The Reds turn their attention to Johnstone’s Paint Trophy action tonight as they cross the Pennines to face an in-form Oldham side.
Saturday’s 2-2 draw at promotion-chasing Peterborough extended Latics’ unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions and despite drawing four of their last five outings Lee Johnson’s side sit just three points outside the League One play-off places.
That form, accompanied by impressive victories against the likes of Fleetwood and Doncaster have vanquished any memories of their early season form which saw the Greater Manchester Club fail to win any of their opening five games.
For the Reds, they go into the Cup clash on the back of their first win in just over a month following Saturday’s 1-0 triumph at Rochdale, courtesy of Peter Ramage’s first-half header.
Previous to that, the Reds had suffered three defeats and a draw since beating York City in the first round of the JP Trophy back in early September.
Oldham narrowly edged out Bradford City in the same round to set up a first ever Football League Trophy clash between the two sides on Tuesday evening.
The last time Barnsley visited the newly named SportsDirect.com Park was in April 2006 when second half strikes from Chris Shuker, Stephen McPhail and Martin Devaney ensured a 25th success for the Reds against their Lancashire counterparts.
The Tykes’ promotion to the Championship at the end of the 2005-06 campaign ended the frequent meetings between the clubs, which include 30 Oldham victories and 22 stalemates.
Danny Wilson could hand new signing Ryan Williams his Barnsley debut after the winger joined on loan from Fulham last week.
The Australian youth international was an unused substitute against Rochdale on Saturday and could be joined in the Reds’ starting line-up by full-back Joe Dudgeon who is pushing for a recall.
Kane Hemmings will also be hoping for a starting berth at SportsDirect.com Park, as he looks to add to his wonder goal which defeated York in the last round of the JP Trophy.
Young defender George Smith returned to normal training this week following a fractured toe which has ruled him out for the last two months.
Oldham boss Lee Johnson will be without Club captain Adam Lockwood once again through injury but fellow defender George Elokobi should return after missing Saturday’s draw at Peterborough with a thigh injury.
Man in the Middle
Gary Sutton is the man in charge for Barnsley’s trip to Oldham, having officiated just four Reds’ games in the past. The last of that quartet ended in controversy as the Lincolnshire referee dismissed Barnsley ‘keeper Ben Alnwick and awarded Rochdale two penalties in the Reds’ 4-3 League Cup win at Spotland just over two years ago. Despite not showing any red cards this season, Sutton has brandished 29 yellows and awarded six spot kicks in just nine games.
Their Star Man
Since his arrival from Southampton in the summer, striker Jonathan Forte has netted seven times for Oldham making him one of League One’s most dangerous forwards. The former Rotherham and Sheffield United man struck a double on his Latics’ debut against Colchester and scored the only goal as his new side defeated Fleetwood Town last month. The Barbados international was released by Premier League Southampton in May following a three-year spell with the Club which also included loan moves to Preston, Notts County, Crawley and his former club Sheffield United.
Andy Ritchie masterminded the Reds’ promotion back to the Championship in 2006 following a four year absence from the second tier. The former Manchester United midfielder was appointed as Tykes’ manager in May 2005 following a successful spell as caretaker boss after the dismissal of Paul Hart. The 53-year-old had previously held the position of academy boss before becoming Hart’s assistant at Oakwell.
Ritchie was an Old Trafford youth product but he made his name at the formerly known Boundary Park where he made over 200 appearances for Oldham in two spells with the club, which included one of Latics’ most prosperous eras including a League Cup final, a second division title, two FA Cup semi-finals, as well as becoming one of the founder members of the Premier League. Once his playing days were over, Ritchie was named Latics’ manager, spending three years in the dugout before he was sacked in November 2001.
During his time with Barnsley, Ritchie will always be fondly remembered for guiding the Reds to promotion and in some style after defeating local rivals Huddersfield Town in the play-off semi-finals before beating the much fancied Swansea City on penalties at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Unfortunately for the former England U21 international, the Reds struggled to adjust to life back in the Championship and he left the Club in November 2006.
Going to the match?
Oldham play at SportsDirect.com Park, its full address is as follows:
Admission to SportsDirect.com Park is available by paying cash on the turnstiles only for this Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round tie.
No tickets are available to purchase from the Oakwell Box Office.
Over 65s: £5
Under 16s: £5