Barnsley match verdict: Notts County 1 Reds 1 - Victory slips at the end for Johnson’s men

Sam Winnall scores. Picture: Dean Atkins
Sam Winnall scores. Picture: Dean Atkins
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Barnsley were denied a first win in seven games when Hungarian substitute Balint Bajner struck a stoppage-time equaliser for relegation candidates Notts County at Meadow Lane.

Sam Winnall’s early wonder strike handed the Reds a lead they were to hold right until the death, when Bajner struck following what had been a largely dominant second period from the Magpies.

The late leveller means the Reds’ hopes of reaching the play-offs are also now over, although not mathematically, thanks to Chesterfield’s thumping of Colchester.

The Reds took to the Meadow Lane field with just the single change to their starting line-up following the weekend’s improved performance in a 1-1 draw against Chesterfield.

Big Jabo Ibehre was drafted back in to partner Winnall up front as George Waring missed out after picking up a niggling injury.

Winnall poked home the equaliser against the Spireites, but his goal in the ninth minute last night was an absolute cracker.

Josh Scowen crossed in for Winnall, who lashed home clinically past veteran keeper Roy Carroll from just inside the box to register his 12th strike of the season in some style.

After that early blow for the hosts, it was end-to-end until the interval, with both sides going on to strike the woodwork.

Blair Adams almost levelled it up for the Magpies when his chip just cleared the crossbar, while the Reds responded by fluffing a great opportunity to surge further clear courtesy of Ibehre.

The recalled frontman burst clear of the County back-line only to then fire disappointingly straight at a grateful Carroll.

The woodwork firstly came to Barnsley’s rescue.

Former Reds midfielder Gary Jones lined himself up for a shot which he drilled in hard and low, only for the ball to thump the post.

Garry Thompson threatened again for the Magpies, before they were then saved by the post shortly before half-time.

It was Winnall again who found space in the box, but his well-struck effort hit the woodwork before the ball was desperately hacked off the line.

The Magpies - so desperate for a win under new Dutch boss Ricardo Moniz - opened the second period more purposefully.

They went close after just over a minute when Graham Burke drove a low shot inches past the post.

Garry Thompson forced Davies into a decent save, before the Reds hit back by striking the woodwork again when Conor Hourihane’s deflected shot looped over Carroll and on to the top of the crossbar before going behind.

At the other end, the Magpies ought to have levelled in the 72nd minute when another former Red - Paddy McCourt - somehow scooped a shot over the top from 10 yards following some terrific approach play from Jones.

That was the best chance for either side since Winnall’s early strike. Soon after, Jones blazed high and wide.

The Magpies eventually did get the reward for their second-half efforts when Bajner fired into the corner deep into added time.

Notts County: Carroll, Dumbuya, Mullins, Adams, Burke (C Thompson, 61), Jones (Hayhurst, 90), Smith, Williams, McCourt, Spencer (Bajner, 78), G Thompson. Subs not used: Pilkington, Hollis, Wroe, Edwards.

Barnsley: Davies, Cranie, Ramage, Nyatanga, Smith (Holgate, 79), Scowen, Pearson, Hourihane (Berry, 74), John, Winnall, Ibehre (Oates, 90). Subs not used: Dibble, Bailey, Stewart, Lalkovic.

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).

Attendance: 4,287.

Star man: Sam Winnall.