BARNSLEY: Hill happy as new-look Reds nullify Baggies

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BARNSLEY’S only home pre-season friendly fixture ended in a goalless stalemate on Saturday as Premier League West Brom just about enjoyed the better of the exchanges.

During a game featuring precious few chances at either end, Reds fans did at least get the chance to get up close and personal to new summer signings Ben Alnwick, Toni Silva, Jacob Mellis, Kelvin Etuhu and Mido for the first time.

After the game a philosophical Reds manager Keith Hill said: “In terms of points in league games of course these friendly games are worthless, but there’s one or two players suffering from niggling injuries still and I really need to start getting a look at them.

“But on the whole it was another great exercise against a good Premier League side.

“We know how good these sides are at keeping the ball, and when we give the ball away cheaply you can see how penetrative they can be.

“Just half of a bad touch, they can nick the ball off you and there’s a goalscoring opportunity. We mostly nullified that on Saturday though, and to keep a clean sheet - I’m going to have to be pleased with that.”

The Oakwell fixture was the Reds’ fourth pre-season friendly as Hill strives to keep Barnsley in the Championship again this coming season.

The match produced little goalmouth action, with the best of the opportunities falling to the visitors.

James Hurst forced a good save out of Alnwick, while Graham Dorrans and Zoltan Gera also went close for the Baggies.

For the hosts, Chris Dagnall hit the post after some good work on the right from Jim O’Brien, while a Matt Done volley in the second half sailed wide.

Egpytian star Mido brought smiles to the faces of the 2,000 Barnsley fans who had turned out, and his every touch was greeted with a huge cheer.

He failed to make much of an impact, however, although he did show the Oakwell faithful what he is capable of with some neat touches.

Another new arrival, Silva, got his first taste of playing in front of the home crowd and showed glimpses of brilliance on the right wing, although he failed to create any meangingful chances.