The past few years haven’t been great when we’ve played Barnsley, home or away.
We played them at Oakwell on New Years Eve last year, early kick off. I was Properly geared up for the
game with it being on NYE, thinking of how nice it would be to go into the New Year having won….It didn’t
quite work like that though and we ended up being turned over 4 – 1. The only goal for us coming from
Becchio on the 90th minute.
We could only hope this match wouldn't be as horrible as previous times had been but in the first couple of
minutes it seemed like it was going down the same old route as David Perkins' attempt just cleared the bar,
this was closely followed by a shot that missed just right of the goal by Jacob Mellis.
We didn't see an awful lot of the ball in the first 20 minutes and quite a lot of fouls were given against us,
I think Deadman was keen on the sound of his own whistle because some of them were questionable to say the least, but, not entirely blaming him, we were playing pretty rubbish.
It took until the 26th minute for us to put some decent pressure on The Tykes and get a proper shot on goal away, El-Hadji Diouf crossing the ball in for a waiting Luciano Becchio who headed it over the crossbar. We began to play football and Rodolph Austin made Ben Alnwick work on the 27th minute after producing a shot on goal and again two minutes later but it just went over the crossbar.
A corner taken by Diouf on the 36th minute was saved by Barnsley keeper Alnwick. A minute later, Craig Davies put his foot through the ball from outside the penalty area which Tom Lees blocked, Marlon Harewood just missed left of the goal seconds later.
On the 41st minute of play, Stephen Foster brought down Lee Peltier in the area with a crunching challenge.
Luciano Becchio stepped up to the mark and sent the keeper the wrong way to chip in his 9th goal in all competitions this season.
Deadman brought the half to an end, we had to improve for the second half. It felt like one mistake and we'd soon find ourselves on the back foot.
Barnsley made a change after the break, bringing on Bobby Hassell for injured Stephen Foster.
The first 5/6 minutes were un-eventful, both teams struggling to get to grips with the game.
Michael Tonge went down on the 53rd minute clutching his shoulder, Neil Warnock made the decision to bring on David Norris in his place as Tonge went off for treatment.
Rodolph Austin attempted to double the lead a minute later when he shot with power from around 25 yards out but it was straight at the keeper and Alnwick had it covered.
David Norris sent the ball over the bar on the 60th minute after play opened up for him to have a shot from
20 yards out. Alnwick took the goal kick and Barnsley began their attack, Tomasz Cywka shooting from a
distance, the shot was blocked however by Norris.
Paddy Kenny was called to make an important save when a corner came in from Jacob Mellis and Harewood
Our defensive tactics looked to be weakening and Barnsley were pressuring us with more attempts to even
the odds, another corner came in but this time Becchio was there to clear it away from any potential danger.
Barnsley looked to their bench to change their game and brought on Chris Dagnall for Marlon Harewood on
66 minutes and two minutes later, changed Cywka for Kelvin Etuhu.
Warnock decided to change things too, bringing off Luciano Becchio on the 71st minute for Andy Gray.
The next real chance on goal was from El-Hadji Diouf who sent a corner into the area but Ben Alnwick dealt
Andy Gray and Diouf were trying to keep hold of the ball as much as possible to retain our lead and make
sure we were never under too much pressure, but almost three minutes into added time a foul by Michael
Brown on Perkins resulted in a free kick for the visitors, taken by Mellis. John Stones heading from inside
the area but Paddy Kenny was there to make sure the ball never crossed the line and made a lovely last
Deadman brought the game to a close and we'd not only won, but we'd actually beaten Barnsley AND kept a
Now, we really did play badly at points in this game, mainly in midfield. I remember at one point we were
defending so deep it didn't even look like we had a midfield!! It just looked like we had a back line!!
We need to be slowing teams down and trying to regain possession in midfield, when we drop back and
defend deep, we start letting stupid goals in, and if Barnsley would have put the chances they had away,
this would probably be a very different report!!
Deadman made some puzzling decisions, but the biggest decision of the day was the penalty, whether it
should/shouldn't have been given and here is my honest answer, it was JUST outside of the area.
The tackle however was horrible and come on, it's about time we got a bit of luck, eh ;o)
There is no doubting the quality of the way it was scored though as Luciano Becchio put it away in fantastic
style, sending the keeper the wrong way and then just calmly chipping it in....Muy valiante (very brave),
Warnock didn't watch the penalty ha ha and Luciano apparently admitted to Ronnie Jepson that
'the gaffer would have killed him if he'd have missed that' ha ha!!!!
We also kept our first clean sheet since the Wolves game (not including Oxford United in the cup), Paddy
Kenny made some pretty important saves and I think played really well.
International break this week, I think it's come at just the right time really as we were starting to look tired
after a hard few weeks. The Championship is probably the hardest I've seen it in quite some time this
season and the matches keep on coming thick and fast, not to mention cup games too!!
Hope the lads that aren't involved in any internationals have a nice long break, and all the very best of luck
to those that are.
Sheffield Wednesday is the next match, away at Hillsborough next Friday night, apparently we are taking
5000....I can't wait :o)
Sorry for the lack of pictures the sun was making it hard for me to take any as it was right in our eyes!!
MOT xx <3 xx