Barnsley match preview

Report: Barnsley 2-3 Wanderers

Craig Dawson was the match winner for Bolton as the Whites made it three wins in a row to extend their unbeaten run to six games with a 3-2 win at Barnsley.

The Whites battled bravely throughout in Yorkshire with Dawson scoring his fourth goal in three matches midway through the second half.

Bolton led 2-0 at the interval courtesy of goals from David N’gog and Jay Spearing, however Barnsley fought back early in the second period to level matters at Oakwell.

With the game evenly balanced, centre half Dawson turned the game back in Wanderers’ favour on the hour mark with a close range finish as Bolton secured all three points.

Wanderers made two changes for the trip across the Pennines, winger Chris Eagles stepping in for the injured Mark Davies whilst Craig Davies returned to the face his former employers with Marvin Sordell taking his place on the bench.

Barnsley made four changes from their 5-3 defeat at Bristol City last weekend. Former Manchester City youth team graduate Kelvin Etuhu returned after suffering a broken nose last month at MK Dons. The other changes saw Scott Wiseman, Tomasz Cywka and Chris O’Grady all come in against Dougie Freedman’s side.

After bravely withstanding early Barnsley, Bolton took the lead for the fourth consecutive game as 23-year-old Ngog scored his sixth goal of the campaign in the 15th minute.

Eagles, making his first start since the 1-1 draw at Derby County, showed great awareness to pick out the French number nine after collecting possession on the right hand side.

The rest was down to Ngog and after having his initial shot saved by goalkeeper Luke Steele, the ball fell kindly back at his feet, responding well the striker made sure he hit the back of the net with his second opportunity, stabbing the ball past the Tykes’ number one.

Barnsley boss David Flitcroft looked for an immediate reply from his players and Jim O’Brien nearly provided that two minutes after falling behind.

Skipping away from Craig Davies and Eagles, O’Brien hit a low effort from the edge of the penalty box but Bogdan was on hand to palm the shot away.

From the first half showing, it was clear to see it was going to be a tough battle in Yorkshire for Wanderers, with Perkins hitting an ambitious strike from a similar position as O’Brien over the frame.

Before the half hour mark, Freedman’s men came close to a second. Welsh right back Sam Ricketts found himself in an advanced position inside the Barnsley half, cutting the ball back excellently from the bylin, he found Eagles unmarked and on the turn the former Watford went for goal but was denied by a solid Steele hand.

Momentum was building for the visitors and after a long range effort from Craig Davies flew over the bar, Bolton found the back of the net for a second time to further silence the home crowd in the 38th minute.

Liverpool loan star Spearing collected a loose ball 20-yards from goal after a long throw in by Ricketts was headed away by the Barnsley defence.

Taking aim, Spearing drilled the ball beyond Steele into the far corner sending the travelling support from Bolton into raptures.

Again looking for a quick response after conceding, Barnsley went on the attack after play resumed but Wanderers’ number one Bogdan continued his fine form with a fingertip save to prevent Perkins from finding the top corner.

The final chance of the half fell to the visitors with Cywka dipping a volley over the bar but Wanderers held on to their two goal cushion for the second half.

However, Bolton’s two goal advantage was cut down to one inside the first minute of the second half when Cywka, who had the final effort of the first half, wasn’t closed down and the Polish winger fired into the far corner.

Matters soon got worse for Wanderers, and Barnsley’s empathic start to the second half continued and they levelled proceedings in the 54th minute as O’Grady tapped home from two-yards out after Bogden parried a long range shot.

Keeping their heads held high after conceding two quick fire goals, Bolton soon got themselves back on track and centre half Dawson continued his excellent goal scoring run since joining the club on loan with his fourth goal in three games.

Winning a free-kick 30-yards from goal, Spaniard Alonso showed his expertise and curled the ball round the Barnsley wall with Steele only able to parry straight into the path of Dawson. Showing a cool head Dawson controlled the ball and side footed home directly infront of the 2,000 Whites supporters with an hour gone.

A misplaced back pass nearly gifted Barnsley an immediate second equaliser one minute later but Bogdan pulled off another important save, standing up well the Hungarian narrowed O’Brien’s options after going clean through and fisted the ball away.

The drama continued at Oakwell and somehow Bolton couldn’t turn home their fourth following a goal mouth scramble in the Barnsley penalty area.

Eagles, Craig Davies and Chung-Yong Lee were all involved having close range efforts blocked and saved before the Reds managed to clear over the bar to safety.

Before being substituted for Mohamed Kamara, Eagles last contribution to the game was to see his 30-yard free-kick well saved by Steele.

Barnsley continued to put pressure on with the clock ticking and Freedman reacted by making his second change with 11 minutes to go  bringing off former Barnsley man Craig Davies in place of defender David Wheater.

The fourth official indicated an additional five minutes to be added on but Bolton stayed strong and held on for a well-earned three points ahead of their return to the Reebok on Tuesday night against Blackburn Rovers.  

Barnsley: Steele, Kennedy, Craine, Wiseman, Etuhu, O’Brien (Mellis 69), Perkins, Tunnicliffe (Scotland 69), Cywka, Dagnall, O’Grady (Harewood 61). Subs: Lidakevicius, Hassell, Foster, Lazarus.

Bolton: Bogdan, Ricketts, Dawson, Knight, Alonso, Spearing, Pratley, Eagles (Kamara 66), Chung-Yong, C Davies (Wheater 79), Ngog. Subs: Lonergan, K Davies, Sordell, Holden, De Ridder.

Attendance, 10,862 (2,008 away)

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