FT Reds: Barnsley 1 Yeovil 1

Marcus Tudgay gives Barnsley a point with this penalty equaliser
Marcus Tudgay gives Barnsley a point with this penalty equaliser
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Barnsley went into this fixture knowing a victory would see them leapfrog their fellow strugglers in the Championship.

Even at this stage of the season the match was being billed as a six-pointer with both sides expected to be locked in a battle to avoid relegation.

But the Reds knew they had their work cut out against a Glovers’ side who were unbeaten in their last three matches.Amazingly this was only the third time the clubs have played each other.

Barnsley started brightly and Polish winger Cywka tried his luck in the third minute but Glovers keeper Dunn saved easily.

Mmidfielder McCourt forced a good save from Dunn as he hit the target with a right-foot strike.

Former Chelsea midfielder Mellis dragged a right-foot shot wide as the Reds continued to press for an opener.

But the visitors took the lead against the run of the play and after some shambolic defending from the hosts.

A misunderstanding from centre-back Ramage and keeper Butland allowed GRANT to fire the Glovers ahead.

Ramage left a long-ball for Butland, but the keeper didn’t collect and Grant took his opportunity, snatching the loose ball, before firing in for his second goal of the season.

Butland pulled off a fine save to deny Miller but the Nottingham Forest loan striker was adjudged to have handballed from Ayling’s pinpoint cross, so it wouldn’t have counted.

Perkins was unlucky to his long-range left foot shot fly narrowly over.

The Reds lost McCourt forced off with a reccurrence of his injury, with O’Brien brought on to replace him before the half hour mark.

Cykwa went agoinisingly close to an equaliser in what was really turning into a very open contest. He forced Dunn to make a fine save diving outstretched to his left.

But the equaliser was just around the corner after the Reds won what looked like a dubious penalty.

Cywka went down after what seemed to be minimal contact from defender Webster and referee Probert pointed to the penalty spot.

Nottingham Forest loan striker TUDGAY stepped up and confidently rifled the ball into the top right-hand corner even though keeper Dunn dived the right way.

Mellis was desperately unlucky not to give the Reds the lead six minutes before the break. Defender Duffy made a brilliant goalline clearance after Mellis had hit the target with a right-foot shot.

Sub O’Brien saw a deflected shot easily gathered by Dunn, while at the other Butland saved with his legs from Grant.

And there was still time for Miller to get a strike away, although it was wide of the target as the Reds rode their luck.

HALF-TIME

Barnsley............ 1

Yeovil...................1

Wiseman whipped in a good cross two minutes after the restart and O’Brien headed wide of the target.

Cywka went close for the Reds just before the hour mark, but his 25-yard right-foot strike flew just wide.

And then boss Mellon replaced the tiring Pedersen with fellow striker Scotland in a bid to try and orchestrate a winning goal.

Sub Scotland grazed the top of the crossbar with a fierce striker soon after as the Reds looked the more likely to take the lead. Yeovil had a goal disallowed after Butland spilled Grant’s cross and Miller poked home.

Thankfully for the Reds Miller was ruled offside and the goal was cancelled out.

Butland redeemed himself moments eight minutes later when he saved well at his near post from Ralls’ half-volley.

Cywka rifled wide from a free-kick which the Glovers conceded on the edge of their own box with both sides still striving for an elusive winner.

Miller missed a glorious chance in the 79th minute after he headed wide from sub Hayter’s superb delivery.

Mellon surprised everyone when he introduced centre-back M’voto with six minutes remaining and put him up front with Tudgay and Scotland. And the Frenchman was denied by a fine superb reaction save by Dunn to block his header.

Former Doncaster Rovers striker Hayter headed over from four yards out as he missed an absolute sitter at the death.

Tudgay chested down to Scotland in the last minute of the game, but Dunn denied him with another smart save.