Reds 2 (Davis o.g. 47, Scowen 85)
Barnsley moved back into the League One play-off places with a 2-0 win against Fleetwood Town at Highbury.
Joe Davis’ own goal moments into the second half helped put the Reds on their way two minutes into the second half in a game of few chances. Adam Hammill saw an effort cleared off the line in the Reds’ search for a second before Josh Scowen scored his first goal since returning from injury. Jimmy Ryan had earlier brought the best from Adam Davies early on as the Reds struggled to settle into a rhythm at Highbury.
Ashley Fletcher headed just over the top as the Reds found some for as the first half wore on while Amari’i Bell and Ryan both came close to scoring shortly after falling behind.
Thomas Grant had the game’s first opening after seven minutes, getting on the end of some flowing football from the hosts but firing over Adam Davies’ crossbar. Another chance fell the way of Marcus Nilsson from a Fleetwood corner, rising highest to meet Grant’s corner but heading well over. Fleetwood threatened again midway through the half as Shola Ameobi combined with David Ball to set Grant clear but Davies smartly saved his effort with Callum Connolly clearing the danger.
The Cod Army continued to press forward and Jimmy Ryan’s 25-yard effort brought the best out of Davies while Sam Winnall and Joe Davis clashed after a challenge on the half hour, both received cautions. The Reds did have the ball in the net 10 minutes before half time as Winnall bundled home Ashley Fletcher’s header but the whistle had already sounded for a push.
Barnsley’s first meaningful effort of the half came six minutes before the break as Adam Hammill broke from the flank and fired just wide of Chris Maxwell’s post. Fletcher received a caution for a foul on Fleetwood defender Davis before heading George Williams’ cross inches over the bar three minutes before the break. Conor Hourihane’s volley moments later was gathered by Maxwell in what would prove to be the final action of the half.
The visitors started the second half the brightest as a Marc Roberts long throw caused havoc in the Fleetwood defence and Joe Davis’ header back was scooped away by Maxwell.
Davis was in the thick of the action seconds later as the Reds opened the scoring two minutes into the second half. A long ball aimed at Winnall was headed backwards and over his own goalkeeper by the Fleetwood defender, leaving the goalkeeper stranded as the ball rolled in. The Cod Army almost hit back instantly as Davis scooped the ball into the grateful arms of Davies before Amari’i Bell lashed into the side netting.
Just before the hour, Ryan tried his luck again from distance but saw his effort bend away from Davies’ near post before chances faded away until 12 minutes from time. Substitute Josh Scowen’s driving run saw the ball break loose for Hammill, who cleverly rounded Maxwell but his effort was superbly turned away from goal by Conor McLaughlin.
Barnsley’s second goal came five minutes from time as Scowen met Hourihane’s corner and glanced home his first goal since his coming back from injury. Scowen’s booking late on after a clash with Davis did not spoil the Reds’ day as the Reds beat Fleetwood in 90 minutes for the first time in their history.
Fleetwood: Maxwell, McLaughlin, Nilsson, Davis, Bell, Jonsson (Scougall, 70’ ), Ryan, T. Grant, Ball (Sarcevic, 58’ ), Ameobi (Cole, 30’ ), Burns.
Subs: Gogic, Jordan, Forbes, Hunter.
Reds: Davies, Connolly, Roberts, Mawson, G. Williams, Isgrove (Chapman, 89’ ), Brownhill, Hourihane, Hammill, Fletcher (Scowen, 76’ ), Winnall.
Subs: Townsend, G. Smith, Nyatanga, Khan, Tuton.