Match report: Nottingham Forest 3 Barnsley 2

Barnsley's Tomasz Cywka scores a stunning 30 yard free kick to level at 2-2.
Barnsley's Tomasz Cywka scores a stunning 30 yard free kick to level at 2-2.
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Barnsley boss David Flitcroft cut a frustrated figure as his struggling side leaked a late goal in defeat to high-flying Nottingham Forest.

Tomaz Cywka scored a fine 35-yard second-half equalizer as the Reds impressed in patches, but the Polish winger’s goal proved in vain as Flitcroft’s team were again beaten on their travels, thanks to sub Darius Henderson’s decisive strike six minutes from time.

The Forest management and fans clearly felt their side deserved to win as they also struck the woodwork three times - just as they did in last season’s goalless draw in the corresponding fixture.

But Flitcroft felt Cywka’s effort, in the 69th minute, deserved more reward.

Flitcroft, whose side continue to struggle with just one win so far this term, reflected: “Tomasz’s goal was not a fluke. He strikes those free-kicks in training all the time and that one deserved a point on its own.

“Frank Lampard and David Beckham can hit free-kicks like that and everyone gets to hear about it, but you won’t see a better strike anywhere this season. It was an immaculate shot.

“In the end we’ve got nothing from the game, but it is tough to coming here. A lot of teams just try and shut up shop, but we knew we’d have to go toe-to-toe with Forest and we did that at times.”

Flitcroft made a couple of changes to the starting line-up which featured in that solitary victory in the club’s previous league game, against Huddersfield.

Centre-back Peter Ramage came in for his debut following his loan switch from Crystal Palace, while former Bayern Munich winger Dale Jennings earned his first Reds start in the midfield.

Youngster Reuben Noble-Lazarus dropped to the bench, while Marcus Pedersen - who had scored a cracking goal in that win against the Terriers - was missing with a gashed foot suffered while on international duty for Norway during the week.

Forest largely bossed proceedings in the first half as they were thwarted by the woodwork twice, but they took the lead for the second time seconds before the interval only courtesy of an unfortunate own goal from Kelvin Etuhu.

Simon Cox thumped a shot against the post after just 10 minutes, then Jamie Mackie surged clear of the Reds backline before seeing a shot expertly saved by veteran keeper Mike Pollitt in his 500th league start.

It was no surprise when Forest - with boss Billy Davies banished to the stand after being hit with a one-match suspension - went in front in the 18th minute.

Henri Lansbury teed up Radoslaw Majewski whose shot was saved, but the rebound fell kindly for Cox.

The Reds were swiftly back on terms, though. As David Perkins charged into the Forest box, midfielder Guy Moussi clumsily barged him over. Up stepped striker Chris O’Grady to drill past keeper Karl Darlow and it was game on.

The hosts were stunned, but they were quickly back on the offensive and former Tottenham midfielder Andy Reid produced a little bit of magic as he curled an exquisite 20-yard free-kick on to the crossbar. The follow-up from Cox was bravely kept out almost on his line by Pollitt.

It was looking as though Barnsley would hang on to parity until the interval, only for Reid to intervene again deep into stoppage time.

His whipped-in free-kick from the right flank could only be diverted past Pollitt by the unlucky Kelvin Etuhu as he raced into the box to try and defend the danger.

With Martin Cranie, Cywka and Chris Dagnall now on as replacements the Reds threatened a comeback, with Jim O’Brien going close in his 100th league outing for the club, while Jennings rifled narrowly wide.

The Reds did then grab their leveller in spectacular style with 20 minutes left. Stephen Dawson had been fouled 35 yards from goal, only for Cywka to step up and strike an arrowing free-kick high and into the top corner, with Darlow nowhere to be seen.

Forest pushed hard for a winner and, after sub Jamie Paterson had crashed a shot against the base of a post, the hosts went on to secure their victory with Henderson’s header.