CAPTAIN fantastic Jacob Butterfield can’t put a foot wrong at Barnsley at the moment.
The midfielder bagged his fourth goal of the season as the Reds registered their first back-to-back victories for 14 months, with substitute Ricardo Vaz Te killing of the match eight minutes from time.
Having dominated first-half possession and surviving pressure in the second, Reds boss Keith Hill breathed a sigh of relief as his side bounced back from Saturday’s Portsmouth loss.
Butterfield’s 22nd minute close-range strike saw him overtake Andy Gray as the club’s leading scorer.
Hill had made three changes to his starting line-up with Jay McEveley (dead leg) replaced at left-back by Jimmy McNulty, with Rob Edwards moving into the centre having recovered from hamstring injury.
Bobby Hassell (groin) was replaced by Scott Wiseman, while Vaz Te dropped to the bench. Craig Davies made his first start since August.
After early pressure, the Reds rallied. Jim O’Brien, who was getting plenty of success wide on the right wing, strolled past four defenders to get into the visitors’ penalty area, but took a touch too many.
Butterfield floated over a corner in the 19th minute and McNulty headed wide when he should have hit the target. However, the pressure told and, after O’Brien had a shot charged down on the edge of the area, the Scot picked out Davies at the back post and the striker headed into the path of Butterfield to fire home.
Rodriguez struck the bar as the Clarets countered.
Junior Stanislas miscued in a good position and then Clarets’ captain Chris McCann shot wide after Nathan Doyle gave the ball away.
Danny Drinkwater’s rocket free-kick could only be parried by keeper Lee Grant five minutes before the break, before Charlie Austin headed over at the other end.
McNulty produced an excellent block to thwart Austin following the restart, but the striker got a second bite of the cherry and rifled into the side netting.
Butterfield picked Davies out with sublime pass which cut the Clarets’ defence in two in the 51st minute, but one-on-one with Grant the former Chesterfield man dragged his shot wide of the upright.
Steele saved well to thwart Wallace from a curling free-kick shortly after the hour mark and then was nearly caught out with an audacious effort from McCann.
With Marvin Bartley bearing down on goal, Steele saved well at his feet, slipped clearing the ball and McCann came within a whisker of nearly scoring with a David Beckham-esque shot just inside the hosts’ half.
But Vaz Te’s introduction proved key as he made sure of the points with a clinical finish despite late chances for Rodriguez and Austin.
n Barnsley: Steele 6, McNulty 7, Edwards 7, Foster 7, Wiseman 6, Davies 6 (Vaz Te 75), Doyle 7, Drinkwater 8, O’Brien 8, Butterfield 8, Gray 7. Subs: Preece, Addison, Park, Stones
n Burnley: Grant 7, Trippier 7, Amougou 6, Edgar 6, Easton 6, Stanislas 5 (Treacy 68, 5), Bartley 6, McCann 6, Wallace 7 (Hines 88), Austin 7, Rodriguez 7. Subs: Stewart, Mee, Marney.
n Bookings: 87 - Andre Amougou felled Vaz Te near the centre circle; 90+3 Andy Gray booked for a lunge on Keith Treacy on the right wing.
n Attendance: 9,692
n Referee: Lee Mason (Lancs)