Barnsley 0 v 0 Bradford City (Sky Bet League One)
Bottom of the table Bradford City arrived at Oakwell for a Yorkshire derby against Barnsley, with two more new signings in centre-back Reece Burke from West Ham and Midfielder Lee Evans from Wolves in the starting line-up.
In a fairly even game it was Bradford City that had the first attempt at goal after five minutes, when Mark Marshall’s inswinging cross was headed away by Marc Roberts, the ball fell to Paul Anderson at the edge of the box, however his low first-time volley was well saved by Adam Davies.
Barnsley then threatened when a Ben Pearson through-ball found Sam Winnall running clear on Ben Williams’ goal, but Stephen Darby made a last-minute sliding tackle just outside the box to halt the attackers run.
On eight minutes, a Conor Hourihane free-kick from deep is headed away by Lee Evans as far as Josh Scowen, who sent a looping drive well over the bar from around twenty-five yards out.
Barnsley should have taken the lead four minutes later, when Ben Williams failed to hold onto a Marc Roberts’ long throw-in into the area. Marley Watkins was first to react but his snap-shot hit the City post.
On seventeen minutes, Gary Liddle tackled Sam Winnall before playing the ball to Lee Evans, who sent a twenty yard low curling shot narrowly past Adam Davies far post.
The big talking point came on thirty-five minutes as the home fans called for a red card, when Steven Davies forcefully went through the back of Alfie Mawson just inside the City half of the pitch. However referee Eddie Ilderton waved play-on before the game stopped to allow Mawson to get treatment.
Barnsley finished the half on top, when on forty-three minutes Winnall’s angled drive from the edge of the box is well saved low to left by Williams. Just two minutes later, Pearson’s fierce drive from just outside the box is pushed away by the strong hands of Ben Williams to leave the half-time score 0-0.
The second half started with both sides looking to get an advantage in the game, however it turned more into a midfield battle for the first fifteen minutes. The first real chance at goal in the half fell to Barnsley’s Sam Winnall, but on the stretch and from a tight angle, his weak shot trickled into the hands of Williams.
Steven Davies should have given City the lead on sixty-six minutes when he tackled Josh Scowen outside the Barnsley area, before running clear into the area with only goalkeeper Adam Davies to beat. His chipped shot beat keeper Adam Davies but also went wide of the Barnsley far post.
The next major talking point came on seventy minutes, when substitute Josh Morris went down in the penalty area after being barged over by Wabara. However referee Mr Ilderton waved play-on and then awarded Barnsley a goal-kick.
City finished the stronger of the two sides and on eighty-four minutes, Rory McArdle’s long ball forward is headed down by James Hanson into the path of Luke James, but the striker’s poke for goal from close range is held by Adam Davies.
A minute later Josh Morris’ low ball into the Barnsley area is picked up by Luke James, who lays the ball off the waiting Lee Evans. But the Welsh midfielder strikes for goal from just inside box was blocked.
In the fourth minute of injury time, James Hanson connected with another Lee Evans free-kick from distance, but his downward header bounces up off the turf and over the crossbar.
Barnsley could have win the game with the final move of the match, when Alfie Mawson hit the post following a Conor Hourihane free-kick. The tykes defender headed the ball against Ben Williams goal and the game finished 0-0.
Speaking about the game manager Phil Parkinson said, “We were a lot stronger today and I thought we got better as the game went on, we should have won the game really we had enough chances.
It was a game that reflected the way we have played in past seasons, may be we have been thinking we are a good team that has good players, but those good players have got to work hard and play in a structured way.
We finished the better of the two sides and we had some chances in the last twenty-five minutes, we have asked the players to be tougher and stronger for the whole ninety minutes and they did that today.”
Barnsley – Davies, Wabara, Roberts, Nyatanga, Mawson, Watkins, Scowen, Crowley, Hourihane, Pearson, Winnall (Subs) Walton, Rothwell, Bree, Digby, Wilkinson, Smith, Harris
Bradford City – Williams, Darby, Meredith, McArdle, Burke, Evans, Liddle, Marshall, Hanson, Davies, Anderson (Subs) Jones, N.Clarke, Knott, Morris, Mottley-Henry, James, Sheehan
Goals – None
Attendance – 10,342