Heartbreak for Reds: Barnsley 1 Derby 1

Chris O'Grady is mobbed after scoring but the Reds were hit by a late Derby goal
Chris O'Grady is mobbed after scoring but the Reds were hit by a late Derby goal
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CHRIS O’Grady must have thought he’d scored the goal which would have

given Barnsley’s Championship’s survival hopes a real boost.

But the Reds were denied a precious victory by John Brayford’s cruel

stoppage time headed equaliser.

Sheffield Wednesday loan striker O’Grady struck two minutes after the

break for a goal which would have seen the Reds climb out of the

relegation zone and above safety.

But Brayford’s 90th minute leveler remain a point from safety with just

three league fixtures remaining.

Struggling badly with injuries and suspensions, Reds’ boss David

Flitcroft made four changes to his starting side following their dismal

defeat to the Addicks.

Midfielder Stephen Dawson and left-back Tom Kennedy were both missing

through suspension having been sent-off at the weekend, serving three

and one match bans respectively.

Reuben Noble-Lazarus was employed as a makeshift left-back to cover for

Kennedy’s absence, with Jim O’Brien used to fill the hole left by

Dawson.

Martin Cranie returned to replace the injured Stephen Foster (torn

calf), while striker Jason Scotland was preferred to Chris Dagnall up

front.

And the Reds started brightly when Scotland blazed over the bar after

only five minutes.

O’Brien’s clever back-heel picked out O’Grady not long after, but the

Owls’ loan hitman’s strike was straight at Rams’ keeper Frank Fielding.

Reds skipper Luke Steele then pulled off a fine save with his legs to

thwart Jeff Hendrick from close-range, before a minute later Ben Davies

shot over from 30 yards.

The unmarked centre-back Jake Buxton wasted a glorious chance when he

headed wide from Coutt’s inch-perfect corner, then Steele denied Mason

Bennett with a brilliant point-blank save with the Reds under the cosh.

O’Grady forced Fielding to save well at his near post seven minutes

before the break, but Steele was called into action again when he

smothered Hendrick’s powerful volley with the last kick of the first

half.

Two minutes after the restart the Reds were ahead when O’Grady kept his

composure to volley into the bottom left-corner.

The momentum was with the Reds and Cywka lashed a right-foot shot at

Fielding.

Martin rifled over with a left-foot strike with 17 minutes remaining

and Coutts shot over from distance.

But there was still enough time for an equaliser as Brayford netted at

the death.

And to make matters worse fellow strugglers Blackburn, Wolves and

Peterborough all picked up points in their own battles to stay up.

Barnsley (4-4-2): Steele, Wiseman, Hassell (Jones 32), Cranie,

Noble-Lazarus, Cywka (Harewood 90), Mellis, Perkins, O’Brien, Scotland

(Dagnall 76), O’Grady.

Subs: Alnwick, Rose, Patterson, Clark.

Booked: Jones, Mellis.

Derby County (4-4-2): Fielding, Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth,

Freeman (Jacobs 68), Hendrick, Coutts, Davies, Bennett (Sammon 73),

Martin (Gjokaj 90)

Subs: Legzdins, O’Connor, Doyle, Roberts.

Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 9,007