Scunthorpe 2 Barnsley 0: I’ll battlem on says Reds boss after sixth defeat on trot

Lee Johnson applauds the travelling Barnsley fans.
Lee Johnson applauds the travelling Barnsley fans.
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Barnsley boss Lee Johnson has vowed to battle on at Oakwell despite presiding over the club’s worst run of league defeats since 1986.

The Reds struggled badly again, this time at Scunthorpe, conceding two dismal goals at Glanford Park in a SIXTH straight reverse.

Dejection for Barnsley as Scunthorpe celebrate

Dejection for Barnsley as Scunthorpe celebrate

The visitors even missed a penalty opportunity when 2-0 down on a truly miserable day which ended with the near 700-strong travelling army calling for the manager to quit at the full-time whistle.

These are dark times for the relegation-threatened Reds, but under-fire boss Johnson is determined not to walk away with Coventry City up next.

“I hope I get the chance to carry on. I’m up for this,” said Johnson.

“I’ve never quit anything before in my life. I would never do that.

“It is a really poor run, but we have to go back and look why this has happened.

“It is important that we get it right again, and we can turn things around. I’ve always said with our best XI, we will be competitive with the top half teams in the division. It’s not do or die yet, we have still got players to come back and we can still add players and get better.”

Johnson was clearly disappointed with the two conceded goals at Glanford Park.

The boss added: “It’s just the way it’s going for us at the moment. You just can’t keep conceding poor goals.

“Particularly the first goal. The first goal in any match always sets the tone.

“We then got a penalty and missed that, and that point you are wondering if the footballing Gods are with you.

“At half-time we rallied the players because I genuinely felt we had the opportunity to get back in the game, but we did run out of steam a little bit.

“We’ve just got to keep going. Our fans were good. It is difficult for them, but they did see the players at least trying to give it a go in the first half.

“It’s understandable that they were frustrated in the second half.”

Johnson made three changes to his starting line-up following the dreadful home reverse against Fleetwood.

Midfielder Dan Crowley returned to Arsenal during the week, while also missing altogether were Paul Digby and Kadeem Harris.

The suspension-free Ben Pearson made a welcome return, while Lewin Nyatanga added some experience to the back-line and Michael Smith was handed another chance up top alongside Sam Winnall.

The Iron - under former Reds boss Mark Robins - unsurprisingly remained unchanged following a terrific 3-0 win at Chesterfield.

Although the first half contained a number of presentable chances the Reds, they fluffed them all - including one from the penalty spot - and were two down at the interval.

The Iron were presented with their opening goal in the sixth minute.

A harmless-looking cross from the flank wasn’t dealt with, leaving Tom Hopper to nip in to tap home easily from barely a yard out.

It was a calamitous start, but at least the Reds responded with Nyatanga heading inches wide and Reece Wabara firing in a shot which only just cleared the crossbar.

It wasn’t against the run of play when the hosts struck their second goal, however. This time former Red Scott Wiseman crossed in low for Gary McSheffrey, who swept home from 15 yards.

The Reds were handed a lifeline a minute before the break when Winnall was hauled down in the box by Murray Wallace, but the former Iron star produced a poor spot-kick which was saved by Luke Daniels.

Whether that penalty save knocked the stuffing out of the Reds anyone can speculate, but they turned in an awful second-half effort.

They created precious little, except during a late flurry when any hopes of clawing their way back were already seemingly out of reach.

The Iron almost made it three, twice in the opening five minutes. Hopper volleyed wide and Paddy Madden’s header was superbly saved by early villain Townsend.

Josh Scowen brought Daniels back into the action late on, as did Winnall, but this had been another chastening defeat for the Reds who must now somehow try and pick themselves up for tomorrow’s tricky task at Coventry.

SCUNTHORPE (4-2-3-1): Daniels 7; Wiseman 8, Mirfin 6, Wallace 5, Laird 7; Bishop 6, King 8; Rowe 6, Madden 7, McSheffrey 8 (Williams 81, 5); Hopper 7 (Henderson 59, 6). Subs not used: Anyon, Clarke, McAllister, Lolley, van Veen.

BOOKED: Wallace (44), Rowe (78), Madden (78), Williams (90).

BARNSLEY (3-5-2): Townsend 5; Roberts 5, Mawson 5, Nyatanga 7; Wabara 6, Scowen 5, Pearson 5, Isgrove 4 (Maris 85, 4), G Smith 6 (Templeton 90, 5); M Smith 4 (Wilkinson 74, 5), Winnall 5. Subs not used: Davies, Bree, Jackson, Abbott.

BOOKED: Scowen (78), Townsend (78).

REF: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).

ATTENDANCE: 4,147.