BATTLING Barnsley slipped to a 2-1 defeat at table-topping Blackburn Rovers last night despite going in front through influential midfielder Jacob Mellis.
The Reds, unchanged from the side who drew 1-1 with Blackpool last weekend, dominated the early skirmishes and deservedly broke the deadlock just after the half hour mark as Mellis grabbed his second goal in three appearances following great interplay between Chris Dagnall and Martin Cranie.
But, against the run of play, Rovers, relegated from the Premier League last term, equalised on the stroke of half-time through Jordan Rhodes. The Scotland international, an £8m acquistion from Huddersfield Town just before August transfer deadline day, made no mistake after Ruben Rochina’s knock down.
The visitors, seeking their first away victory since January, having lost 11 out of their last 12 outings on the road in the league, used all of their three substitutions after the interval, throwing on Kelvin Etuhu, Marlon Harewood and David Perkins. Harewood came close to putting Barnsley 2-1 up in the latter stages but he dragged his shot wide when he only had goalkeeper Paul Robinson to beat.
Keith Hill’s men were made to pay for Harewood’s miss when Nuno Gomes bagged the winner with five minutes remaining.
Blackburn [4-4-2]: Robinson; Orr, Dann, Formica, Hanley; Olsson, Murphy, D Etuhu, Pedersen; Rhodes, Rochina. Subs: Kean, Henrique, Lowe, Nunes, Dunn, Gomes, Ribero.
Barnsley [4-1-3-2]: Alnwick; Stones, Foster, Wiseman, Golbourne; Dawson; Cywka, Cranie, Mellis; Dagnall, Davies. Subs: Steele, Done, Perkins, Harewood, Digby, K Etuhu, Noble-Lazarus.