- English Football League - Championship
- Friday, November 1st 2019
James Crawley reports from Oakwell
Report: Barnsley 2-2 Bristol City
Friday, November 1st 2019
City conceded a stoppage-time equaliser as they were forced to share the points with Barnsley.
The Robins were seeking their first win at Oakwell for eight years and all was going well when Ashley Williams headed in his first goal in City colours.
It got even better when Andreas Weimann converted a Niclas Eliasson corner, only for the Tykes to cut the deficit through Aapo Halme with a header of his own.
It set up a nervy end and as fate would have it, former loanee Cauley Woodrow had the final say when he steered the ball past Dan Bentley on 94 minutes inside a crowded penalty area.
City welcomed back centre-back Tomas Kalas from injury, while there was a long-awaited return to the starting XI for former Tykes forward Marley Watkins.
Lee Johnson, another familiar face after his managerial stint between February 2015-Febraury 2016, restored Han-Noah Massengo in midfield to make it three changes from the side which kicked-off last Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Wigan.
The returns of Kalas, Watkins and Massengo means Nathan Baker, Kasey Palmer and Rodri would make the substitutes bench.
There was a good pace to the match with City enjoying large spells of possession early on. Clear-cut chances were limited though Callum O’Dowda saw the first effort on target with a low strike straight at Bred Collins.
A knock to Josh Brownhill threatened an early change for the Robins and though the on-field captain looked to shake off any initial injury concern, he was eventually subbed for Eliasson after half an hour.
But Barnsley were showing signs of a promising counter-attacking set-up and caused trouble but for the heroics of Bentley. First, his fingertips turned away a bending effort from Mallik Wilks before the same man headed over and Tykes skipper Alex Mowatt drilled a short narrowly wide.
And as the rain began to pour at Oakwell, Bentley was at his best once more to prevent Conor Chaplin from giving Barnsley the lead. A cross came from Jacob Brown down the left and when Kalas slipped, the ball fell to Chaplin whose shot was flicked on to the post by City’s keeper.
But the travelling side would take a half-time lead courtesy of a free header from Williams. Marley Watkins won a free kick left of the penalty area and Eliasson’s delivery was perfect for Williams, whose downward header squeezed under the legs of a Barnsley defender on its way past Collins.
A feisty second-half followed as both sides battled for different causes; City of course looking to extend their lead while the hosts looked to find a way back into the game.
They had done little wrong but wastefulness from Woodrow and Luke Thomas wouldn’t help their cause before Weimann doubled City’s advantage.
And it came from another Eliasson set-piece too, this time Weimann rose highest to meet the Sweden winger’s corner.
The advantage would be cut though when Halme’s big header following an Mowatt cross beat Bentley from the centre of the box with 13 minutes on regular time remaining.
It set up a nervy conclusion though City could arguably have had a chance from the spot when O’Dowda skilled his way past three defenders and tumbled under contact only for the referee to wave play on.
Barnsley’s pressure was relentless though as the seconds ticked by and only Woodrow stretched and stabbed the ball straight at Bentley, before Bambo Diaby headed over from close range as the Tykes pumped balls into the box.
And their pressure told at the death as City failed to deal with a goalmouth scramble and Woodrow was well place to get the ball over the white line in one of the final kicks of the match.
City are now unbeaten against Barnsley in their last eight meetings but know they will miss out on sharing top spot in the Sky Bet Championship heading into Saturday’s round of fixtures.
Johnson’s men now prepare for their second away game in a row when they head to South Wales for a Severnside derby with Cardiff City (Sunday November 10th, 12pm KO).
- Halme (77') , Woodrow (94')
- Jacob Brown, Conor Chaplin, Mallik Wilks
- Williams (43') , Weimann (71')
- Taylor Moore, Josh Brownhill, Marley Watkins