SCUNTHORPE UNITED 0
BARNSLEY bossed the game and put their second half collapse at Reading to bed with a thoroughly deserved point at Scunthorpe. They deserved more.
Reds boss Mark Robins rang the changes for the trip Scunthorpe United. Out went Jay McEveley, Hugo Colace, Garry O'Connor and Chris Wood while Goran Lovre, Jacob Butterfield, Luke Potter and Andy Gray returned to the side. It was a return to the 4-4-1-1 formation which had served the Reds well earlier in the season with Lovre supporting Gray in attack.
Robins was scathing in his post match appraisal of his side at Reading last weekend and will be looking for a massive improvement from the first whistle at Glandford Park.
Scunthorpe may be without the twin threat of Gary Hooper and Paul Hayes, who had scored the goals which helped keep the Iron in the Championship last season, but the home side had started the season well. Former Oakwell midfielder Sam Togwell started for Scunthorpe United.
There was a worrying moment for the visitors with less than two minutes on the clock as Luke Steele came out to claim a high cross but took a whack from a combination of Jason Shackell and Chris Dagnall. The Reds keeper did well to hold onto the ball and was thankfully able to continue after treatment.
It was a very scrappy opening in the mist in North Lincolnshire as neither side managed to settle down and play. Scunthorpe fired the first shot in anger on eight minutes when Michael Collins let fly but his effort was easily blocked away on the edge of the area. Collins did the same on 12 minutes but his low shot was well hacked away again.
All the football was being played by a Barnsley side in the opening exchanges with the bit between their teeth following their weekend disappointment in Berkshire.
Steele was called into action on 16 minutes to deal with Martyn Woolford's drive but the Reds keeper made the save look easy.
The Reds went close to an opener on 20 minutes as Butterfield's corner almost swung into the net but Joe Murphy was somehow able to claw it away.
Jim O'Brien was inches away from a goal seconds later as he ghosted in from the right to attack Adam Hammill's neat cross but could not get the touch which would have taken the ball past Murphy.
Great play by Hassell, Lovre and Gray then almost crafted a goal for Hammill on 23 minutes as the winger let fly from the edge of the box but the ball fizzed past the post with Murphy struggling to cover.
Scunthorpe were handed the chance to test Steele on 27 minutes when Jonathan Forte went down in stages over Hassell's challenge. A neatly worked free kick saw Josh Wright smash a shot through the wall but Steele was more than equal to it at the foot of the post.
The Reds were well on top and Hammill almost made Scunthorpe pay on 29 minutes as he tricked his way past a couple of challenges before chipping wide of the far post.
Scunthorpe broke well against the run of play as Togwell picked out a fine pass to send Forte away in behind the Reds. The striker did everything right and beat Steele but his low shot cannoned back off the upright.
Eddie Nolan hammered one high and wide on 38 minutes as Scunthorpe finally came to life before Forte again showed his pace seconds later to race away from Shackell but blazed high over under pressure.
Butterfield was in behind Scunthorpe on 42 minutes as he broke the offside trap to collect Stephen Foster's pass but the midfielder saw his low drive deflect away from goal.
The Reds were definitely not helped by referee Rob Shoebridge who gave every 50/50 decision in favour of the home side in the first half.
Butterfield again had Scunthorpe scrambling on 44 minutes as Murphy made a complete mess of dealing with his corner but Shackell saw his well-struck effort blocked away at the back stick. Lovre then picked up a yellow card in stoppage time for nothing more than a firm challenge on Woolford.
Great play by Butterfield set Barnsley away again on 47 minutes as he freed Hammill but the winger was hauled down by Togwell. Nothing came from Hammill's free kick.
Hammill then did well to get a cross in from the left on 51 minutes for Gray to attack under pressure but his effort bounced wide of Murphy's goal.
At the other end Woolford saw one smash into Shackell two minutes later. Wright then had one deflect well over the top on 53 minutes before Rob Jones flicked a header wide from the resulting corner.
Another very, very soft decision went against the Reds on 57 minutes as O'Brien shrugged off Nolan before racing into the area only for the officials to pull play back for an extremely soft foul. It was yet another extremely debateable decision which infuriated the visitors.
Substitute Bobby Grant brought a save from Steele on 59 minutes while Hammill drove one from 30 yards seconds later as play swung from one end to the other.
Barnsley were slowly turning the screw again in the second half but without that bit of luck to break through a dogged Scunthorpe defence. Butterfield then hit a volley against a defender on 63 minutes.
With the linesman's flag somehow welded to his side in the second half, Forte almost made the Reds pay on 73 minutes as he raced back from an offside position before drilling the ball just wide of the post.
Butterfield again lit up Glanford Park with an outrageous turn in the area on 75 minutes before hammering the ball across goal but Lovre could not turn it into the net from 12 yards.
The linesman thankfully got it right on 78 minutes as Dagnall played in Woolford but the flag was up before the winger could hit the back of the net.
Scunthorpe got away with it again on 79 minutes as Foster's goalbound header clearly struck a defender before flying over the bar only for the home side to be given a controversial goal kick.
Scunthorpe's first big chance of the second half came on 82 minutes as Forte skipped away from a challenge in the area before bringing a fine, fine save from Steele. Grant then thought he should have had a penalty seconds later as he hit the deck under Nathan Doyle's challenge but the referee gave a free kick the other way.
Lovre split Scunthorpe open on 84 minutes as he found substitute Chris Wood in the area but the Kiwi could only shoot straight at Murphy with O'Brien screaming for a pull back.
Referee Shoebridge robbed Wood of a clear run on goal seconds later as the striker raced away from Jones only for the defender to clip his heels and fall over. Shoebridge gave Jones the free kick and halted Wood's race at Murphy. It was a shocking, shocking decision.
Nolan was inches away from a goal deep in stoppage time and it would have been very harsh on the Reds as his curler flew just wide of the post.
SCUNTHORPE UNITED: Murphy, Togwell, Jones, Byrne, Woolford, Dagnall, Forte, Mirfin, Wright (O'Connor 72), Collins (Grant 56), Nolan.
Subs: Slocombe, Raynes, Godden, Canavan, McClenahan.
BARNSLEY: Steele, Hassell (Doyle 72), Shackell, Foster, O'Brien, Lovre, Hammill, Butterfield, Potter, Arismendi, Gray (Wood 77).
Subs: Preece, Trippier, Dickinson, Neumann, Colace.
Rob Shoebridge (Derbyshire)
Wayne Grunnill (Yorkshire) and Darren Handley (Lancashire)
Tony Peart (North Yorkshire)
Attendance - 5,421
Away Attendance - 1,308
Match Report by Rob Knowles.
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