Barnsley 0-0 Cardiff Cit: Warnock sneaks home with a point

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom
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Championship mid-table pair Barnsley and Cardiff played out a bore draw at Oakwell.

Neither side could find the finish or a killer through-ball as both teams’ recent dull form continued.

Paul Heckingbottom’s side are certainly labouring - this proved to be a eighth match without a win. While the Bluebirds’ have won just once now in their last seven.

Heckingbottom had made two changes to the side which were held by the Owls.

Full-back Andy Yiadom was out after suffering a shoulder injury, replaced by Gethin Jones. Marley Watkins was handed the nod to start again, in place of loanee youngster Ryan Kent.

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock made a handful of alterations to his side following the weekend’s 3-1 loss at Wolves.

The Reds made a decent, if unspectacular start.

Tom Bradshaw broke through after 10 minutes, only to be denied by a superb last-ditch tackle from Cardiff skipper Sol Bamba.

Even half-chances were scarce in the opening quarter of the game, though, as both sides showed signs that they were indeed, out of form as the Championship season begins to draw to a close.

Kenneth Zohore looked lively up front for the visitors, but his 24th-minute strike from distance cleared the crossbar by quite a margin.

The hosts nearly grabbed themselves a goal in rather fortunate circumstances after 32 minutes when Cardiff’s veteran defender Greg Halford almost turned Watkins’ low cross into his own net.

However, that was probably the closest either side came to scoring in what was a largely miserable goalless opening 45 minutes.

The Reds went close early in the second period. A sustained spell of pressure led to a corner. Adam Hammill swung the ball into the six-yard box, but the on-rushing Angus MacDonald could only lift an effort high and wide from close range.

Cardiff’s half-time substitute goalkeeper Brian Murphy - on for the injured Allan McGregor - then came to the Bluebirds’ rescue as he produced a superb double stop to thwart Saidy Janko and Matty James.

Murphy was called upon again shortly after as he was forced to pluck a trademark curling strike from Hammill out of the air.

The Irish ‘keeper also did well to keep out a precise goal-bound strike from Josh Scowen.

Heckingbottom’s men were clearly now on top as the game entered its final quarter, but now it was replacement stopper Murphy who was blocking the path to goal.

In fact Murphy could do nothing but watch as Jones lashed in a terrific strike with eight minutes to go - an effort which whistled inches past the post.

The Reds’ final chance came from the boot of Watkins, who fired straight at Murphy just as the game entered stoppage-time.

Barnsley (4-2-3-1): Davies; Janko, Roberts, MacDonald, Jones; Scowen, James; Watkins, Mowatt (Kent, 70), Hammill (Hedges, 84); Bradshaw (Armstrong, 81).

Subs not used: Townsend, Jackson, Moncur, Lee.

Cardiff City (4-1-4-1): McGregor (Murphy, 46); John (Harris, 65), Halford, Manga, Bennett; Bamba (Morrison, 62); Noone, Connolly, Gunnarsson, Pilkington; Zohore.

dSubs not used: Richards, Whittingham, Ralls, Hoilett.