Full time: Charlton v Reds
Att: 26, 185
Referee: M. Russell.
Subs: Steele, Hassell, Done, Rose, Kennedy.
Reds: Alnwick, Golbourne, Foster, Dawson, Davies (Harewood 90+4), Perkins, Dagnall, Wiseman, Cywka (Hassell 90+2), Mellis (Etuhu 90), Stones.
Subs: Button, Evina, Hulse, Dervite.
Charlton: Hamer, Morrison, Green (Pritchard 68), Stephens, Kerkar, Fuller, Solly, Hollands (Jackson 46), Wilson, Razak (Wright-Philips 46), Cort.
Harewood then came on for Craig Davies – who received a fantastic ovation from the supporters. Then the full time whistle arrived after Charlton were handed a lifeline with a set-piece down the left which the Reds managed to get clear.
Dagnall cracked one just wide from 25 yards after more tireless work from Davies. Moments later, after Hassell came on for the goal-scorer Cywka, a yellow card was brandished to Wilson after he tried to con the referee on the edge of the box.
On 88 minutes Charlton thought they’d found an equaliser but Alnwick had smothered the ball. It was backs-to-the-wall stuff now for Barnsley and Kelvin Etuhu came on to freshen things off, replacing the magnificent Mellis.
Chris Powell was then dealt a huge blow on 79 minutes with Ricardo Fuller limping off injured and all thre substitutes used. With the clock ticking down Solly left a foot in on Dawson leaving the former Bury man in a heap on the deck.
The referee then had to diffuse a situation involving Dawson and Solly after the defender took out his frustration on the Irishman. Dawson was aghast after he found his name went into the book as well as the Charlton defender’s.
The home fans were perplexed as to how their side weren’t awarded a penalty when Perkins challenged Solly in the box but the referee was in a perfect position to see that the midfielder had played the ball.
The support from the travelling Red Army was tremendous who had backed their team through tough spells of frustration and were now loving seeing their side in the lead.
Davies was again thwarted by a last-ditch tackle but moments later Tomasz Cywka produced a moment of brilliance as he robbed the defender in the box and lashed into the top corner for 1-0 on 64 minutes. It was no less than the Reds deserved as Cywka bagged his second of the season.
It was all Barnsley and it seemed a goal would eventually arrive should they keep up the pressure. Cywka drilled low following Davies and Perkins’ exchanging off passes. A handball shout was turned down when Cywka then chipped the ball into the box from the left on 57 minutes.
With 54 minutes gone Mellis put another splendid ball into the box and Dagnall just couldn’t control the delivery and guide it home at the far post.
Chris Powell was clearly not happy with his side’s first-half display as he made two changes for the second period.
One minute of added time came, and Mellis had a half chance to fire at goal but sliced a 20-yard strike well wide after some more brilliant build-up play involving Davies and Golbourne down the left.
Finally Alnwick was in action on 43 minutes as his world-class save kept Kerkar’s 25-yard free-kick out. Again Alnwick had to be alert as he denied a delivery that seemed destined for the top corner.
Davies again was on the rampage causing havoc in the box for Charlton but the ball wouldn’t drop kindly for Dagnall or Mellis after his wicked delivery on 40 minutes.
On 36 minutes it should have been 1-0 to Barnsley but somehow Dagnall couldn’t finish from four yards. A fantastic delivery by Davies down the left found his strike partner but he couldn’t connect and Hamer, luckily, managed to scramble at the second attempt. By this point the home fans were becoming frustrated.
A 20-yard free-kick was smashed into the wall and away with Alnwick still to make a save. A five-minute spell followed with Barnsley camped in Charlton’s half searching for the elusive opener.
From one end to the other with half-an-hour played as Charlton broke forward, Perkins was harshly penalised for a foul on Hollands after Davies had just seen his shot blocked by a great Morrison challenge at the other end.
By the midway point of the first half, Barnsley were in control and a series of slick passes eventually found Golbourne in the area but he was denied an effort on goal by a late flag.
Charlton pressed in the early stages, as was probably expected with a large home crowd , but soon the Tykes settled in and had a few efforts at goal from long range. First Dawson drilled wide before Cywka broke and saw a deflected effort saved low to his left on 15 minutes.
A tremendous display of domination and slick passing, with a quality goal from Tomasz Cywka added to that, made for a wonderful afternoon in the capital. Keith Hill’s men ran out 1-0 winners and it could have been more for certain.
Reds 1 (Cywka 64)