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Report: Barnsley 2 Rovers 0

No festive cheer for Rovers at Oakwell

26 December 2016

Rovers had a Boxing Day to forget as they slipped to a disappointing 2-0 away loss at Barnsley.

Goals at the beginning and end of the game from the Tykes saw them side claim all three points at Oakwell.
 
Rovers started the match poorly, with Barnsley grabbing a deserved opener on 14 minutes when an unmarked Sam Winnall headed home.
 
The visitors eventually showed a response with Marvin Emnes, Sam Gallagher and Wes Brown all going close at the end of the half, but unlike the home side, they didn't score when they were on top.
 
Rovers struggled to open up their opponents in the second half. A speculative 50-yard strike from Corry Evans that rattled the woodwork the closest they would come to getting back on level terms.
 
But after threatening through Emnes and Gallagher following Darragh Lenihan's sending off, Barnsley sealed the points on the counter in added time through substitute Marley Watkins.
 
Rovers went into the match looking to arrest a run of three consecutive losses, but the early signs weren't good as the hosts started much the stronger of the two sides.
 
Inside 60 seconds the Tykes threatened as Rovers failed to clear their lines. Striker Tom Bradshaw finding decent space in the box but he saw his hooked effort go high over the bar.
 
The forward went closer soon after with a shot across the box that Jason Steele could only palm away, Josh Scowen missing his chance at the back post. Bradshaw met the resulting centre but headed back across goal and wide.
 
The poor start from Rovers continued with the home side grabbing a deserved opener on 14 minutes. Conor Hourihane with a ball into the area to where Winnall had all the time in the world to head into the back of the net.
 
After such a lacklustre opening, thankfully Rovers raised their game in the second part of the first half. On 22 minutes the ball broke to Marvin Emnes to the right of the area, but as the Dutchman dragged his shot well wide, Danny Graham couldn't divert the ball goalwards.
 
Three minutes later Emnes would go closer. A long ball upfield from Steele was flicked on by Graham into the path of Emnes, he struck sweetly on the half-volley but Adam Davies in the Barnsley goal showed quick reactions to tip the ball over the bar.
 
The visitors continued to push their opponents back, a Derrick Williams free-kick found Wes Brown, but the veteran defender was denied by Davies. Then after a surging run into the box from Ryan Nyambe, Hope Akpan helped it onto Sam Gallagher, but the Rovers top-scorer could only find the hands of the opposition keeper.
 
Andy Yiadom flashed a left-footed strike beyond the far post for Barnsley before Rovers threatened once more time at the end of the half as a Craig Conway free-kick found the returning Charlie Mulgrew, but Scowen cleared off the line.
 
As the half-time whistle blew, the difference between the two sides was that Barnsley got on the scoresheet when they were on top, Rovers unable to make the most of their first half opportunities.
 
The start of the second half saw Barnsley break three on one after a mix-up between Conway and Williams in the centre-circle, but thankfully Rovers were eventually able to get enough bodies back to eventually deal with the danger.
 
However they didn't heed that warning and just seven minutes later the Tykes broke from another Rovers attack, but as Hourihane bore down on goal he snatched at his chance and put it wide.
 
Corry Evans was introduced on 64 minutes with Wes Brown making way. Mulgrew moving from midfield back to defence alongside Darragh Lenihan.
 
And the Northern Ireland international almost embarrassed goalkeeper Davies with a 50-yard effort from his poor clearance, but the ball struck the frame of the goal and was eventually claimed by the Barnsley man.
 
But whilst Rovers huffed and puffed, it was Barnsley that continued to carry the greater threat.
 
Gallagher failed to test the keeper after a surging run, but at the other end Steele was called upon to keep out a left-footed strike from Hourihane. Bradshaw then had sight of goal but could only find the side-netting.
 
But any hope of Rovers getting anything from the Oakwell encounter ended when they were reduced to ten men with four minutes remaining.
 
Eager to claim possession in the centre of the park, Lenihan lunged late for the ball on Sam Morsy but missed. The reaction from the home players giving referee Andrew Madley no excuse in showing the Irishman the red card.
 
Despite being a man light Rovers then enjoyed their best spell of pressure as the match entered the final stages.
 
Emnes saw a shot deflect wide for a corner, before Gallagher brought out a fine save from Davies.
 
However that late flurry would prove to be too little too late, as Barnsley made no mistake on the break in added time. Substitute Marley Watkins racing through to fire home to clinch the win for Barnsley.
 
Rovers will return to Yorkshire on New Years Eve looking to stop the slump when they face promotion-chasing Huddersfield.
 
BARNSLEY: Davies, Bree, Roberts, MacDonald, Scowen, Hourihane, Winnall (sub Armstrong 74 mins), Yiadom, Bradshaw (sub Brown 86 mins), Morsy, Kent (sub Watkins 73 mins).
 
Subs not used: Townsend (GK), Jackson, Kpekawa, Williams.
 
Goals: Winnall 14, Watkins 90+3 mins.
 
Booked: Morsey 83 mins.
 
ROVERS: Steele, Nyambe, Brown (sub Evans 64 mins), Lenihan, Williams, Conway (sub Feeney 71 mins), Akpan, Mulgrew, Gallagher, Emnes, Graham.
 
Subs not used: Raya (GK), Greer, Guthrie, Mahoney, Bennett.
 
Goals: None.
 
Booked: Mulgrew 63 mins, Akpan 67 mins.
 
Off: Lenihan 86 mins.
 
Attendance: 14,192 (including 1,440 Rovers fans)