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Your v Match Reports
added 20:42 - Aug 12
Bit of quality made all the difference in the end. How can Barnsley have 25 shots and only score once whilst Town score twice from 5 chances????
added 21:30 - Aug 12
Decent start to season, especially with number of injuries and sick notes. Surprised McG didn't start; I think he should normally play when fit and scoring. even so, MM got it right second half and he seems rejuvenated from last season's snarling and arrogant public face of our club. Very good signings and if the two strikers really did only cost £1 million between them, well done to everyone involved. Just hope his talk of getting two more players in due to latest injuries is correct. It's all looking hopeful so congratulations all on this start.
added 21:36 - Aug 12
Rain greeted the away fans as it drizzled in our end on a slight wind, it had threatened to all day. Before the game some Barnsley fans relayed their frustration of 18 months or so as we compared notes. The feeling of having the squad sold from under them was clearly taking its toll and despite assurances “’Ecky were keppin’t lid on it” their lack of confidence in their side rang hollow. It was the polar opposite of ours once hundreds began drumming our way to ground in anticipation.
Plenty walking up the hill were walk-ups as the away end was fuller and louder than the 600 or so pre-sold, requests for spares common from lunch time on. Some of the new signings must have dined out on the musical tributes coming their way as all the new songs got an airing during the warm up.
Not since 2002 had Town won all three opening fixtures, it was a time of nu-metal, old media and the twilight of the careers of some of the fathers whose progeny littered both squads.
A baffling selection from Mick was shrugged off as Bart kept his place at the base of a 3-5-2. Knudsen and Spence flanked Chambers as wing backs Kenlock and Iorfa pressed ahead. Skuse had to chaperone both Downes and Nydam while Sears partnered Garner upfront. No Smith at all in the lineup caused mild concern, but the plan was clear. Barnsley’s 4-1-4-1 meant all eyes would be on the midfield.
As Town saw Chambers receive the ball directly from kick off and his punt forward fail to connect with either striker and lose use a throw, Garner did well down the flank to reverse the trend for a corner early on. Nydam all diddy and confident strutted over to take it. Downes came up to him short and like much of the first so did their execution, however well intended.
It put Town on the back foot and there they stayed for the half by and large. Today it was no surprise to see the right as fertile ground for dominance and the alternative attacking prospect of Dominic Iorfa hurtling towards you is enough to make giving way understandable. The on-loan Wolf was knocking at the Tykes’ door constantly. He had more crosses than Easter and none of them looked deadly. Redemption was yet to pass too.
At the other end, former McCarthy signing Hammill was delighting in tearing through and past Myles Kenlock who unlike the rest of us; had the kind of day he’ll want to forget. It was lucky that Knudsen’s one real error after ten minutes or so wasn’t costlier. Moncur stuck out all half, more than his rugrat hair piece. With a head like a furry onion he looked to make blue eyes cry when he received the Dane’s soft gift. All following Nydam being dragged in behind the wingback from a run receiving a curled pass off the outside of a Barnsley boot and drilled it on the spin back on target. Bart palmed to Bradshaw who with the goal all his, headed softly into the waiting gloves of Bialkowski.
Both Moncur and Potts have been linked with Ipswich and both linked with Hammill in doubling up on the left’s weaknesses. For every cross-field ball Knudsen managed to set away Iorfa, he had two or three moments of marking the man Kenlock didn’t. It is fair to say the shape of Town’s 3-5-2 wasn’t unorthodox it was akin to a sack of sh1t.
With all three centre-backs auditioning for the Webster role of pass pinger, it was the captain who moved the pieces of the back line as best he could. Cutting out the dangers of Bradshaw and co. with deft experience. When the deficit was made, again Kenlock will be glad Bradshaw will take all the credit. One of many communication errors between Bart and his defence gave away more than a corner. The one-time Walsall man put us up against it with a free header from another decent move.
It’s hard to say what worked well, rather than who worked hard. Garner and Sears pumped arms and legs in an effort to chase everything on the floor and over their heads. Nydam who took every set piece, but often failed to find a blue shirt did much better when he had one moment of time and space. Dropping the ball wonderfully over for Sears to get away but not put away the chance.
At the other end Bart was again excellent in stopping shot, after header, after scramble. With Garner clearing off the line and at the other end being cleared off the line our only real chance of the opening play, it was the Pole making his goal impenetrable again. When another free header from a corner dropped over the bar following a rare fumble home fans must have wondered what had happened. Their attackers saw very little reward for their work.
Town did improve as the half came to a close, breaking out more fluidly but failing to gel as the midfield three was two young and too inexperienced overall to command the game or the respect of the opposition. Skuse struggled to steer enough of the play or players around him and when Barnsley broke free yet again it looked to be game over before the break.
A suspiciously forward looking Bradshaw waited for the overlapping Moncur to slide between centre backs and test Bart when he should have bamboozled him. Hedges the much quieter of the attacking 5 had scored in injury time against Morecambe but failed to make a habit of it here.
You could not envisage a bigger reversal of expectations or fortunes for either side before kick-off. Under the stands the steady stream on stainless steel an echo of the Reds’ riotous 45. Changes were needed and unsurprisingly they came. It was Kenlock and Nydam removed for McGoldrick and Waghorn. With Celina too on the bench it was strange that Mick kept such explosive options dry up until now.
However, if the 3-5-2 of today was anything like the Burley one it was one were we didn’t look like going up. Too many sideways passes, we had one man over in defence but only when attacking and our options were decimated as the wings became the place where Barnsley hemmed us in to profound effect.
For all the talk of 4-4-2 Mick over the years, it was rare to see four potential strikers out there. Downes and Skuse came into their own as partnership in the middle. Sears went left, Waghorn went right and the natural feet meant we could cut in at will and it wasn’t long before we drew blood.
As Sears and Knudsen now at left-back formed a slow and steady overlap, the ball came in and out of the Barnsley box seemingly one time too many. The Dane steadied himself and assured himself of the MOTM accolade. Every Blue saw a cross sit perfectly in the back corner of space between hosts. From our vantage, you knew as soon as McGoldrick dropped his shoulder, white shorts were being pulled down. A sweet volley into the back of the net was never in doubt. These moments of ferocity and beauty always seem to happen in slow motion.
Hundreds celebrated as one felt the long arm of the law and cold smack of tarmac under several stewards, not to return unlike Ipswich. The noise and significance still in the ground was clear to all.
Garner had spent all game winding up either centre back. Whoever had the job of standing next to him didn’t want to. He was clotheslined, had his ankle stamped on and in one bizarre moment was pinned to the ground during a corner in the six-yard box by a clearly livid captain. Whatever he said to them saw little given by a ref who was left red-faced when he let Nydam slide through dangerously before the break and waved play on. When Potts was dispossessed and went through the back of his man, all he could do was stop the game and warn both when either could have been booked or more.
Unfortunately, McGoldrick’s free kicks were not as good as his volleys when Skuse laid it off to him he skied it, thankfully for the one and only time. Generally, though, it was Town’s whole approach which impressed. With the game all level the first sub on loan Ike Ugbo relieved Bradshaw who never looked like doubling his tally. Nor did his colleagues after a dangerous volley flashed wide in one of many close shaves with Town’s woodwork and lead.
Ipswich meanwhile pressed on and the legs of Sears and Waghorn unlocked yards of space. It was the kind of game where either player deserved attention from more than just their markers. Downes was quietly effective when given the chance and with Skuse next to him both had the wherewithal to make simple layoffs and let the attackers do their job.
It was Barnsley now who found that pressing forward left space, and in one sweeping counter attack counted the cost. McGoldrick’s second sashay put a spring in his step as the inside of his heel redirected the ball and left his man chasing shadows. Garner delighted in weighting a perfectly timed ball to Waghorn’s run. Low and powerful he raced forward and despatched the ball in off the inside of the post with near perfect technique.
There’s something about the sight of Martyn racing clear to finish the game and win it for Town that makes you want to see it again and again. You can almost picture it when you close your eyes.
A final change for Town came when Downes hit the floor for a second time. The first saw Skuse react to the foot being left in and three men bearing down on him. Expertly timed barrier slide saw the other central midfielder hobbling too. When Flynn fell a second time in a matter of minutes McDonnell emerged yet again to take his chance. The Irishman did just fine for the last 15 or so. With injuries mounting up he should be eyeing this week as time to make a case for himself.
Town could be judged harshly for the first 45, but the way they closed out the second way was equally a return of what you’d expect from McCarthy and the portion of the game we should focus on for now.
As Barnes made his bow from the bench, Town fans wondered what they might have missed out on three or four times. The young fox drifted to the periphery of the box to rework a cross cut out by Chambers. When Sears showed a rare moment of weakness the youngster got a chance to volley at goal from the resultant passage of play.
It would all prove futile as Town saw out the time and served another defeat on a side that must now fear relegation already. Barnsley will probably have enough about them based on today. For a second time running allowed us to burgle them in this this fixture. Often this one throws up bizarre comebacks or pedestrian stalemates, we can rejoice in it finishing the former even if they have a case for it being the latter.
At some point this McCarthy juggernaut will slow, if not be derailed. With bodies being put on the line and all too often the physio's bench, we badly need some luck in that department too. That, and reinforcements. News reached us that Smith too, is out for a lengthy spell again and became a small cloud in the brilliant glow of sunshine and 3pts. The Lions may find us easy prey with some many wounded, if today brings up the names of yesteryear then who is our Matt Elliott in 2017?
added 09:48 - Aug 13
The detail has been posted elsewhere, and above. So a simple personal player ratings with a bit of explanation:
Bart - 8 Some splendid saves again, a couple of key ones, still not sure if he saved a shot destined for the net at 2-1, or if it was a deflection. Kicking much better, but a couple back passes made that tricky for him too.
Iorfa - 8 Absolutely storming first half, from the wing back perspective, just a shame we did not manage to capitalise on his marauding runs.
Chambers - 8 Pick of the defenders, quite simply tried to hold a makeshift defence together. A couple of fabulous blocks in the latter stages.
Spence - 6 better in the second half as part of a pair, but all too often in the first half seemed not to be in position.
Knudsen - 7 First half not so good, but after the move to LB he looked assured, linked well with Sears and others and set up Didz equaliser with a great cross.
Nydam - 5 Difficult day for him, quite anonymous except when taking corners.
Downes - 6 Got stuck in, did a few neat and tidy things but nowhere near as impactive as the Birmingham game.
Skuse - 7 Another 7/10 game, as the senior player in midfield it was incumbent on him to help the young lads and try and hold things together.
Sears - 5 Loads of running, better in second half when switched wide but does look bereft of goalscoring again -that said had precious little opportunity first half.
Garner - 6 A big battle with that horrible centre back, should have had a penalty when being sat upon and clearly had Barnsley concerned as they seemed to want to wind him up and get him to react.
McGoldrick - 8 Pure class - a great finish with the volley to equalise, some classic control and possession retention during the half, looks fit. The backheel to Garner to set up Waghorn was sublime.
Waghorn - 8 Came on and player wide, looked to get on the ball and not waste it, physically gave the Barnsley LB a real battle and showed skill and finishing to put away the winner - Great signing!
McDonnell - 6 Not on long enough to really make an impact, but I liked what I saw. Gets stuck in and I would think in line for a start on Tuesday.
Manager rating - 7 Picked a team with what he had, brave enough to change it at half time and not wait and clearly it worked.
added 12:17 - Aug 13
The introduction of D McG completely changed the direction of the match. Two cracking goals.
added 15:43 - Aug 13
What about Kenlock?
added 15:44 - Aug 13
What about Kenlock?
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