Saturday November 27, 2010, KO 3.00pm
LIVE FROM OAKWELL STADIUM
BARNSLEY'S luck in front of goal deserted them at Oakwell as the woodwork saved a Watford side who came to Oakwell for a point.
Reds boss Mark Robins was forced into one change after seeing his in-form side win three matches on the bounce with Nathan Doyle suspended. In came Uruguayan international midfielder Diego Arismendi as the home side looked to record four wins on the spin for the first time in six years.
As temperatures plunged, the Reds looked to fire up Oakwell and build on what had been an outstanding run of performances and results. It was a big game for the Reds as they looked to push further up the Championship table.
It was Watford who settled a little quicker and adapted to the conditions in the opening exchanges. Jordan Mutch brought a save from Luke Steele on five minutes with a cross-shot after the Reds had struggled to clear Don Cowie's free kick.
The Reds responded and Jim O'Brien thought he had grabbed a goal on 12 minutes as he pounced when Adam Hammill's corner dropped in the area but his effort was well blocked away by Troy Deeney.
Mutch was a little lucky to get away with just a warning on 17 minutes after his late challenge left Goran Lovre in a heap. Lovre did hit bit to open Watford up three minutes later with a neat flick to send Kieran Trippier away down the left and the full back found Garry O'Connor in the centre but the striker was denied by a fine block.
Stephen Foster was then denied by another outstanding block on 21 minutes as he stooped to meet Hammill's neat free kick.
Barnsley were slowly getting on top. Hammill brought a save from Scott Loach on 27 minutes before firing over moments later when faced with Watford's stubborn nine-man defensive line.
It was almost all Barnsley. Hugo Colace saw one deflect through to Loach while Mutch's raised arm on Arismendi only warranted a free kick on 33 minutes.
There was very little to cheer for the travelling fans although Martin Taylor flashed a header over the bar on 36 minutes when he outjumped the Barnsley defence to reach a Mutch corner.
Watford had their clearest sight of goal on 41 minutes as Graham's pull back found Stephen McGinn but the midfielder shot straight at Steele from 22 yards.
The Reds were straight at it from the start of the second half and should have been in front within 60 seconds as Hammill's pass sent O'Connor away and in the clear. O'Connor should have done better when faced by Loach but blazed high over the bar.
Watford then went close at the other end three minutes later as Graham found Eustace in space but the midfielder shot over when he should have at least tested Steele.
The Reds were still struggling to break down Watford. Hammill did his best on 65 minutes but was crudely checked on the edge of the area. It gave Hammill the chance to strike and the winger beat the wall, beat Loach but smacked the post. There was also a clear handball in the scramble that followed but referee Graham Salisbury, who was yards away, gave nothing.
Barnsley went even closer moments later as Watford struggled to clear Hammill's corner and Jacob Butterfield hammered an unstoppable drive past Loach but off the other post, across the face of goal and out.
It just wouldn't go in. O'Brien took on a fantastic Trippier pass on 72 minutes to cross but Paul Hayes could only glance wide; O'Connor drilled one wide of the mark on 75 while Hayes again blasted over from distance four minutes later.
Barnsley cut Watford wide open on 79 minutes as Hammill and Butterfield sent Bobby Hassell away down the left. The full back did well to cross but Loach brilliantly denied O'Connor from close range.
Watford's chances were few and far between in the second half. McGinn fired well over on 86 minutes but it was never going anywhere near Steele's goal.
BARNSLEY: Steele, Trippier, Foster, Shackell, Hassell, O'Brien, Colace (Butterfield 58), Arismendi, Hammill, Lovre (Hayes 70), O'Connor.
Subs: Preece, Gray, Neumann, Bennett, Noble-Lazarus.
WATFORD: Loach, A. Taylor, Eustace, M. Taylor, Mariappa, Cowie, Deeney (Sordell 58), Graham, Doyley, McGinn, Mutch.
Subs: Gilmartin, Hodson, Buckley, Jenkins, Bennett, Mingoia.
Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)
Robert Jones (Merseyside) and Ross Joyce (Cleveland)
Mark Astley (Manchester)
House of Fraser Man Of The Match: Stephen Foster
Away Attendance: 434
Match Report by Rob Knowles.
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