BARNSLEY 1 (Hassell 15)
SWANSEA CITY 1 (Sinclair 85 P)
Saturday January 22, 2011, KO 3.00pm
A LATE, late penalty saw Swansea claim a point from Oakwell and rob the Reds of the win they had thoroughly deserved.
Reds boss Mark Robins was forced into changes as he looked to kick start 2011 following the defeat at Hull City. Red cards at the KC Stadium meant Stephen Foster and Jason Shackell watched from the stands while Adam Hammill's departure to Wolverhampton Wanderers left a space to fill in midfield. New signing Danny Haynes made his Barnsley debut while Jim O'Brien and Diego Arismendi also returned to the side. Hassell and Nathan Doyle were handed the job of filling in at the heart of the defence back against the Swans.
Swansea City named Leon Britton on the bench after the midfielder rejoined the Club from Sheffield United. Injury meant former Barnsley defender Garry Monk missed a return to Oakwell.
It was thunderous opening played at a frantic pace by both sides as the Reds looked to push and work Swansea all over the pitch. A slip by Hassell gave Luke Moore half a chance on six minutes but the striker was crowded out of it in the area and his effort bobbled through to Luke Steele. Hassell gave the referee a rueful glance after being dispossessed by Moore.
At the other end great work by Jacob Butterfield put Swansea under pressure on nine minutes but Hugo Colace could only shoot straight at Dorus De Vries when the ball dropped on the edge of the box. His effort did take a huge deflection on the way through.
Butterfield's corner on eleven minutes had Swansea all over the place and Garry O'Connor was desperately unlucky as he lashed the ball goalward only to see his effort kicked away off the line by Joe Allen.
Barnsley had the benefit of a great decision by the officials on 15 minutes as Hassell rose to meet Butterfield's corner and powered a header off the underside of the bar and down into the goal before De Vries could grab it. It was close but the linesman quickly indicated the ball had crossed the line. It was a great decision by the officials.
It should have been two just moments later as the Swans defence crumbled as it looked to clear Butterfield's deep free kick. Angel Rangel's clearance ball fell to O'Connor but the striker was denied by De Vries' brilliance.
Swansea threatened to level things up on 19 minutes as Scott Sinclair cut in from the right before letting fly but his effort flew a yard or so wide of the post. The Swans were keeping the ball well but found it hard going against a resolute and determined Barnsley side. Darren Pratley picked out Moore again on 26 minutes but the striker could only shoot tamely at Steele.
Swansea's clearest sight of goal came on 29 minutes as Arismendi sliced Mark Gower's free kick an inch or two over the top of the bar. Gower was the architect for Swansea again seconds later as his corner gave Ashley Williams a great chance but Steele did well to parry his header and the defender could only lash the rebound high over the bar.
Barnsley thought they had a second goal on 33 minutes as De Vries parried Kieran Trippier's rocket back into the path of debutant Haynes only for the assistant's flag to deny the debutant. The assistant had his flag straight up and had a much clearer view than anyone in the press box.
The Reds were back in their stride and O'Connor was almost in on 35 minutes as he raced onto Hugo Colace's pass but was denied by Alan Tate.
The second half was keenly fought with Reds pressurising Swansea all over the park. Haynes almost put O'Connor through on 59 minutes while the home side snuffed out everything the Swans could throw at them in the final third through sheer determination and hard work.
The Reds were finally caught out on 64 minutes as a quick corner gave Sinclair the chance to cross. Barnsley were napping as Williams rose highest but planted a free header well, well wide of the target.
A foul by Arismendi on Pratley gave Gower the chance to shoot on 67 minutes. Gower beat the wall but Steele was quickly across his goal to make a fine, fine diving save.
Barnsley had worked themselves into the ground in the game and it caught up with O'Brien on 74 minutes and the winger was replaced by youngster Alastair Taylor.
Swansea should have been level on 79 minutes as Sinclair leapt to meet Cedric Van Der Gun's cross but headed wide of the target from four yards out. The Swans went close again seconds later as Stephen Dobbie lashed a free kick just over the top of Steele's goal from 30 yards.
Things had all gone very, very well for the Reds right up to the 85th minute when Sinclair raced in on goal and went to ground theatrically over Steele. A dive? You'll have to make your own mind up about that one but referee Phil Gibbs nevertheless pointed to the spot to give the Swans a penalty. Sinclair scored from 12 yards to level things.
Barnsley battled back and were almost in front again on 86 minutes when Butterfield saw a decent effort deflect through the Swans backline and away from goal. At the other end Pratley should have scored a minute later as he raced in but blazed wide under pressure from Doyle.
BARNSLEY: Steele, Trippier, Hassell, Doyle, Hill, O'Brien (Taylor 74), Colace, Arismendi, Butterfield, O'Connor (Lovre 84), Haynes.
Subs: Preece, Bennett, Neumann, Gray, Branson.
SWANSEA CITY: de Vries, Williams, Tate, Pratley, Dyer (Van Der Gun 68), Moore, Sinclair, Rangel, Allen (Britton 76), Gower (Dobbie 68), Richards.
Subs: Beattie, Serran, Ma-Kalambay, Agustein.
Phil Gibbs (West Midlands)
Martin Coy (Durham) and Gary Stott (Manchester)
Gary Hilton (Lancashire)
Away Attendance: 414
House of Fraser Man Of The Match:
Match Report by Rob Knowles.
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