Bradford C 1 Barnsley 2: Reds hit back in JPT

Alfie Mawson celebrates scoring Barnsley's second goal past Rory McArdle.   Picture Bruce Rollinson
Alfie Mawson celebrates scoring Barnsley's second goal past Rory McArdle. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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Barnsley secured their spot in the area quarter-finals of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Section after beating Bradford City 2-1.

Marley Watkins and Alfie Mawson both netted to send the Reds through to face York City, after last Tuesday’s meeting was postponed following a deluge in West Yorkshire.

Billy Knott had put the hosts ahead on 22 minutes from a scuffed shot but Watkins’ effort just before the break came at a crucial time for Barnsley.

Centre-half Mawson then scored the winner mid-way through the second half to secure the win, which sets up another Yorkshire derby with the visit of York City to Oakwell in the next round.

Lee Johnson used the game to experiment a little with his side, opting to play five at the back with Alfie Mawson playing in the centre alongside Lewin Nyatanga and Marc Roberts.

Reece Wabara and George Smith were given a little license to attack in playing as wing-backs, whilst current second-choice goalkeeper Adam Davies came in for Nick Townsend.

Davies had a heart-in-the-mouth moment on 18 minutes when Bradford had the first real opportunity of the game. Mark Marshall played in a cross-shot which only just flew wide of the upright.

But the hosts did net the opener four minutes later when Marshall’s cross had been half-cleared. Knott was lingering on the edge of the box and his scuffed shot found its way past Adam Davies.

Marshall was causing the Reds’ backline plenty of problems and forced a good save out of Davies on 26 minutes after the Jamaican fired a sweet strike at the Barnsley goal.

The visitors nicked a surprise equaliser on the stroke of half time though, as Watkins got a touch on Conor Hourihane’s free kick to the near post, which caught Ben Williams flat-footed.

The goal came as a huge boost to the visitors after barely getting a look in during the opening 45 minutes and they remained on the front foot at the start of the second half.

After being denied by Williams deep into stoppage time before the break, only a desperate goal-line clearance prevented Hourihane from giving Barnsley the lead on 55 minutes.

The midfielder was afforded a free header which had evaded the goalkeeper but Tony McMahon scrambled clear from his own goalmouth to keep the scores level.

Bradford managed to stem the tide and a show of great determination from Luke James saw him win the ball back in a dangerous position, but Davies was in position to make the save.

But Barnsley struck again on the 69th minute with another goal from a set piece. Hourihane again delivered into the danger area and this time Mawson got on the end of it to fire in from close range.

As frustrations began to grow amongst the Bantams, an altercation developed between Watkins and Lee Evans with five minutes left. The duo were cautioned, along with Ben Pearson and Greg Leigh.

It was a backs-to-the-wall job late on for Johnson’s men after a corner allowed the hosts to pen Barnsley in their own box, but a great clearing header from Roberts relieved the pressure to seal the victory.

In other news, midfielder Joe Rothwell has had his loan terminated by parent club Manchester United after coming down with tonsillitis.

The 20-year-old moved to Oakwell with Pearson on a six-month loan spell in July, but he will be side-lined for around a month after requiring surgery.

Bradford City: Williams, McMahon, Darby, McArdle, Clarke, Marshall, Leigh, Liddle (Meredith 73), Knott, Hanson (Davies 64), James (Cole 64).

Subs not used: Jones, Evans.

Barnsley: Davies, Nyatanga, Wabara (Bree 59), Roberts, Mawson, G. Smith, Watkins, Hourihane (Digby 79), Harris (White 73), Pearson, Winnall.

Subs not used: Townsend, Drennan.

Referee: Trevor Kettle (Berkshire).

Attendance: 4,127.