’ 2-0 reverse at the MK Dons just four months later.
The official – who will be assisted by linesmen Duncan Street and Jason Whiteley at Bloomfield Road - also took charge of Blackpool for a first time last season and just like the Reds it was not an enjoyable encounter for the Seasiders, with the Club going down to a 2-1 defeat at home to Middlesbrough.
So far this season the Lancashire-born referee has watched over five games including Aston Villa’s thrilling League Cup tie against Notts County which ended in a 5-3 success for Tim Sherwood’s side. Kavanagh issued four yellow cards in that clash and despite showing 14 in total so far this season he is yet to reach for his back pocket.
Their Star Man
Following a major close season clear out at Bloomfield Road which saw front men Francois Zoko, Nathan Delfouneso and Steven Davies depart the Club, the Seasiders went in search of new firepower this summer. Nigerian Kwame Thomas and exciting forward Jack Redshaw arrived from Derby County and Morecambe respectively but it was the capture of Mark Cullen which stood out for Saturday’s hosts.
The 23-year-old former Hull City marksman agreed a two-year deal with the Seasiders following his £180,000 move from League Two outfit Luton Town. The switch came after a successful 2014-15 campaign for ex-Bradford City loanee Cullen, who notched 14 times last season in what was Luton’s first year back in the Football League. The Northumberland-born striker’s tally only bettered that of fellow new signing Redshaw by two but it is Cullen’s Premier League pedigree which makes him Blackpool’s star man, with the Pool no.9 netting once in three top flight appearances for Hull back in 2010.
After an encouraging pre-season in the tangerine of Blackpool which included a brace on his unofficial Pool debut against Lancaster City, confidence was high for the new campaign and it got off to a flier, with Cullen bagging a double on his first official outing for the Club at Colchester. The diminutive front man put his new side ahead twice with a close range finish and a powerful strike but despite that early season form, Cullen has failed to find the back of the net since with just two goals in eight games for the Club. With the Seasiders ending their 24-match winless run in recent weeks however, Cullen’s team mates will be in buoyant mood and with several creative talents within their squad, poacher Cullen will be more than ready to add to his tally when the opportunities begin to fall his way.
Daniel Nardiello is a player that Barnsley supporters will never forget. After marking his debut with a brace in a 3-0 Oakwell success against Blackpool, the forward would go onto net 32 times in four separate spells with the Club. The first two of those stays came as part of loan moves from parent Club Manchester United but after bagging six goals in the final nine games of the 2004-05 campaign, Nardiello made his switch to South Yorkshire permanent in June 2005.
The Coventry-born front man enjoyed a season to remember following his full-time switch from Old Trafford; notching two vital strikes to first help the Reds beat arch-rivals Huddersfield Town in the League One play-off semi-final before hitting a second-half equaliser in the final against Swansea which Barnsley would go onto win 4-3 on penalties. The marksman added a further nine goals to his Reds tally in the following Championship campaign as the Club survived relegation by eight points but in June 2007, two years after his arrival, Nardiello turned down a new deal and instead joined league rivals Queens Park Rangers.
Just seven months later though and the ex-Wales international was back on loan at Oakwell, but after finding the back of the net just once in 13 games he returned to Loftus Road at the end of the 2007-08 campaign. Upon his arrival back in London however, Nardiello struggled to fight his way back into the R’s side and in July 2008 he completed a switch to Blackpool on a two-year deal. Despite making his first appearance for the Club in a 1-0 home triumph against the Tykes, injury hampered his progress at Bloomfield Road and a loan move to Hartlepool came the talented front man’s way.
A winner on his first outing of the 2009-10 campaign against Crewe promised a turnaround in fortunes for Nardiello at Blackpool, but once again injury would strike and after recovering from a hip problem the striker spent time on loan with both Bury and Oldham. Following his return to Bloomfield Road, Nardiello was told his contract would not be renewed with the Seasiders and in July 2010 he joined Exeter. Two years in Devon were followed up by a season-and-a-half back in South Yorkshire with Rotherham, but following an eighth loan switch of his career back at Bury, the former Barnsley marksman made Gigg Lane his permanent home in January 2014.
Blackpool’s last five at home: (LDLLL)
Blackpool 0-1 Fulham
Blackpool 0-0 Huddersfield Town
Blackpool 0-2 Rochdale
Blackpool 1-2 Burton Albion
Blackpool 0-4 Walsall
Barnsley’s last five on the road: (LWWLW)
Chesterfield 3-1 Barnsley
Scunthorpe United 1-1 Barnsley (Barnsley won on penalties)
Millwall 2-3 Barnsley
Rochdale 3-0 Barnsley
Scunthorpe United 1-2 Barnsley
Going to the match?
Blackpool FC plays at Bloomfield Road, its address is as follows:
How to get there
The route into Blackpool comes courtesy of the M55 motorway, which can be accessed by coming off at Junction 32 on the M6. The best route for visiting supporters is to follow the M55 to the bottom, take the second exit at the roundabout and head straight down Yeadon Way onto Seasiders Way.
On-site parking is extremely limited at Bloomfield Road so visiting supporters are advised to use the council pay and display car parks over the road from the stadium.
The nearest train station to the stadium is Blackpool South (one mile), which also passes Blackpool Pleasure Beach en route to the ground. However, trains to this station run hourly from Preston and vice-versa.
More frequent trains serve Blackpool North train station, which is some 25 minutes walking distance from the ground.
Bus routes to the vicinity are served by numbers 7, 11 and 14 from the town centre bus station, while tram services on the promenade are within 10-15 minutes walking distance of the stadium.
Please contact the Barnsley FC Box Office on 01226 211183 for ticket information.