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Town 0-0 Barnsley - Half-Time
Saturday, 6th Aug 2016 16:07

Town’s opening home game of the season against Barnsley remains 0-0 at half-time, Freddie Sears having come closest to scoring for the Blues.

Boss Mick McCarthy handed Adam Webster his Town debut alongside Christophe Berra at the centre of the defence with Tommy Smith, a regular next to the Scottish international last season, dropping to the bench.

David McGoldrick partnered Daryl Murphy up front with Freddie Sears at left midfield and Teddy Bishop in the right and new wide signings Grant Ward and Conor Grant both on the bench. Kevin Bru was alongside Cole Skuse in the centre of midfield.

Paul Digby was on the bench against his old club, while Conor Hourihane, who was with the Blues between 2010 and 2011 without making a senior appearance, skippered the Tykes.

Barnsley were forced into a replacement in only the fourth minute after striker Sam Winnall went down with what looked like a pulled hamstring and immediately indicated he wouldn’t be able to continue. Marley Watkins took over.

A Jonas Knudsen long throw from the left almost fell for Murphy on eight and soon afterwards the Irishman had the first serious chance of the game.

Bru played the Town number nine in on goal behind the Barnsley backline but just as he was about to pull the trigger Marc Roberts got back to stab the ball behind.

The Mauritian international, a scorer of last season’s opening goal in the 2-2 draw at Brentford, scraped wide from the edge of the box on 12 after good work from Murphy on the right.

Town had got themselves on top and threatened again a minute later when Barnsley keeper Adam Davies punched Bru’s left-sided corner to Bishop, but his shot was blocked.

Barnsley had been little threat in the opening minutes but on 19 they might have taken the lead. However, Tom Bradshaw headed sub Watkins’s right-wing cross straight at Bartosz Bialkowski.

Moments later, Teddy Bishop was booked for a foul on Adam Hammill, then on 27, after a spell in which the game had been even but uneventful, Watkins joined the Blues midfielder in the book for pulling Bru back by his shorts.

On 32 Hammill, signed by Town boss McCarthy during his time at Wolves, curled a dangerous strike from distance only just wide. Six minutes later, Bru was booked for a foul on Bradshaw as Barnsley broke.

Town had their best chance of the half in the 39th minute when McGoldrick broke following a Tykes attack and fed Sears but the former Colchester man scuffed to Davies. Had he made a decent contact then the Blues would probably have been in front.

Soon after, the already-booked Bru was spoken to after fouling Ryan Kent, who joined him in the book for a revenge challenge a few minutes later.

Applause rang round the ground on 42 in tribute to Clacton-based fan Wayne Double, who died over the summer.

Barnsley would have been in front in the 43rd minute but for a superb Bialkowski stop. A ball into the box hit Berra and fell to Bradshaw, who seemed certain to score but somehow Town’s Polish keeper reacted and diverted it wide.

The Blues looked the more threatening side in the early stages of a scrappy first 45 minutes but with their only serious opportunity Murphy’s chance from Bru’s excellent pass.

Barnsley got more into the game as the half wore on and will feel Bradshaw might have done better with his two chances, while Sears will similarly feel he should have taken his opportunity from McGoldrick’s break.

Overall, it hadn't been a half which would have persuaded many of the 1,000 or so fans who failed to renew their season tickets that they had made a mistake with the Blues’ performance - and style of football - much like many of those last term.

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers (c), Webster, Berra, Knudsen, Bishop, Skuse, Bru, Sears, Murphy, McGoldrick. Subs: Gerken, Smith, Pitman, Digby, Ward, Douglas, Grant.

Barnsley: Davies, White, Roberts, Scowen, Hammill, Hourihane (c), Winnall (Watkins 4), Yiadom, Bradshaw, Mawson, Kent. Subs: Townsend, Bree, Moncur, Lee, Nyatanga, Payne. Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire).

Photo: Action Images

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miltonsnephew added 16:11 - Aug 6
1-0 woooohooo!! Wingers!!!

miltonsnephew added 16:12 - Aug 6
1-1 🙈🙈🙈

tractorboyjim added 16:22 - Aug 6
Attendance just gone up and 17370 (of which over 1k are in the away end) tells its own story. For those not at the game Webster and ward look v astute purchases 👍🏻

tractorboyjim added 16:23 - Aug 6
Especially WARD... 2-1 !!!!

tractorboyjim added 16:25 - Aug 6
3-1 didz pen!!

Tractorboy1985 added 16:36 - Aug 6
Waaaaarrrd... Waaaaarrrd will tear u apppppart AGAIN!!!! Let's get it on the terraces!

tractorboyjim added 17:07 - Aug 6
Last time we beat Barnsley 4-2 we went up!! I think Ward's 3 goals in 45 mins must almost beat last years midfield tally for the season!! Very entertaining second half, hopefully more in to see next home game to turn the volume up a few notches! COYB!! 👍🏻

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