Barnsley 2 Fulham 4: Poor defending as Reds slump continues

Marley Watkins celebrates after scoring for Barnsley. Picture: Chris Etchells
Marley Watkins celebrates after scoring for Barnsley. Picture: Chris Etchells
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Reds boss Paul Heckingbottom was clearly frustrated at his side’s defending as Fulham came back from behind twice to triumph 4-2 at Oakwell.

Prospects looked rosy when the hosts led 1-0 and 2-1 during a ding-dong first period, but the Cottagers went on to secure a well-deserved first victory in seven games as Barnsley also saw Josh Scowen shown a straight red card in a dismal second period.

Heckingbottom - whose side have now lost four of their last five Championship games having been in third place in the table just a month ago - moaned: “They were terrible goals to concede. When you give away four goals like that you’re not giving yourself a chance.

“Even when we went in front we didn’t keep the ball well enough, we weren’t composed enough in possession to help us control the game.

“Fulham are a good side. They flood the central areas with lots of bodies and keep the ball.

“That’s great, but we knew that beforehand. We got two goals from working the outside and that was fantastic.

“However, when we didn’t have the ball we needed to work harder to get it back and be more brave.”

Striker Marley Watkins gave the Reds an early lead before Fulham levelled in the 37th minute, their first goal at Oakwell since 1982, scored by Lucas Piazon.

But Sam Winnall made it 2-1, only for Sone Aluko’s strike to make it 2-2 at the interval.

Further goals from Scott Malone and Chris Martin wrapped up the Cottagers’ deserved win as the Reds were left high and dry with just ten men.


These are slightly troubled times for Barnsley - th Championship honeymoon period would appear to be over.

When the rampant Reds tore Wolves apart at Molineux on September 13 - winning 4-0 at an absolute canter - Paul Heckingbottom’s confidence-fuelled team were third in the table having only just come up from League One via the play-offs.

However, spin on just over a month later and the reality of this unforgiving second tier appears to be hitting home.

Five matches later, the Reds have picked up just one further point and injuries and a suspension are starting to kick in.

It’s been stated recently that in terms of cash flow and attendances at games, the Championship is the FIFTH biggest league in the world.

Barnsley staff, players and fans ought to be proud to be a part of it, but now it’s time for those players to truly stand up and be counted, particularly with Newcastle rolling into town tomorrow.

The second half against Fulham wasn’t good enough, and if they are to get back on track swiftly, the character that carried the Barnsley players through the opening six or seven games needs to come to the fore again.


Paul Heckingbottom faces a midfield selection headache ahead of tomorrow’s crunch clash against high-flying Newcastle at Oakwell.

Skipper Conor Hourihane is a major doubt with a calf injury, while Josh Scowen will be absent after being sent-off for fouling Scott Parker on Saturday.

Heckingbottom felt Scowen’s straight dismissal was harsh, though the Reds won’t appeal the decision.

“I thought Josh won the ball, but the ref said he was out of control as his feet left the floor,” reflected Heckingbottom.

“If that’s the case then it is a red card, but he had been fouled twice himself in the build-up.

“The ref just played the advantage even though we were near our own box.

“Whenever you’ve gone through two tackles like that, been fouled and then over-run the ball, what’s going to happen? You’re going to go in for the ball again, simple.

“I thought that could have been managed a little bit better and it’s cost us now for maybe three games.”