Alfreton Town 1(Trialist 70)
Barnsley 2(Davies 55, 61)
Barnsley’s pre-season officially got underway this evening at Alfreton Town’s Impact Arena and the Reds earned a 2-1 victory after a solid workout against the well organised Blue Square Premier side.
Two different starting elevens featured in either half and it was after the break the Reds came to life with two Craig Davies strikes in the space of six minutes.
The opening period saw both sides keen to retain the ball and play out from the back, but it was Keith Hill’s side who dominated proceedings, as you probably would expect, but Nick Law’s Alfreton side weren’t making things easy for Barnsley.
Bobby Hassell was sitting just in front of the two central-defenders and was nonchalantly spraying the ball to both wide-men in Done and O’Brien as well as the capable Clark and Digby dropping short and showing for the ball.
With two youngsters in Stones and Steade either side of centre-backs McNulty and Foster – the first-year professionals showed no fear in attacking their respective markers in the opening 20 minutes with both of them showing great confidence and capability.
The first real effort of the night fell for a youngster, too. Jordan Clark found space on the edge of the box but his effort lacked accuracy from 20 yards, drifting past Barnes’ left-hand post.
With half an hour gone, after Mido scooped over an O’Brien delivery, Matty Done rounded ‘keeper Barnes before seeing his effort cleared off the line.
After Steade was clipped late 30 yards from goal, striker Mido stepped up to try and break the deadlock from distance but hit the set-piece into the ground to make it comfortable for Barnes.
Barnsley’s only really worry came as Ben Alnwick took his eye off a backpass but comfortably recovered to clear the danger in the dying embers of the first half.
After the break, and after eleven changes, the introduction of Etuhu and Mellis in midfield provided great creativity for front-man Davies, who notched the opener on 55 minutes. The big striker jinked onto his left foot before calmly finishing into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Davies was immediately onto the restart and after charging down his marker, he fired another effort just two yards wide of the far stick from a tight angle with Etuhu lurking.
Soon enough, Davies had his double a minute past the hour. A great delivery from Golbourne followed a delicious flick from Etuhu, and after Dawson couldn’t reach the full-back’s cross, Davies did the rest and tucked home with the right peg from 12 yards once more.
Jacob Mellis was looking typically comfortable in possession and dished out the passes to the advancing Wiseman and Golbourne but Hill’s men were caught out at the back on 70 minutes when a cross from one trialist to another found Lidakevicius’ far corner – the latter stooping to nod home.
The hosts went a little more direct and were constantly searching for their giant striker trialist whilst Rose at the other end almost nodded into an empty net following Dagnall’s deflected strike.
A nasty gash on the eye of Rob Edwards meant Danny Rose saw some game-time, and the youngster could have added a third after Wiseman’s hard work down the flank but Rose fired wide from 20 yards.
After the match Reds boss Hill was pleased with his side’s workout and was happy to see his side working whilst ‘fatigued’ following a training session earlier today.
Watch out for all the action and reaction soon only on Barnsley Player.
Barnsley: Alnwick (Lidakevicius 46), Steade (Golbourne 46), Stones (Wiseman 46), Foster (Collins 46), McNulty (Edwards 46 (Rose 75)), Hassell (Dawson 46), Digby (Mellis 46), Clark (Etuhu 46), Done (Perkins), O’Brien (Dagnall 46), Mido (Davies 46).
Next match: Rotherham United at the New York Stadium on Saturday 21st July, 2012, 3pm.