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REPORT: Barnsley 1-1 West Brom

The good form continues at Oakwell

26 December 2019

The Reds came from behind to earn a well-deserved point against league leaders West Bromwich Albion at Oakwell on Boxing Day.

Centre half Aapo Halme notched his third goal of the season in the 90th minute to make it four consecutive games unbeaten for Gerhard Struber in the Sky Bet Championship.

Head Coach, Struber made one change to the starting eleven which beat Millwall on Saturday, as Luke Thomas replaced Mike Bähre in midfield.

The Reds were back on home soil following the festivities, looking to carry on their fine form over the Christmas period. Struber searched for his third successive win, in a run of games which has seen his side pick up a total of seven points in four matches.

As for the visitors, they came to Oakwell, having lost only once on the road this season, against Leeds United back in October. However, the Baggies have had a difficult time playing Barnsley in recent years and had not previously beaten them since September 2007.

The Reds started with a bang at The Hawthorns in the reverse fixture a few months ago and looked to be on it from the first whistle once again.

Alex Mowatt had the first chance of the game within the opening minute, as he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area. The midfielder took a touch out of his feet, before he unleashed a left-footed strike which went inches over the crossbar.

However, it didn’t take West Brom long to get into their stride either. Filip Krovinović gathered possession 30-yards from goal, before he lined up a shot and fired into the roof of the net to put the Baggies ahead after five minutes.

Cauley Woodrow immediately looked to respond for Barnsley, as he smartly turned his marker before he stung the palms of Sam Johnstone with a strong effort from distance.

The Reds then came even closer to an equaliser when Conor Chaplin squared for strike partner Woodrow in the area, but as he took a first-time shot, Johnstone raced off his line to make a superb block with his body.

22 minutes in, Jacob Brown tested Johnstone’s ability once again. The striker volleyed towards goal, but the goalkeeper was up to the task and dived to his right to claw the ball away.

Five minutes later, Mads Andersen rose highest from a corner, only to be denied by the angle of the woodwork.

With less than a few minutes to go before the end of the first half, Charlie Austin got in behind the Reds backline and looked to dink the ball over Sami Radlinger, but the goalkeeper was out quickly and closed down the effort well.

The fourth official signalled for an additional one minute to be played, leaving just enough time for Barnsley to muster one last opportunity before the break.

Chaplin received a pass inside the area, before shooting, however, Johnstone was there again to save down low in his left corner.

Half-time: Barnsley 0-1 West Brom

As the second half began, Thomas strode forwards from an attacking midfield position. He cut inside onto his left-foot and curled an effort towards the bottom left corner, but Johnstone flew to his right and tipped the ball around the post.

Semi Ajayi then had a chance from a corner for West Brom, but as the low cross came in, his shot was fired over the bar.

Substitute Kenneth Zohore soon got into the game and saw his first effort go wide of the target, before Mowatt had a free kick for Barnsley drop just over the mark.

With 87 minutes played, a mad scramble in the area almost led to a Barnsley goal. Chaplin raced down the right flank before flashing a ball across the face of the box, but as Mowatt looked to get on the end of it, Ajayi was able to stab clear.

The Reds continued to apply the pressure and were finally rewarded with an equaliser in the 90th minute courtesy of Aapo Halme. The defensive midfielder turned home Chaplin’s cross for his third of the season.

Four minutes were added on, but neither side could find a winner in the final exchanges.

Full-time: Barnsley 1-1 West Brom

 

Reds XI: Radlinger, J. Williams, Diaby, Andersen, Brown (Schmidt, 71), Woodrow, Chaplin, Thomas, Oduor, Halme, Mowatt (C) (Bähre, 90).
Substitutes not used: Collins, B. Williams, Dougall, Sibbick, Simoes.

West Brom XI: Johnstone, Furlong, Gibbs (Townsend, 89), Robson-Kanu, Ajayi, Krovinović, Livermore (C), Pereira, Austin (Zohore, 62), Sawyers, Hegazi.
Substitutes not used: Bond, Phillips, Barry, Edwards, O’Shea.


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