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Kilmarnock 0 Reds 1: Full Time

21 July 2015

Wilkinson Wins It

Kilmarnock 0
Reds 1 (Wilkinson 54)

Barnsley enjoyed a great workout at SPL outfit Kilmarnock and picked up another win to make it four unbeaten with three wins in pre-season so far.

Conor Wilkinson's second-half goal was the difference, as he headed home George Smith's cross in the 54th minute, to complete what was a good, solid display by Lee Johnson's side.

With less than 60 seconds on the watch, the Reds did manage a shot at goal although Wilkinson's effort was blocked before it could trouble Samson. Rothwell split the Killie defence open to feed in Watkins and he, in turn found Wilkinson, but the striker's left-footed effort was thwarted.

The Reds had another two efforts blocked as Watkins and Pearson tried their luck, before the hosts went close themselves with a header by Boyd at the far stick, but he couldn't control his effort to hit the target.

With 15 on the watch, Ben Pearson sent a brilliant ball in behind that Marley Watkins did well to control before testing Samson at his near post from inside the box.

Johnson's side were playing some nice, fluid football and having plenty of joy manipulating the ball into the final third. Wilkinson was almost in again on 20 minutes as he latched onto Watkins' through-ball but was unable to manoeuvre the ball onto his favoured left foot to get a shot away.

Former Tykes loanee Kallum Higginbotham fanned his chances from 25 yards with 33 minutes played, only for Davies to watch the strike sail wide.

On the stroke of 39 minutes, Mike Phenix blazed over the bar following another decent move by the Reds that started on the left. Smith's delivery was nodded into Rothwell's path by Watkins, but Phenix scooped over from 15 yards when latching onto Rothwell's square pass.

Adam Davies was called into action on 42 minutes as Josh Magennis' low drive seemed destined for the bottom corner but the Reds' 'keeper clawed the ball away before Roberts arrived to clear the danger.

Second half

The first effort of the second period fell far Killie and Kris Boyd. However, the frontman drilled over the bar from a good 30 yards after it opened in the final third.

On 52 minutes, Conor Wilkinson had a great chance from a set-piece in a dangerous area - 20 yards out. The forward curled the Reds' free-kick just over the bar before Alfie Mawson and George Maris were thrown into the mix - replacing Mike Phenix and Joe Rothwell.

Less than two minutes later, however, Wilkinson did find the net with a header from six yards. George Smith curled in an inch-perfect cross that Wilkinson managed to get his head to and divert low into the far corner.

Killie replied with a vicious effort through the busy Higginbotham, although the ball deviated wide of the far stick after the midfielder had drifted in from the left.

Four minutes past the hour saw the Reds almost double their lead from an in-swinging Smith corner. The full-back's delivery landed right on the foot of Watkins, although the strike zipped over the bar after hitting the turf.

Lee Ashcroft prevented a certain Reds second as he glanced away the danger from Josh Scowen's menacing run and cross on 72 minutes. Barnsley's play was slick and incisive, with Scowen and Pearson pulling the strings in midfield.

After 74 minutes, Ben Pearson split the defence open with another incredible pass that set Marley Watkins away. The forward went one-on-one with Samson and was denied by a spectacular low save when he tried to curl home from inside the area.

Adam Davies then made a brilliant save for his side when Robinson raced into the area. The Barnsley 'keeper got down low and denied a Killie leveller with his legs.

Substitute Greg Kiltie took advantage of the offside flag's failure to rise as he struck a venomous shot at goal from 22 yards. Thankfully, Davies was able to simply admire the drive as it whistled over the crossbar.

As the clock ticked down, the home side were presented with a great chance to level from a free-kick just outside the box. Kris Boyd thundered at goal only for Wilkinson to block at the wall before Alfie Mawson got a foot in to deny a rebounded attempt.



Teams

Samson, Smith (Barber 80), Hamill (O'Hara 75), Findlay, McKenzie (Carrick 66), Robinson, Boyd, Higginbotham, Westlake, Ashcroft, Magennis (Kiltie 66).
Subs: Macdonald, McCulloch, Hodge.

Davies, Bree, Roberts, Nyatanga, Smith (Templeton 80), Pearson, Rothwell (Maris 53), Scowen, Phenix (Mawson 53), Wilkinson, Watkins.
Subs: Dibble, Johnson, Heckingbottom.


Referee: Don Robertson
Assistant Referees: Stuart McMillan and Sean Carr

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