Barnsley 2 v 3 Bolton Wanderers (NPower Championship)
This was a classic game of two halves, as David Flitcroft’s relegation troubled Barnsley went two goals down before half-time, only to fight back to two all in the second half, before eventually losing 3-2.
After being introduced to the crowd as the “FA Cup Quarter-Finalists”, Barnsley failed to take control of this game and despite a couple of corners and long range efforts, it was the visitors who strolled the first 45 minutes.
Bolton took the lead on 15 minutes, when former Manchester United and Burnley winger Chris Eagles, crossed into the Barnsley area for David Ngog to score at the second attempt, following an excellent save from Luke Steele.
Bolton extended their lead on 38 minutes, following a long throw from Samuel Ricketts, Barnsley allowed Jay Spearing time and space to strike a skidding 20 yard shot, which took a nick from a Barnsley defender past Luke Steele.
Flitcroft’s half-time team talk worked instant wonders, as 2 minutes after the re-start, Tomasz Cywka fired a low angled drive into the bottom of the Bolton goal leaving Adam Bogdan helpless.
The goal brought Oakwell to life, which lifted the atmosphere and the Barnsley tempo and lead to the equaliser just 6 minutes later. Adam Bogdan in the Bolton goal should have done better, when he parried a Ryan Tunnicliffe long range shot into the path of Chris O’Grady, who scored the rebound from 6 yards.
However, in the 59th minute just 6 minutes after Barnsley had drawn level, Luke Steele allowed a Marcos Alonso 25 yard free-kick to bounce back off his chest straight to Craig Dawson, who from 5 yards gave Bolton the advantage again.
Barnsley continue to fight and had further chances to level again but Jim O’Brien, Jacob Mellis and Jason Scotland all failed to convert opportunities.
In the end, it was Bolton who hung on to win the game 3-2, however Barnsley showed tremendous character in the second half, which they will need to continue if they are to avoid relegation, starting at Turf Moor, Burnley on Tuesday evening.
Barnsley – Steele, Kennedy, Cranie, Wiseman, Etuhu, O’Brien, Perkins, Tunnicliffe, Cywka, Dagnall, O’Grady (Subs) Lidakevicius, Hassell, Foster, Scotland, Mellis, Harewood, Noble-Lazarus
Bolton Wanderers – Bogdan, Ricketts, Dawson, Knight, Alonso, Spearing, Pratley, Yong Lee, Eagles, Ngog, Davies (Subs) Lonergan, Wheater, Kamara, Davies, Sordell, De Ridder, Holden
Goals – (Barnsley) Cywka (47) O’Grady (53), (Bolton) Ngog (15), Spearing (38), Dawson (59)
Attendance – 10,862