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21:45 6th December 2011


THE REDS 2 (Vaz Te 1, 78)
Crystal Palace 1 (Easter 32)

A fine double from Ricardo Vaz Te - with his first coming after barely nine seconds - helped the Reds to three points and to eighth in the table.

As the Reds kicked off and released Vaz Te down the left, nobody would have imagined the Portuguese winger would give the Reds the lead after barely seven seconds. Following a cut into the area from the right after collecting the ball from the kick-off, Vaz Te struck a venomous effort into the roof of the net. Incredible start with what is believed to be the fastest goal in Oakwell history.

The next ten minutes were very quiet apart from Stephen Foster having to bail out Drinkwater - whose wayward backpass fed in Easter, but the Reds' centre-half sprinted back and eased the striker off the ball.

The best Palace could offer was a wayward curling effort on 17 minutes from Ambrose - who the crowd expect better from following his Old Trafford exploits last week.

A great chance fell for Davies with 20 gone after outmuscling Keinan, the in-form strike got under his effort and blazed over on the edge of the area.

On 28 minutes Nile Ranger had a glorious opportunity to double the Reds' lead after great footwork to stride towards Speroni, but the Newcastle loanee struck wide as the 'keeper advanced. It was a splendid move as Vaz Te picked out the forward.

Barely two minutes later Palace thought they had levelled. Ambrose curling a free-kick towards the head of Murray and his effort was cleared off the line by the Reds.

Palace equalised out of absolutely nothing through Jermaine Easter on 32 minutes. The striker seemed to be going nowhere when Foster guided the ball back towards Steele, but Easter nipped in and lobbed Steele from the edge of the box.

With less than six minutes to the interval, Easter hooked a good volley across goal with Steele stranded but the scorer's effort drifted just wide. Moments later, Danny Drinkwater had time to watch a clearance land on his foot and lash a volley at Speroni but his effort lacked the required amount of power.

Palace were growing in confidence but Ambrose wasted what was, to him, a meat and drink opportunity from the edge of the box. Murray flicked into the midfielder's path, but the former Charlton man hammered over.

Second half

Both sides made changes before the restart with Wiseman replacing Drinkwater for the Reds, and McCarthy introduced for Keinan. The Reds started strong and Ranger was once again in the right place at the right time but failed to pull the trigger - it seemed the striker was waiting for the opening that never came.

When Davies looked to be in on goal, Gardner hauled back the striker and received a booking for his cynical foul.

A minute later and Davies turned well in the area to strike at goal, spinning his man well but Speroni got down to his right to save fairly comfortably on 55. Again Palace committed another cynical foul as Ranger broke down the centre - the substitute McCarthy was booked for hacking down the forward.

Stephen Foster was fuming with the referee as he looked to have played the ball on the edge of his own box - but Ambrose had a chance to test Steele and he did. The Barnsley 'keeper blocked away and the rebound was lashed well over the top on 64.

Speroni saw a Vaz Te effort just wide with the winger cutting in once again on his right after some lovely footwork down the left. Two minutes later Speroni was thankful Davies' free header went straight down his throat after he met Butterfield's corner from eight yards.

The Reds were certainly not letting up and Davies went close after a great move down the Barnsley right. O'Brien controlled for Haynes to deliver for the striker but he was closed down well by a desperate Palace backline with 20 to play.

Barnsley were pressing and looked only a matter of time before a Reds' goal. And finally it came on 78 minutes after Vaz Te reacted well to pounce on a Butterfield rebound. The Reds' skipper unleashed a typical wicked strike that Speroni parried and the Portuguese winger calmly slotted from eight yards under pressure.

The Reds rode out the remaining ten minutes and Palace failed to trouble their backline. It was a great effort once again from Hill's side - who are proving the doubters wrong with some quality football and bags of determination.


Reds: Steele, Hassell, Foster, O'Brien, Davies, Perkins, McNulty, Vaz Te, Butterfield (Addison 83), Drinkwater (Wiseman 46), Ranger (Haynes 58).
Preece, Done.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Easter (Martin 58), Wright, Clyne, Ambrose, Zaha, Ramage, Murray (Iversen 78), Keinan (McCarthy 46), Dikgacoi, Gardner.
Subs: Price, Jedinak.

9,524 (228 away)

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.