Burnley 1 (Austin 9)
Reds 1 (Cywka 84)
It wasn’t pretty at first but Barnsley managed to grind out a pretty handsome point at Burnley thanks to another goal from Tomasz Cywka – and what a goal it was, too.
With chances few and far between in the first period, the Reds upped the tempo after the break to dominate Burnley who were retreating into their own half more and more as the game wore on.
The first chance of this one fell for Burnley or, more importantly, for Charlie Austin, and if you leave a 25-goal striker free in the box he isn’t going to miss – he didn’t – it was number 26 for Austin in what’s proving to be a remarkable season. It was a bad start from the Reds. Kyle Lafferty picked up the ball down the left and curled into the six-yard box for Austin to smash home on nine minutes.
Kieran Trippier was showing the Reds just what they’re missing with some simply unbelievable passes from right-back – switching play with ease.
Barnsley’s first chance saw them wanting a penalty as Tom Kennedy’s corner eventually found its way to Harewood after Dagnall’s nod-down, and the big striker’s shot appeared to strike a raised arm but a corner was given.
Some hesitation in the Burnley defence allowed Chris Dagnall to nod into the path of O’Grady from Wiseman’s long punt but he fired into the ground and wide on 23 minutes.
The game was poor to say the least with the ball spending more time in the air than on the deck. A scrappy battle had ensued but the Reds appeared to be easing their way back into it.
Etuhu forced a great save from Grant on 45 minutes when Perkins’ lofted ball into the box was flicked into the midfielder’s path by Foster.
The Reds made one change at the break with Tomasz Cywka replacing Marlon Harewood. The next chance of the half was Barnsley’s and probably their best of the match on 52 minutes. Chris Dagnall raced down on goal from the right but lofted the ball wide as Lee Grant advanced.
Another change followed for the Reds with Chris Dagnall coming off for Jason Scotland on 55 minutes.
Barnsley turned up the tempo and the travelling faithful responded. Perkins, Mellis and Scotland combined well on the edge of the box as finally the Tykes showed what they really can do on the deck.
Both teams saw shots blocked at either end, Cywka for the Reds saw his strike deflected over after more promising play.
Carl Boyeson waved away strong Burnley claims for a penalty on 72 minutes when Cranie bundled Austin over in the box when the hosts charged forward on the counter.
As the match wore on everything about Barnsley’s play was spot on except for the finishing touch. O’Grady pulled back but the Clarets cleared, Scotland jinked his way into the box but failed to get a strike away – it was frustrating but there were positive signs for the Tykes.
Wiseman put in a measured cross for O’Grady on 77 minutes, with Grant stranded the ball sailed inches wide of the top corner. Barnsley were getting closer.
At the other end Austin had a header from a ridiculously tight angle saved by Steele, but finally the game had opened up.
Finally Barnsley’s determination paid off through the phenomenal attitude of Tomasz Cywka who scored an absolute peach to haul the Reds level on 84 minutes. The winger picked up possession on the edge of the box and curled into the top corner for his third goal in three consecutive matches.
Lee Grant was quick to close O’Grady down as the Sheffield Wednesday loanee pounced onto Kennedy’s curling through-ball. It was half a chance which Grant did well to deny the big striker a certain goal.
Just before four minutes of stoppage time was indicated Jacob Mellis volleyed not too far over Grant’s crossbar as he controlled and struck a cleared free-kick.
With the clock ticking down the Reds weren’t happy with a point as they charged forward, O’Brien stinging Grant’s palms with what was the last chance of the match. All in all, not a bad point for the Reds.
Burnley: Grant, Austin, Stanislas (Ings 54), Shackell, Long, Kacaniklic, Paterson (Vokes 65), Trippier, Edgar (McCann 54), Bartley, Lafferty.
Subs: Jensen,Mills, Treacey, Stock.
Reds: Steele, Wiseman, Foster, Cranie, Kennedy, Mellis, Perkins, Etuhu (O’Brien 79), O’Grady, Harewood (Cywka 46), Dagnall (Scotland 55).
Subs: Lidakevicius, Delap, Hassell, Tunnicliffe.