BARNSLEY FC 1 – 2 Burton Albion 20/02/2018 – Match Write Up

This game saw Jose Morais take charge of his first match at Oakwell.
We shouldn’t judge based on one game, but it seemed that Morais would have a lot to do to please. He stuck with the same side that played against Sheffield Wednesday in last week’s game. Personally, I thought this was a wise move as four days isn’t long to get to know your squad.

First Half
Within 55 seconds of kicking off, Burton scored their first goal through a superb 25 yard strike from Jamie Allen. Immediately, this put Barnsley under immense pressure in another must-win game. With Burton also scrapping for every point available, they’d got off on the right foot. Throughout the first half, Burton pressed Barnsley and definitely looked like they wanted the win more than Barnsley did.

The game did seem very stop start throughout, though many decisions went Burton’s way. Barnsley did have opportunities to bring a goal back, but it just didn’t seem to happen. As the first half started to fade away, Barnsley’s hopes of pulling back seemed slim, although the second half could have proved different.

The referee added on four minutes of extra time to the first half after a couple of injuries and other stoppages during the half. Namely Joe Williams, who was taken out with nothing awarded and Burton’s Allen who also suffered injury. Both players continued to play for the remainder of the half. Burton had two great chances to extend their lead deep into stoppage time. Yiadom stopping the first free kick effort but Burton’s second free kick on the edge of the box was unstoppable and so goes their second goal.

Scrappy first half all in all. Burton definitely the stronger side and in their game play it could be seen that they wanted it more. Burton leading by two goals to nil meant that Barnsley would have an awful lot of work to do in the second half if they were to come back, even if it was to rescue a point from the game.

Second Half
At the break, Barnsley made their first sub with Mamadou Thiam replacing Lloyd Isgrove. Fair substitution as Isgrove didn’t seem to show his usual flair in the first half. From the opening ten minutes or so of this half, you could tell that Jose had probably given the players what for in the dressing room. Barnsley definitely were more fired up and ready. They needed to be though as they had two goals to respond to.

Barnsley were able to take much more control of the ball, although little danger came from them. Again, play seemed a little stop-start with the referee stopping the game for various free kicks. Barnsley’s second sub saw Hammill replaced by Brad Potts. Definitely good to see Potts returning to the field! If I’m not mistaken this moved Barnsley from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 with Thiam moving to support Bradshaw and McBurnie and Potts covering midfield with Williams and Gardner. It could have changed on first substitution though! I failed to pay attention to that!

Barnsley had their chance to pull a goal back after a foul on Bradshaw on the edge of the box leading to a free kick. It was a superb free kick taken by Gardner but Bywater got to it comfortably stopping the Reds from pulling back. Barnsley made their final sub, bringing on big Kieffer Moore for Bradshaw.

Barnsley continued to push Burton into their own half and eventually they found their way through. Pinillos took his chance and scored, although I’ve read somewhere that Moore claimed it as his. Either way Barnsley had pulled back and had chance to at least score an equaliser and rescue a very much needed point.

Final Ten Minutes
Burton literally threw as many bodies on the line as they could. Barnsley were increasingly applying pressure to seek an equaliser but Burton defended well, denying them their opportunities. Pinillos almost claimed a second goal but was wide of the post. It would have been the very much needed equaliser that Barnsley had so desperately fought for. Deep into stoppage time, Mamadou Thiam managed to get the ball in the back of the net after Potts was clattered and brought down by two Burton players. The goal was given as offside much to the annoyance and frustration of the Barnsley fans. From my point of view, it looked in, and not offside, others may well disagree. Brad Potts’ penalty shout seconds before was waved away. Again, another decision that didn’t seem to be correct but who are we as fans to question the referee?

Should we blame the referee? Partly. The penalty probably should have been given, and if not then the goal should have been! Were Barnsley good enough? Sadly, in the first half we just didn’t turn up. Burton wanted it more in the first half and got the result that they so desperately needed and wanted! The loss now takes Barnsley deeper into the relegation zone, with it becoming increasingly more difficult to get out. Some huge games coming up for all teams across the bottom of the table. Teams playing against each other are all fighting for those valuable points!

My MOTM has to be Thiam; he played well since coming on and put in a great shift. In my opinion, I think that Jose needs to go with that final XI as his starting XI at Birmingham.

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