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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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03 May 2021 Venue Oakwell Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

Barnsley U23
1 - 1
Cardiff City U23
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Match Previews


29 April 2021

Our U23s are on the brink of making the Professional Development League end of season play-offs.

A 3-2 win at Watford on Monday afternoon, coupled with Nottingham Forest’s defeat against Ipswich Town, means the young Reds are in third place heading into the final round of fixtures.

Martin Devaney’s side welcome Cardiff City to Oakwell on Bank Holiday Monday looking to set-up a semi-final tie with southern section winners Bristol City.

The young Reds have amassed 40 points so far this campaign – more than any other side in the club’s history at this age group – and several players have been involved in first team matchday squads over the course of the season.

It’s likely to be an entertaining encounter against the Bluebirds, who have won nine of their last 15 matches and lost six – including a 6-1 hammering at home to Coventry City on Tuesday afternoon.

In the midst of that run was a 6-1 victory over Wigan Athletic, while they also suffered a 5-4 defeat against Charlton Athletic, so you can probably expect goals when the South Wales outfit turn up on Grove Street.

Crucial to Barnsley’s lofty league position was a nine-game unbeaten run at the beginning of the campaign, which included seven wins. A dip in form at the turn of the year threatened to derail any play-off prospects, but our youngsters have rallied in recent weeks and have lost just once in eight matches, picking up 15 points in the process.

Our U23s require results elsewhere to go their way on the final day to secure a top two finish, but it has been a tremendous campaign all the same.

Due to the club’s ongoing commitment to highlight and combat the negative impact of discrimination with our social media boycott, there will be no coverage of this game on our official Academy Twitter account or any other official social media platform.

We will provide build-up in the days leading up to the game on our website as well as a match report and highlights package.

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Match Reports


3 May 2021

Will Lancaster’s first-half goal was cancelled out by Chanuka Zimba’s equaliser as our U23s' final game of the season against Cardiff City finished all square at Oakwell.

Lancaster’s brilliant strike into the top corner from 18 yards, after the ball had fallen kindly at his feet, arrived just after the half-hour and was entirely merited during a dominant first half for the young Reds.

However, Zimba converted from close range midway through the second half to ensure Cardiff would leave South Yorkshire with a point.

In driving rain, the hosts enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, with multiple early instances of desperate visiting defending required to keep the game scoreless.

First, George Miller saw his half-volley blocked by visiting stopper O’Shaughnessy when clean through before Cameron Thompson’s attempt from inside the box was deflected out for a corner.

There were flashes of threat at the other end, but Rudi Pache made a heroic sliding block to deny the Bluebirds’ Isaak Davies shortly before Lancaster’s goal.

Miller went close again when his attempt from inside the box was palmed away by O’Shaughnessy as the hosts began to exert their superiority, and they got their reward when Lancaster struck.

HALF-TIME: Barnsley 1-0 Cardiff City

The second half began in much the same vein that the first had ended, with a sticky midfield battle meaning chances were at more of a premium as the rain continued to blanket Oakwell.

Renedie Masampu saw his effort on the hour blocked as the game began to open up once more, but it was a resurgent Cardiff who took advantage, striking gold through Zimba as they committed more men forwards.

The young Reds refused to be bowed, and Thompson went close twice in the final ten minutes, firstly when his strike agonisingly struck the post, before a low attempt was held by O’Shaughnessy at his near post.

Masampu fired narrowly over, Omar saw his header ruled out by an offside flag, and O’Shaughnessy saved from Connor Hodgson as Barnsley hammered on the door, but the young Reds were ultimately unable to make their pressure count by the time the whistle blew.

Even as the hosts will rue losing their lead, they can still take enormous confidence from the fact that this season has brought the Reds’ U23 side the highest points total in their history.


REDS XI: Addai (GK), Pache, Omar (C), Kitching (Hodgson), Helliwell, Lancaster, Oduor, Trialist, Marsh (Trialist), Miller (Chapman), Thompson.

Not used: Binns, Simpson.

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