Barnsley will be looking to secure their 11thleague win in 13games when they travel to Walsall this weekend.
Tuesday night’s 2-0 home success against Coventry – which was the Club’s sixth in a row at Oakwell – moved the Reds into seventh place, with only goal difference separating them and a play-off spot.
Paul Heckingbottom’s side are also now unbeaten in their last four league outings following last month’s defeat at Gillingham and they go to the Banks’s Stadium searching for a seventh away triumph in 10 matches.
Hosts Walsall meanwhile will be hoping to pick up their first win in six games after a slight dip in form in recent weeks.
Sean O’Driscoll’s side had won seven out of 10 League One games before their current run which has seen them lose two and draw three of their last five matches.
Two of those three draws have come in the Saddlers’ most recent league outings, with the Club’s games against Burton Albion and then Scunthorpe both ending goalless.
The latter of those two results came on Tuesday night which extended Walsall’s winless home run to five games and despite losing three of those five games at the Banks’s Stadium they remain in third place and only four points outside the automatic promotion places.
Barnsley will be searching for just their second win in six visits to Walsall when they travel to the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Apart from the Reds’ 2-1 success there in May 2006, the Club have lost three and drawn one of their last five meetings with the Saddlers on their home turf.
The most recent of those defeats came last season when a Jordan Cook brace and a first-half effort from Tom Bradshaw secured a 3-1 win for the West Midlands-based outfit.
The Reds did get their revenge in March of last season however, with a double from George Waring helping Lee Johnson’s side on their way to a 3-0 triumph.
Despite that, it was the Saddlers who recorded a 16thvictory in this fixture earlier this campaign, after former Tyke Milan Lalkovic struck in a 2-0 success for Walsall at Oakwell in October.
That result leaves the Reds trailing Saturday’s hosts by one victory in this clash but with the Club eager to bounce back from that defeat, it has the potential to be an exciting affair this weekend.
The Reds will have to check on the fitness of Sam Winnall, Lloyd Isgrove and James Bree ahead of the Club’s trip to Walsall.
The trio of players were taken off during Tuesday night’s win against Coventry, with Josh Scowen, Harry Chapman and George Smith their replacements.
midfield. Callum Connolly could well be deployed at full-back, but the versatile Everton loanee is also capable of playing in central-defence or even signingNew
Following those changes the Reds reverted to a 4-3-3 formation and caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom may be tempted to go with that new look shape once again if Winnall, Isgrove and Bree fail to recover.
Elsewhere Adam Hammill sits out the final match of his three-game ban, while Ryan Williams (groin) and Aidy White (ankle) remain on the sidelines.
Hosts Walsall could field the same side for the third game running as they seek an end to their five-game winless run.
That would see top goal scorer Tom Bradshaw and Romaine Sawyers leading the Saddlers attack once again, while Adam Chambers and former Tyke Milan Lalkovic should provide the support from out wide.
If boss Sean O’Driscoll does opt to make changes however, young full-back Rico Henry – who is pushing to make his first start since early February – and forward Jordan Cook are both chomping at the bit to be included.
Man in the Middle
Barnsley will be looking for their first win in the company of referee Gavin Ward this weekend. In their previous four meetings with the Surrey-based official, the Reds have lost two and drawn two, with both of their stalemates coming last season against Yeovil and then Leyton Orient.
The Club’s game against Orient may have ended goalless but the Barnsley supporters will remember the clash after former winger and now Walsall man Milan Lalkovic was sent off for a two-footed tackle on Nathan Clarke.
That game was the Reds fourth without success when Ward has been the man in the middle but Saturday’s hosts Walsall have tasted victory three times in his company; the most recent of which came on Boxing Day when they edged past Millwall 1-0 at the Den.
Despite that win and their trio of triumphs when Ward has been in charge, it has not been plain sailing for Walsall, with the Saddlers also losing five of their eight meetings with the Surrey official. Their last defeat in his company came in November last season when the West Midlands-based side went down 1-0 at Shrewsbury in a game in which they also saw midfielder Adam Chambers dismissed.
That red card was one of nine shown by Ward last season but so far this term he has brandished just two, as well as 92 yellows in 25 games.
Their Star Man
Welsh forward Tom Bradshaw may only be in his second season at the Banks’s Stadium but the former Aberystwyth man already has 35 goals to his name in 73 games. An impressive 20 of them came in his first campaign with the Club last time out and the 23-year-old has continued that fine form into this season; bagging 15 times in 36 appearances so far.
The forward – who joined Walsall from Shrewsbury during the summer of 2014 – began the campaign in some style; netting a hat-trick against Championship side Nottingham Forest in a 4-3 League Cup triumph for the Saddlers. Those goals were three of nine that Bradshaw scored in his first 15 outings this season including efforts in wins against Coventry and Burton Albion.
Despite then going five games without a goal he returned to form by finding the back of the net in three consecutive games during November against Sheffield United, Swindon and Bradford.
Since those strikes the Shrewsbury-born forward has netted only three times in 13 games but with the Walsall no.9 eager to beat his tally from last season and with the Saddlers boasting the creative talents of Anthony Forde and Romaine Sawyers – who have 13 assists between them this term - any signs of complacency from the Barnsley defence are almost certain to be punished by one of League One’s most clinical front men.
In February 2011 Barnsley completed the signing of former Manchester United defender Paul McShane on a two-month loan deal from Hull City. The Republic of Ireland international made his Reds debut in a 1-0 loss at Portsmouth before playing the full 90 minutes in the Club’s thrilling 3-3 draw at Elland Road in which Kieran Trippier hit a late equaliser for the Tykes.
The Irishman then made his Oakwell bow in a 2-0 home defeat against Norwich which came just a week before he helped his temporary employers keep the one and only clean sheet during his short stay with the Club against Derby County.
McShane did help the Reds record two victories however, with the second of those witnessing the defender’s solitary goal for the Club. It came against Bristol City in April 2011 and it was an important one, with the current Reading man heading in Jacob Butterfield’s cross to put the Reds 4-1 ahead and ultimately ending the tie which ended 4-2.
Just seven days after that goal scoring performance and McShane’s spell with the Reds would come to an end in disappointing fashion. The 30-year-old was dismissed for violent conduct 20 minutes from time but despite that the Reds hung on to earn a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough.
Following that loan spell at Oakwell, McShane had a similar one at Crystal Palace in 2012, which was the fifth loan move of his career; the first of which came at Walsall. The versatile defender joined the Saddlers in December 2004 from Manchester United; making four appearances for the Club as he searched for some Football League experience.
Despite losing three of his four games at the Banks’s Stadium, the well-travelled defender – who also counts Brighton, West Brom and Sunderland amongst his career Clubs to date – did score on his Saddlers debut but unfortunately for Walsall, McShane’s far-post header proved only a consolation in their 3-2 defeat at Hillsborough.
Walsall’s last five at home: (LDLLD)
Walsall 0-3 Rochdale
Walsall 1-1 Blackpool
Walsall 0-3 Millwall
Walsall 1-2 Wigan Athletic
Walsall 0-0 Scunthorpe United
Barnsley’s last five away from home: (WWLDW)
Swindon Town 0-1 Barnsley
Fleetwood Town 1-1 Barnsley (Barnsley won on pens; JPT)
Gillingham 2-1 Barnsley
Bury 0-0 Barnsley
Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Barnsley
Going to the match?
Walsall plays at the Banks’s Stadium, its address is as follows:
How to get there
Leave the M6 at junction 9 and follow the A461 towards Walsall. At the traffic lights turn right onto the A4148 (Wallows Lane/Broadway West - sign-posted Banks's Stadium). At the next set of traffic lights (1/3 mile) turn right onto Bescot Crescent, the stadium is 1/4 mile along the road on the left hand side. From the M6:
From the Arboretum island take the Broadway North exit and follow the Ring Road to the traffic signals by the Fullbrook Pub. At the traffic lights go straight ahead. At the next set of traffic lights by Broadwalk Retail Park turn left, Banks's Stadium is 1/4 mile along the road on the left hand side. We are situated approximately 3.5km south of Walsall Town Centre.From Walsall town centre:
For Sat Navs please use postcode WS1 4SA
A car park is available at Banks's Stadium, the cost is £4 per vehicle. We recommend people wishing to park on the stadium site (Green Zone) arrive well in advance of the match kick-off time.
Parking is not permitted on the nearby retail park for people attending the match. The club ask that supporters are considerate when parking their vehicles, minimising inconvenience to local residents. We encourage supporters to travel to the game by car to share their journey with friends and family to reduce the number of vehicles arriving at the stadium, allowing everyone to have an easier journey home from the ground.
Banks's Stadium is a two-minute walk from Bescot Rail Station. Trains from Walsall take three minutes to the ground and on matchdays all services stop at the Banks's Stadium.
Banks's Stadium is well served by buses. All buses leave from the Bradford Place Bus Station. Service numbers 401E (operated by Diamond) and 45 run every 15 minutes and stop on Bescot Crescent outside the ground (the 45 now runs every hour after 9.00pm). The 4 service runs every eight minutes and stops on West Bromwich Road a short walk from the ground.
Tickets for our upcoming away game against Walsall are now on general sale from the Reds Superstore / Box Office. We have been given an initial allocation of 941 tickets which are priced as follows:
£14.50Senior Over 60:
£14.50Juvenile Under 18:
. The family ticket and free under 12 tickets are not available from Oakwell.01922 651416. They also offer a free juvenile under 12 ticket. Both of these tickets are only available directly from the Walsall ticket office by calling £21.50Walsall also offer a Family Ticket which consist of one adult and one juvenile under 18 ticket for
Online sales for this fixture will close at 3pm Tuesday 1st March. Tickets will then remain on sale from the Reds Superstore/Box Office until 4pm on Friday 4th March, subject to availability.