Reds v Oldham Athletic
Tuesday 3rd February, 2015
Danny Wilson’s side will look to extend their unbeaten home league run to five games when they host Oldham on Tuesday night. You can watch his pre-match press conference on Barnsley Player here.
The Reds’ 2-1 success against Port Vale on Saturday earned the Club a third consecutive League One victory at Oakwell and after picking up 14 points from the last 21 available in front of their own faithful, Wilson’s men will be eager to take full advantage of familiar surroundings once again.
Another Oakwell triumph would edge the Reds further away from the relegation zone, after Ben Pearson’s second-half winner against the Valiants saw them climb up to 17th place and four points above the drop zone.
Tuesday night’s visitors Oldham also enjoyed a winning weekend after sweeping aside Notts County 3-0 at SportsDirect.com Park.
The win saw Lee Johnson’s outfit rise to 10th place and only two points outside the play-off places following their second success in three games after beating Fleetwood 2-0 in mid-January.
Prior to the Club’s current form, Latics suffered three straight defeats which saw them drop into mid-table despite a run of just one l0ss in 15 games between August and December which also included seven wins.
A reformed team of late however, Latics will provide tough opposition for the Reds and after winning two of their last four away games Wilson’s men will be prepared for a difficult evening.
Barnsley will seek to continue their impressive Oakwell form against Oldham when Latics cross the Pennines on Tuesday night.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last nine home games in this fixture; including five draws and four wins, with the most recent of those successes coming back in October 2005 when a brace from Chris Shuker, as well as goals from Daniel Nardiello and Martin Devaney secured a handsome victory for Andy Ritchie’s side.
Later in that 2005-06 campaign the Reds completed a league double over Oldham with a 3-0 win at the formerly known Boundary Park; which was the last meeting between the two Clubs until earlier this season when they were drawn together for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
In early October, Danny Wilson’s men fought back from two goals down to take the cup tie to penalties but despite that effort, shoot-out misses from Sam Winnall and Kane Hemmings meant it was Lee Johnson’s outfit that progressed to the quarter-finals at the Reds’ expense.
Sam Winnall could make his first start in over two months following a cameo appearance against Port Vale on Saturday.
The striker – who has been missing with a hamstring injury – was introduced as an 83rd minute substitute against the Valiants and if deemed fit enough, the former Scunthorpe man could be included in Danny Wilson’s starting XI for the first time since the 29th November.
Another man who will be pushing for a starting berth at Oakwell is midfielder Josh Scowen, who has made two appearances from the bench since his move from Wycombe last month, while in defence young full-back Mason Holgate serves the third and final game of his three-match ban.
For visitors Oldham, top goal scorer Jonathon Forte looks set to make his first start in four games after suffering with a groin injury in recent weeks.
The striker came off the bench to bag in Latics’ 3-0 win against Notts County on Saturday and could be joined in the Oldham starting line-up by goalkeeper Jake Kean who joined the Club on loan from Blackburn Rovers last week.
One familiar face in the travelling Oldham party will be midfielder Jacob Mellis, who joined Latics on loan from Blackpool last month.
The former Chelsea man scored 10 goals during two spells with the Reds before departing Oakwell in the summer to sign a one-year deal at Bloomfield Road where he has so far featured 14 times.
Man in the Middle
Staffordshire-based official Stephen Martin will take charge of his 23rd game of the season at Oakwell on Tuesday night.
So far the referee has dished out 66 yellow cards and two reds, both of which came in the same game back in early November when Preston visited non-league outfit Havant & Waterlooville in the FA Cup.
Both Brian Stock and Warren Cummings were given their marching orders on an unpleasant afternoon for the minnows in which on-loan Aston Villa forward Callum Robinson struck a hat-trick for North End.
Martin is no stranger to the Reds; having taken charge of two Barnsley games last season. In August 2013, the referee kept his cards in his pocket but a 90th minute own goal from Scott Golbourne gifted Blackpool a 1-0 win in Lancashire.
In March however, the Reds enjoyed a much better afternoon in Martin’s company; defeating Reading 3-1 at the Madejski Stadium after goals from Stephen Dawson, Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Dale Jennings.
Tuesday’s visitors Oldham have also experienced a mixed set of results under the officiating of Martin; beating Stevenage 2-1 in February 2013, as well as a goalless draw against Notts County in September and a 3-1 home loss against Preston which also saw Latics’ striker Jonson Clarke-Harris dismissed.
Their Star Man
Barbados international forward Jonathon Forte leads the goal scoring charts for Tuesday night’s visitors Oldham; having notched 14 times in 24 appearances this season following his summer switch from Southampton.
When the Reds and Latics met in the Football League Trophy back in October the 28-year-old had seven goals to his name and despite not featuring in that game, the former Scunthorpe man has gone onto score another seven times as well as claiming four assists; two of which came in the Club’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat against Preston in late November.
The attacker – who returned from a groin injury on Saturday after missing Oldham’s last two games - grabbed a brace in Latics’ 4-1 win against Coventry back in October, which came during an impressive spell in which Forte hit four goals in three games including strikes against both Chesterfield and Bradford.
Despite that, the ex-England youth international’s free scoring spell has dried up of late; with his strike in Oldham’s 3-0 win against Notts County on Saturday his first in five games.
Leeds-born forward Andy Liddell began his career with the Reds; making his Barnsley debut in 1992 against Portsmouth. After several seasons finding his feet as a professional footballer the forward scored eight times including a brace against Reading during the 1996-97 season as he helped the Reds win promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history.
Liddell – who was capped for the Scotland U21 side during his time with Barnsley – managed just one goal in the Premier League however, as he netted in a 3-2 home loss against rivals Leeds. After a tough maiden season in English football’s third tier the Reds were relegated back to division one, with Liddell’s brightest moment arriving when he set up the Club’s winner against Liverpool at Anfield in November 1997.
The forward’s time at Oakwell would not last much longer however, and after failing to feature regularly at the start of the 1998-99 season he moved to Wigan, where he would go onto notch 10 times in his first campaign with the Club. Following six years with Latics, Liddell spent a season back in South Yorkshire with Sheffield United before joining Oldham in June 2005 at the age of 32.
Winners against Bournemouth, Bristol City and Hartlepool as well as braces against both Swindon and Scunthorpe meant the striker ended his first season at the newly-named SportsDirect.com Park with 11 goals to his name. The former Barnsley man reached the same goal haul during his second season with the Club as Oldham reached the League One play-off semi-finals where they lost on aggregate to Blackpool. Liddell added three more to his Latics tally in the 2007-08 season after featuring only 21 times but in what would ultimately be his final campaign with the Club the frontman notched eight times in the following season including an opening day double against Millwall.
After scoring 33 goals in 144 appearances for Oldham, Liddell departed the Club in 2009 and after a brief stay at non-league Bradford Park Avenue he spent his last season as a footballer back in South Yorkshire at Rotherham, where he made only five appearances before announcing his retirement in June 2010.