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Match Reports

REPORT: WBA 2-2 Barnsley

Reds clawed back at the Hawthorns in thrilling encounter

22 October 2019

Barnsley had to settle for a point in their midweek Sky Bet Championship clash with the league leaders in a game of two halves.

The Baggies' Matheus Pereira headed home an 81st minute equaliser here in the West Midlands to earn the hosts a point with the Reds losing a two-goal lead given them to in the first half by leading scorer, Cauley Woodrow.

With just one change to his starting lineup, caretaker boss Adam Murray set up his side in the same manner that saw Barnsley to a point against Swansea City at Oakwell last weekend. The player missing out - through injury - being Aapo Halme with fellow central defender Mads Andersen taking his place in the back three.

The game began with what proved to be the theme for the evening with the home side dominating possession but without creating much of an opening. The only real moment to remark upon being Brad Collins blocking a Charlie Austin ball with his feet in the 8th minute of the match.

Barnsley went ahead when on 18 minutes a sliding Kenny Dougall intercepted a ball in midfield and this released wing-back Dimi Cavaré wide right who bombed beyond his marker to put over a sublime cross that Woodrow powered home with his head from just inside the six-yard box. It was a stunning move that left the home crowd silenced.

A shell-shocked Albion were in disarray less than 10 minutes later when a flowing Reds move from front-to-back saw Alex Mowatt move inside from the left and feed Woodrow central, 20-yards from goal; the striker got the ball out of his feet and hit a powerful, curling effort with his weaker left boot that left WBA 'keeper Sam Johnstone with no chance and saw the division's bottom side take a two-goal lead against the table-toppers.

There was a yellow card shown to Jacob Brown but shortly afterwards it was Brown this time felled. A reckless lunge from Baggies skipper Jake Livermore scything down the Reds wing-back but a very busy Darrem Bond, the official on the night elected not to book the former England midfielder.

Within a minute another card did arrive when Mads Andersen was cautioned for a challenge from behind on WBA forward Grady Diangana. Next in the notebook? Darnell Furlong for the hosts as the game became scrappy which was probably to the Reds' liking as we edged towards the half time break.

And just before the interval Romaine Sawyers could have counted himself lucky to only receive a yellow when he flew into Conor Chaplin on halfway.

HALF TIME: WBA 0-2 REDS

Slaven Bilíc made a double change as the players returned for the second half with Filip Krovinovic and Conor Townsend replacing Kyle Edwards and Nathan Ferguson.

It was the Reds who had the early chances as first Chaplin tried a snapshot volley from the edge of the area which whistled wide after another flowing break. Then, more good football saw Cavaré once more raid down the raid and sit up a cross for Woodrow to glance a header onto the crossbar which fell for Mowatt on his left boot but the captain's strike flew a yard wide at pace.

There was another booking for the Reds when Dougall was adjudged to have taken out Pereira in midfield and as we went past the hour-mark the league leaders began to pen the Reds in and swarm forward looking for a goal to get them back into the contest.

Some nervy moments were seen off before an in-swinging Pereira corner kick came off Bambo Diaby at the near post which beat Collins and the goal WBA craved had arrived and breathed new life into the hosts who were all over the Reds now.

Dougall was replaced by Mallik Wilks, back from suspension with 70 minutes on the clock.

Cavaré joined the list of players booked when after he nipped in ahead of Pereira who dragged him back, referee Bond showed him the yellow card. Reds stopper Collins was finally booked soon after when Bond called him up for incessant time-wasting.

There were shots over the bar by both Charlie Austin and sub Hal Robson-Kanu as we entered the final minutes but there was no keeping out the Albion equaliser as Townsend's left-wing cross from deep caught out the Barnsley backline and in sneaked Pereira to head home from 10 yards despite Collins' best efforts to claw it away.

It was gutting for the Reds but that sparked a frenetic ending to the game with both sides going for what would have been the winner.

There was still time for all of Mowatt, Chaplin and McGeehan to enter the ref's congested notepad with yellow cards and not to be missed out, Townsend for West Brom joined them when he hauled down Cavaré who was clear on halfway in the 95th minute.

A fantastic point on the face of it, with the Reds unbeaten in their two games under Murray so far, but hard to accept that it wasn't three after being 2-0 ahead.

FULL TIME: WBA 2-2 REDS

Collins, Cavaré, Andersen, Sibbick, Diaby, Brown, Mowatt, Dougall (Wilks), McGeehan, Woodrow (Williams), Chaplin.

Unused: Walton, Bähre, Thomas, Oduor, Simoes.


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