Perkins makes point
Reds 1 (Perkins 86)
Palace 1 (Murray 11)
David Perkins set up a grandstand finish at Oakwell with a stunning 23-yard equaliser but the Reds couldn’t find the winner after a slow start against managerless Palace on a cold October night.
The Reds took a while to get going and had to pay for their slow start as Glenn Murray’s goal separated the two sides at the interval. They certainly haven’t been on top of their game but looked stronger as the game wore on.
With Palace having recently lost their Manager to rivals Bolton Wanderers literally a matter of hours earlier, the Eagles came out with a point to prove.
After only 11 minutes Palace broke the deadlock through Murray when he pounced onto Jonathan Parr’s left-wing delivery. Ramage forced Alnwick into a decent, low save away to his right when he met a Garvan corner at the far post. Seven minutes later Harewood saw his close-range drive blocked after a Mellis corner dropped kindly for the forward.
With only quarter-of-an-hour gone Reds boss Keith Hill decided he need to change things and threw on Matty Done at the expense of Chris Dagnall and this wasn’t the only early change as it wasn’t long before Tomasz Cywka was replaced by Kelvin Etuhu.
As the first half wore on, Barnsley became stronger with Palace looking happy to hit the Reds on the break and they certainly looked dangerous with the pace of Bolasie.
Golbourne was looking a threat down the Barnsley left and was combining well with Perkins who seemed to have covered every single blade of grass by the half-hour mark. Speroni came to his side’s rescue with a splendid save to deny Done a stunning strike from 25 yards before he again denied the Reds with a low save from Harewood.
After the break Barnsley eased themselves into the second period but the next chance fell to Palace when Murray broke through only to be denied by a combination of Foster and Wiseman. On the hour mark Dawson saw a 22-yard drive defect wide of Speroni’s right-hand upright as Hill’s side continued to look a little apprehensive in front of goal.
The Reds’ third and final substitute arrived as Rose came on for Dawson with the Irishman having been suffering from flu and a slight groin strain. Six minutes after the hour Rose saw his first chance flash just over after he snatched a loose ball which bounced off Marlon Harewood.
Alnwick was by far the less busy of the two goalies but was stood worried when Dikgacoi whipped in a cross that hammered the inside of his upright. Soon the ball was up at the other end with Speroni this time stranded as a Done cross looped over the Argentine only to find no red shirt at the far stick.
With possession and passing aplenty for Hill’s troops, they were waiting for that elusive killer chance. With the clock ticking down, man of the match Perkins took matters into his own hands after winning possession in the Palace half and curling an absolute beauty into the top-right corner of Speroni’s net for his first (intentional) Barnsley goal.
The equaliser had instilled plenty more confidence into the Barnsley ranks and they threatened for a winner in the dying minutes but the Palace rear-guard stood firm. Rose then hammered at goal only for another stray Palace boot to deflect it wide in the last minute.
All in all the Reds will probably be content with a point considering their fairly slow start and will be looking to rest and recuperate for the visit of Forest on Saturday.
Reds: Alnwick, Stones, Wiseman, Golbourne, Foster, Dawson (Rose 67), Cywka (Etuhu 30), Dagnall (Done 17), Mellis, Perkins, Harewood.
Subs: Steele, Hassell, Kennedy, McNulty.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Parr, Bolasie, Dikgacoi, Garvan, Jedinak, Murray, Delaney, Ramage, Moritz (O'Keefe 80).
Subs: Price, Wright, Martin, Blake, Wilbraham, Easter.
Referee: David Webb
Assistant Referees: Karl Evans and Iain Siddall
Fourth Official: Nigel Smith
Attendance: 8,195 (463)