|Barnsley 1 v 1 Ipswich Town|
Saturday, 29th September 2012 Kick-off 15:00
Barnsley 1-1 Town
Saturday, 29th Sep 2012 17:24
Town withstood a second half barrage from Barnsley to claim a 1-1 draw at Oakwell. Aaron Cresswell put the Blues in front in the sixth minute from a well-worked freekick but the home side put on the pressure after the break and grabbed a 74th minute equaliser via Stephen Dawson.
Paul Jewell made three changes from the team which lost 2-1 at home to Charlton last week with Danny Higginbotham coming in for his first start for the Blues at the centre of the defence in place of Tommy Smith, who dropped to the bench.
In midfield, Luke Hyam made his first start since the 6-0 loss at Blackpool with Guirane N’Daw also returning to the line-up after missing the Addicks clash. Massimo Luongo and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas were also amongst the subs. Injured striker Michael Chopra made the trip and was sat in the stand.
Town matched Barnsley’s narrow diamond with Daryl Murphy joining Jason Scotland up front. Lee Martin was at the most advanced point of the midfield quartet with N’Daw behind him and Hyam on the right and Andy Drury on the left.
The Tykes were unchanged from the team which beat Birmingham City 5-0 at St Andrew's last week with one-time Town loanee Marlon Harewood on the bench.
In front of a sparse crowd, with a ‘Jewell out’ banner displayed in the Town section before the game, N’Daw hit the game’s first shot well wide in the second minute.
On six Town scored the early goal that the under pressure Town boss would have been praying for, their first in the first half in the league this season.
Martin was fouled eight yards outside the penalty area and from the freekick the former Manchester United man, Drury and Cresswell cleverly worked a shooting opportunity for the left-back, whose low shot took a deflection and squirmed through Tykes keeper Ben Alnwick’s hands and into the net.
Neither side was able to create much more of note in front of goal until the 16th minute – although Carlos Edwards might have done better with a cross from the right - when Murphy took down an N’Daw ball forward and hit a shot which Alnwick claimed comfortably to his right.
The home team’s first effort came in the 20th minute but Scott Loach was untroubled by Chris Dagnall’s strike from the edge of the box. Three minutes later, after good work from Murphy and Scotland, Martin shot powerfully just too high.
Barnsley danger man Craig Davies, fresh from his four-goal haul at Birmingham last week, had been quiet for the most part but on the half hour hit a shot wide of Loach’s right post when given too much space 25 yards out.
The home side had the ball in the net in the 38th minute after the game’s first corner was deflected into the air and Barnsley defender Stephen Foster clattered into Loach Nat Lofthouse-style as the Blues keeper tried to punch. It was little surprise that referee Trevor Kettle reached for his whistle to rule it out, although the home crowd made their displeasure known at length.
The home support continued to vent their frustrations towards the referee for much of the rest of the half, feeling that a number of decisions ought to have gone their way, although they realistically can have had few complaints regarding the disallowed goal.
As the players left the field at the end of the half, there was a bout of minor handbags between a frustrated Davies and N’Daw, who appeared to indicate that the Tykes frontman had used an elbow.
Despite the home fans’ protestations, their side hadn’t really done enough to get back on terms with the Blues after Cresswell’s opener. Indeed, Town had had the better of what half-chances there were. Both sides had enjoyed spells of possession but the Blues’ narrow midfield had frustrated the Keith Hill’s team for the most part.
Massimo Luongo replaced the injured Luke Hyam at half-time, the season-long loanee from Spurs taking up the role on the right side of the diamond. Three minutes after the break, N’Daw picked up the game’s first booking for a foul.
Town weren’t far from a second goal in the 51st minute when Alnwick saved Chambers’s header from Martin’s corner on the right but couldn’t hold on. The loose ball fell to Higginbotham, who slid in at the far post but hit the sidenetting. Moments later, Jack Ainsley replaced N’Daw in the deepest midfield role.
Cresswell got his name in referee Kettle’s book on 53 for blocking Davies, Edwards doing well to get in ahead of Dagnall from Jacob Mellis’s freekick.
After another scare for the Blues when Loach lost sight of the ball in the sun as a cross came in from the left, Martin picked up Town’s third caution for a foul.
Barnsley had started the second period the stronger but on 58 Martin’s overhead kick only narrowly missed the target despite not being cleanly struck.
There was a big let off for the Blues in the 61st minute when Scott Golbourne played in Dagnall, whose shot across the now be-capped Loach struck the inside of the post before being cleared by Higginbotham.
Barnsley continued to put the pressure on and in the 68th minute Mellis cut the ball across the Town six-yard area from the left but no one was there to apply the final touch. The ball was played back in and a Davies shot hit Ainsley, referee Kettle waving away the home team’s protests. Not long after, Chambers was booked for dissent for comments made after the latest in a succession of Barnsley freekicks.
The goal which Barnsley had been threatening to score came in the 74th minute when Mellis chipped the ball over the Blues’ backline on the right and Dawson took it down and hammered a shot across Loach and into the net, the keeper getting a hand to it but failing to stop it.
The Blues immediately looked to restore their lead, Murphy finding Ellington in the middle but with the former Wigan man stretching for the ball as he shot wide from 12 yards.
Ellington had a better opportunity as the game moved towards its final 10 minutes. Drury whipped in a freekick from the right and the striker headed powerfully, but over.
But Barnsley were continuing to provide much the greater threat and two minutes later Davies cut the ball across the area to sub Danny Rose who missed his flick.
Loach blocked a powerful Davies strike from the edge of the area, then, after an unsuccessful penalty appeal against Chambers for handball, Loach pulled off an even better save from Dawson, the Barnsley goalscorer having cut in from the right before hitting a powerful strike.
Luongo had his name added to referee Kettle’s book for a foul with two minutes of normal time remaining and with the home side continuing to push.
Davies shot straight at Loach as the game moved into four minutes of injury time, then Tomasz Cymka headed over from a freekick when completely unmarked and when he ought to have scored.
But the Town backline held out to claim a point having soaked up what was a not insignificant second-half battering.
Barnsley will feel they deserved more than a point on their showing after the break, but Dawson’s excellent goal aside, the Blues remained resolute to grab the epitome of the hard-fought point.
Town played better in defeat at Middlesbrough a fortnight ago but the quality of the performance was probably not as important as stopping the rot after three successive defeats.
Despite having gone in front so early on in the game, Paul Jewell will be pleased to have taken something from the game given the home side’s dominance after the break.
Barnsley: Alnwick, Kennedy (Stones 54), Foster, Wiseman, Golbourne, Cranie, Cywka, Dawson, Mellis, Davis, Dagnall (Rose 66). Unused: Steele, Perkins, Etuhu, Harewood, Done.
Town: Loach, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, N'Daw (Ainsley 52), Hyam (Luongo 46), Drury, Martin, Murphy, Scotland (Ellington 62). Unused: Lee-Barrett, Smith, Emmanuel-Thomas, Murray. Referee: Trevor Kettle (Berkshire). Att: 8,571 (Town: 533).
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