Welshman is king for global warming Reds
Barnsley 3Bristol City 0
IN the league of nations that is Barnsley, the Welshman is king.
It's all going right at Oakwell; fourth in the table, top team in Yorkshire and huge credit to Swansea-born Simon Davey, the manager who imported the global game to Barnsley.
Last night the Englishmen, a Welshman, an Irish, two Brazilians, two Germans, a Jamaican and Peruvian pulled on the red shirts.
The foreign legion and the best of the Brits had too much for Bristol City, who folded in the face of three second half goals.
Said modest Davey: "We passed the ball well, created in the first half and just didn't get the rub of the green. We didn't get that clinical chance in front of goal. We have in the second half and we've taken them."
He added: "We've performed at Southampton and Stoke better in spells but for 90 minutes this was probably the best all round performance. We dominated most of the game."
South American Dennis Souza scored and was a giant for Barnsley. Brian Howard, the captain, opened the Barnsley account with the goal of the game. Martin Devaney came off the bench to score with less then three minutes left.
It all left Bristol City's unbeaten record in tatters.
Barnsley kept the best for the second half.
After the break and before the lead was theirs, Souza's head had directed a Howard corner bang on target only for keeper Adriano Basso catch on the line.
Moments later with 66 minutes gone, a Howard special shattered the stalemate. It was Miguel Mostto's assist, as he started his first league game since day No 1 of the season, but the uber quality came from the new skipper. Three or four touches, half a yard and a brilliant execution sent the ball arrowing inside Basso's right hand post from 20 yards out.
It was his six of the season, probably the best of the lot.
Davey's delight at the man he made skipper was obvious. "It was a captain's performance, since he's put that armband on his arm, he's excelled in his performances. Six goals from midfield is fantastic in any division. We're really, really pleased with him at the moment."
The second goal of the game should have been Grant McCann's only his nod on a Jamal Campbell-Ryce cross put in was wide.
Liam Fontaine's foul on Howard brought a yellow card and worse for Bristol. Dominik Werling, back from suspension and preferred to Rob Kozluk at left back, thinks he can score from 40 yards out. Five yard closer than that and he was always going to crack one. The keeper got behind it, didn't control it and Souza smacked the rebound in from eight yards out while everyone else stood and watched.
It only was the third goal of his career.
Bristol chucked everything they had left forward. Michael McIndoe had a free header on a Cola Skuse cross but found only keeper Heinz Muller's midriff before Barnsley were celebrating their third goal and biggest win of the season.
Howard led a break out and from the right, his long diagonal ball found Devaney, who had left the bench to replace Campbell-Ryce. He smacked one from 25 yards out from the inside right channel. It went under Basso's attempted block.
There was plenty of nifty first half football and both sides had cracking good chances.
McCann, top gun at Barnsley these days, made keeper Basso grope about in the six yard box with only three minutes gone. The assist was from Mostto's head following a Werling centre.
Ten minutes later Bristol showed what they could do. Lee Johnson teed one up for Marvin Elliott to hit from 25 yards. Keeper Muller flew across his goal and knuckled it over the bar.
Another McCann blast flashed by the target and with 34 minutes gone after more good work by Mostto and Kayode Odejayi, Howard blasted one and Jamie McAllister got a contact with his forearm. A penalty would have been harsh and ref Eddie Ilderton was rightly lenient.
Howard and McCann were then furious with Mostto after the Peruvian took a pot shot from 25 yards with two team-mates in unoccupied acres.
It was a rare Mostto mess up.
Barnsley almost paid a late penalty before the break. A corner swung in by former Oakwell and Doncaster winger Michael McIndoe was met clean and unchallenged by Louis Carey's head. Lucky for Muller and Co, it flew high.