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‘We’ll take the hit and respond’ – Holden

Dean Holden watched his side stretch their unbeaten run to five games in the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-2 draw with Barnsley.

Centre-back Michal Helik headed the Tykes into an early lead before City stepped up the gears after the break with two goals in four minutes through Jack Hunt and Tyreeq Bakinson. They were on course maintain their 100% league winning record but Barnsley were awarded a penalty when Michael Solbauer and Callum O’Dowda clashed heads in a 50/50 challenge in injury time.

Cauley Woodrow converted the resulting spot-kick after a lengthy stoppage in play, securing a share of the points with the final kick of the game.

Head Coach Holden said: “It was a cruel end to the game for many reasons. First and foremost, let’s hope the Barnsley centre-back (Solbauer) is okay. He looked in a bad way at the end, so we wish him well of course. Whether it’s a penalty or not, I’m not too sure but we have to get on with it.

“We conceded after two minutes, we responded well with a couple of good chances in the first half. It took us a while to get into our play apart from those isolated chances but in the second half we were on top,” Holden added, pleased with his team’s fightback.

“We came out the traps well, scored two good goals and we would like to have seen the game out - but it wasn’t to be.

“We fell into their trap a little bit, they scored early and it gave them a boost, they were full of it with the press and that gave them a leg-up and we weren’t anywhere near the second balls. We addressed that in the second half, got on the front foot and we played more in their half with chances to get the third goal and take the game away from them.

“When you don’t do that you’re at the mercy of a referee decision or a goal and it wasn’t to be. It’s the first punch of the nose, it’s how we respond now and we have a massive game in three days’ time. This is the challenge.”

That test on Tuesday night sees the Robins at home against Middlesbrough (October 20th, 7.45pm) and Holden says they can respond, saying: “It wasn’t our most fluid performance but in the second half we were very good and the game on Tuesday now is a big game. We’re unbeaten in five games but as I say, this is the first challenge that we’ve had thrown against us in terms of how we’re going to respond now. It’s not gone our way today and that’s a big part of the Championship.”

City v Boro will be streamed live on Robins TV, complete with commentary, replays, and analysis via Robins TV. The matchday stream starts at 7.15pm followed by all the action from Ashton Gate.

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