Barnsley 4 Bristol City 2: Match Report

Barnsley v Bristol City'Paul McShane is congratulated by a flying Nathan Doyle after he scores the fourth for Barnsley
Barnsley v Bristol City'Paul McShane is congratulated by a flying Nathan Doyle after he scores the fourth for Barnsley
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We started brightly but then went on to concede a poor goal.

THERE was plenty of fun in the sun for Barnsley fans on Saturday as their side turned the form book on its head by crushing Bristol City.

Barnsley v Bristol City'Jacob Mellis gets away from Jamal Campbell-Ryce

Barnsley v Bristol City'Jacob Mellis gets away from Jamal Campbell-Ryce

The omens weren’t encouraging with the Reds going into the game on the back of a dismal run of just one win in their last 10 games.

As well as that City were making a late charge for the play-offs under Keith Millen, having won six of their previous seven.

However, despite an early setback with old foe Marvin Elliott opening the scoring early on for the visitors, the hosts stormed to lead 4-1 before the hour mark.

After that the Reds eased off the gas and Nicky Maynard slotted in a late penalty for the visitors, but make no mistake, this had been a thumping victory for delighted Reds boss Mark Robins.

Barnsley v Bristol City'Marlon Harewood celebrates with Andy gray

Barnsley v Bristol City'Marlon Harewood celebrates with Andy gray

He said: “We played some excellent attacking football at Palace the week before, but today the difference was that we got the rewards for our efforts.

“We got a bit ragged towards the end, but overall this was a hard-fought victory for us and the supporters enjoyed it.

“The commitment and desire was there for everyone to see.”

Robins was forced into a couple of changes following the 2-1 defeat at Palace, and both came in the back line.

Barnsley v Bristol City'Andy Gray slots home from the spot

Barnsley v Bristol City'Andy Gray slots home from the spot

Bobby Hassell missed out on a potential 250th Barnsley appearance as combined calf and ankle injuries kept him out, but in stepped Kieran Trippier as a ready-made replacement at right-back.

In the heart of the defence, club skipper Stephen Foster made a welcome return after finally shaking off his thigh injury, while Jason Shackell dropped out having been ill during the week.

He wasn’t even named among the substitutes, but should be fit again for tomorrow’s tasty home clash against Championship leaders QPR.

Jay McEveley (knee) and Jacob Mellis (hamstring) both made the bench, having come through a reserve game in midweek following injuries.

In fact Mellis was to make quite an impact having replaced the injured Hugo Colace early on after the Argentinian injured himself sliding in for a lunging tackle which earned him a yellow card before he limped off.

On a beautiful Spring afternoon it was City who started brightest and Elliott opened the scoring after only seven minutes when he squeezed a low shot past Luke Steele following Albert Adomah’s right-wing cross.

Reds old boy Jamal Campbell-Ryce came close to doubling the visitors’ lead, before Barnsley were handed a lifeline on the half-hour when they were awarded a spot-kick which the City players contested hugely.

It was Mellis who had got round the back of the defence, and as he attempted to clip in a cross from the bye-line, the ball was adjudged to have struck Elliott’s hand and a spot-kick was awarded.

After the protestations had finally died down Andy Gray stepped up to coolly stroke his penalty kick past England international stopper David James.

The leveller certainly gave the Reds a lift, and by half-time they had stormed into a 3-1 lead.

City old boy Danny Haynes fired the Reds in front when he tapped in from close range after Gray’s initial shot had been parried by James.

Then, deep into first-half stoppage-time, young Jacob Butterfield lit up proceedings with the best goal of the game.

Turning sweetly inside Elliott, Butterfield took aim before firing a brilliant angled shot in off the far post from 20 yards.

Oakwell was buzzing at the break, and only 11 minutes after the resumption they were 4-1 up – this time with a simply-worked effort.

Butterfield floated in a corner-kick which loan defender Paul McShane nodded in for his first Barnsley goal.

Marlon Harewood had been impressive all afternoon and he came close to making it five just past the hour mark, but it was to be City who had the final word as they pulled one back with seven minutes to go.

Foster pulled back Adomah as he charged into the box and Maynard made no mistake from the resultant spot-kick.

Although the Reds’ first-half spot-kick award had proved to be a crucial turning point in the game, City boss Millen held his hands up and made no excuses for his side’s defeat.

He said: “I’ve seen the video and their penalty wasn’t a handball, and that’s what has annoyed the players the most.

“But having said that, we can’t let decisions like that affect us like it did.

“Before their equaliser we were full of confidence, full of energy and we were looking dangerous.

“We’d quietened the crowd and really we should have been at least 2-0 up before they scored from the penalty.”

Manager’s View

We started brightly but then went on to concede a poor goal.

Marvin Elliott has a habit of scoring against us.

After that the two Jacobs (Butterfield and Mellis) ran the show.

They brought us to life as an attacking force.

The goals we scored came after we put pressure on Bristol.

We had spoken about that before the game.