Reds FT: Barnsley 2 Charlton 2

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Barnsley looked set for their first win of the season when a Chris O’Grady double saw them 2-0 up against Charlton, but the club who hit six at Oakwell last season hit back to take a point.

It had been a tough start for the Reds with games against FA Cup winners Wigan and a trip to Blackpool, but Charlton at home was surely a winnable fixture.

Chris O'Grady celebrates Barnsley's first with Dagnall and Jim O'Brien

Chris O'Grady celebrates Barnsley's first with Dagnall and Jim O'Brien

The Addicks were missing playmaker Jackson and were also pointless.

The first Reds’ opportunity came when Addicks skipper Morrison slipped as he attempted to block a hopeful ball forward, allowing Dagnall to nip in. However, keeper Hamer did well to charge off his line and bravely block Dagnall’s goal-bound strike.

The Reds were then presented with another chance when Perkins was crudely hacked down 30 yards from goal but the diminutive midfielder could only curl the subsequent free-kick into the five-strong Charlton wall.

The Reds then came close as Dagnall rose well to meet O’Brien’s out-swinging cross, but the ball was deflected just over by the head of Dervite.

The Reds were now well into their stride, and giant defender M’Voto strode forward to meet O’Brien’s corner-kick, only to head well over the top.

The Reds’ first goal of the season came in the 16th minute with a well-worked effort.

Golbourne slid in a low cross, Dagnall’s initial shot was blocked by Morrison, but there was O’GRADY lurking at the far post and he buried the loose ball into the roof of the Addicks’ net.

Dawson was marauding through the midfield with purpose, but it was from a more direct pass that the hosts came close to a second.

Dagnall latched on to Perkins’ initial punt and saw a shot blocked, but as the ball flew loose Mellis charged and saw a crisp strike from eight yards thump the post.

Mellis crossed back in for Dagnall, but he was denied by a superb point-blank stop from Hamer.

Gower slid in a neat free-kick to Harriott on the edge of the box, but as the midfielder fired in a low drive, keeper Steele was at his best to keep out an effort which set for the bottom corner

The Reds lost the influential Perkins, who had been injured following a crunching, yet fair, tackle with Stephens and was forced to limp off, with Etuhu coming on in his place.

Defender Wiseman ran inro acres of space but his final shot drifted well wide.

HALF-TIME

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

Charlton...........0

Barnsley were soon on the front foot again once the action did resume.

Barely two minutes after the restart O’Brien found Mellis direct from a corner- with the former Chelsea youngster firing narrowly over the top from 12 yards.

The next setpiece saw O’Brien whip in a sweet free-kick which perfectly found the head of M’Voto. However, the giant summer signing could only glance a header wide with keeper Hamer well beaten.

It only seemed to be a matter of time before the Reds would score again, and they duly obliged in the 55th minute.

Mellis was the provider with his in-swinging cross being powerfully headed home by O’GRADY for his and Barnsley’s well-deserved second goal of the game.

The Oakwell faithful rejoiced but Charlton didn’t buckle.

Midfielder Gower saw a smart shot blocked by M’Voto, then later in the move Harriott volleyed straight at the grateful Steele.

The visitors did claw their way back into contention in the 64th minute.

Harriott’s cross from the left wasn’t sufficiently cleared and sub COUSINS drove into the floor and up into the top corner of the net, despite Wiseman’s desperate attempt at a clearance.

Unfortunately the Reds were pegged back in the 72nd minute by a route-one strike from Charlton.

Now with their tails up after Cousins’ goal, this time Kermorgant lifted a long through-ball into strike partner CHURCH’S path, and the Welsh international ran into space before lifting a neat shot over Steele and into the gaping goal to make it 2-2.

That was a real blow for the unlucky Reds, but at least they are off and running for the season with a point and two goals.

O’Grady and sub Digby came closest to a winner in the dying minutes.

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