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Kick off 17:30 (UK)

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02 April 2021 Venue Oakwell Attendance

Kick off 17:30 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

READING PREVIEW

30 March 2021

After some well-earned rest for the Reds, we kick off the Championship run-in with a televised clash against the visiting Royals on Good Friday.

After an outstanding 12-game unbeaten run, where Barnsley established themselves as a contender for the end-of-season playoffs, the Reds did however limp into the final international break of the 20/21 campaign slightly, with defeat against struggling local rivals, Sheffield Wednesday last time out.

An opening half-hour at Oakwell in which the Reds ought to have been at least two goals to the good but for poor finishing and yet more lamentable decision-making from the officials eventually gave way to a battling performance from an Owls outfit languishing in the relegation zone. 

Once a product of the Academy system here on Grove Street, striker Jordan Rhodes came back to haunt Barnsley with a well-taken brace that put an end to the Reds' stunning form, despite a late Carlton Morris strike that for a while had us wondering if a dramatic comeback was on.

So just the 13 points from a possible 18 through March. Which left the Reds 5th in the Sky Bet Championship as we entered the hiatus for international football. A staggering points total at this level of 64 so far, with eight games left to navigate and a five point gap to the side in 7th.

That team in 7th is AFC Bournemouth who face the club two points further back in Middlesbrough on Good Friday, but at 3pm, with the Reds' clash with the Royals kicking off at 5.30pm due to the presence of the Sky Sports cameras. 

The Royals of Reading are the team in 6th, our opponents first up on this Easter weekend that could well prove pivotal in terms of deciding the fate of those clubs chasing the playoff dream. 

Reds' Head Coach, Valérien Ismaël believes that perhaps four wins from those remaining eight fixtures would be enough to secure Barnsley a playoff finish at second tier level for the first time since the year 2000. To get win number one against your nearest challengers would be more than ideal. 

But in Reading, the Reds are facing a side who beat them back at the dawning of this 20/21 season. September's 2-0 victory for the Biscuitmen was one of seven in their first eight Championship outings, a sequence that saw them as early frontrunners in the race for promotion to the top flight.

That form however, has never been matched since. It's been a rather up and down, inconsistent season for Reading but that early season form coupled with an unbeaten run through the Christmas and New Year period sees them well-placed going into the final clutch of fixtures. 

They are winless in their last three matches though, but did triumph on their last journey to South Yorkshire in beating Rotherham United 1-0 at the end of February. 

Serbian coach Veljko Paunović was as unknown on these shores as most of our own recent appointments have been, but he's certainly impressed having joined the Berkshire-based outfit after a previous spell in the MLS with Chicago Fire. 

The Royals have former Reds defender Andrew Yiadom still amongst their roster and a handful of exciting attacking players, such as former Wednesday striker Lucas João and powerful frontman Yakou Méité, who has recently returned from injury. 

Club News

IFOLLOW UPDATES

25 March 2021

Due to broadcast restrictions, there will be no Match Passes available for this clash on iFollow Barnsley, but all Seasonal Members will still have access, and of course, live audio commentary will be available with Matt Bailey on the mic from around 5.15pm.

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Match Reports

SPOILS SHARED WITH READING

2 April 2021

Barnsley came from behind to claim a share of the spoils against play-off chasing Reading at Oakwell on Friday evening.

Alex Mowatt’s second half penalty cancelled out Ovie Ejaria’s first half strike, with both sides guilty of missing glorious opportunities to take all three points.

Reading had a wonderful chance to break the deadlock inside eight minutes when Yakou Meite won possession back and raced clear but could only blaze his wild effort high and wide when it looked harder to miss.

The Reds’ first real opening came from a free-kick just after the half hour mark as Mowatt floated a fine cross in for Michał Helik who headed straight at Rafael Cabral.

But shortly after, Ejaria latched onto Andy Rinomhota’s hopeful ball over the top and slotted low past Brad Collins to give the visitors an advantage ten minutes before the interval.

Moments later, Barnsley were almost level through what would have been a real slice of luck as Callum Brittain’s cross from the byline clipped the crossbar with Cabral stranded.

Stung into life by Reading’s goal, the Reds searched for an equaliser and when Callum Styles’ deep cross was only half-cleared, Brittain’s volley was deflected behind for a corner.

From the resulting set-piece, Romal Palmer rose highest but couldn’t keep his powerful header down.

HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-1 Reading

After a slow start to the second half from both sides, Barnsley were awarded a penalty on the hour mark when Styles was hauled to the ground by former Reds skipper Andy Yiadom.

With regular taker Woodrow replaced at the break, cue current captain, Mowatt, to step up and casually place his spot kick down the middle and level the scores under pressure.

The visitors almost retook the lead when Styles’ backpass was intercepted by Meite, the ball fell to Lucas Joao but he somehow contrived to miss from close range as the Reds survived another scare of their own making.

In an open, end-to-end encounter, Barnsley had the next opportunity as Styles fizzed a half-volley over the bar with both sides pushing forward in search on an elusive winner.

From a deep free-kick, Cabral came to claim and spilled the ball and, in the ensuing melee that followed, Mad Andersen’s scrambled shot clipped the post.

Carlton Morris then surged down the left, burst into the area and cut onto his right foot but Cabral was equal to his low effort as the Reds finished strongly.

Up next to try his luck was Aapo Halme when he climbed above everyone to meet Mowatt’s corner, but headed over the bar.

With four minutes remaining, the Reds thought they had made the breakthrough when Mowatt’s inswinging corner was bundled over the line, but the referee adjudged there to have been a foul on Cabral.

It proved to be the last action of a breathless finale, as both sides settled for a point which leaves Barnsley fifth in the Sky Bet Championship.

 

REDS XI: Collins (GK), Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen, Brittain, Palmer (Halme, 57), Mowatt (C), Styles, Frieser, Woodrow (Dike, 46), Adeboyejo (Morris, 46).

Not used: Walton (GK), J Williams, Sibbick, Moon, Oduor, Chaplin.

READING XI: Cabral (GK), Morrison (Holmes, 42), Moore (C), Olise (Semedo, 84), Rinomhota, Meite, Ejaria, Gibson, Yiadom, Joao, Laurent.

Not used: Southwood (GK), Esteves, Richards, Baldock, Aluko, Tetek, Puskas.

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