Barnsley picked up their first point of the Sky Bet Championship season with a 0-0 draw at home to Coventry City.
In a game with limited opportunities, the Reds perhaps just shaded it but were unable to break down a resilient visiting backline.
The first half was a tight affair, with few clear-cut chances for either side. Similar tactics from both teams saw a great deal of aggressive pressing, with both sides trying to play out from the back.
A bright start from the hosts resulted in a third minute free kick on the edge of the Coventry box, but the shot from Callum Styles was straightforward for the keeper. The Reds’ centre halves faced some early pressure from City, with Michael Sollbauer and Mads Andersen dealing well with a series of crosses from the flanks.
Good early pressing from the Barnsley front line almost yielded the opening goal, as pressure from Cauley Woodrow sent Jordan Williams clear down the left flank. His pull back found Luke Thomas, but the low shot went narrowly wide of the right-hand post.
Shortly after, the visitors were millimetres from taking the lead. A whipped corner kick found the head of Leo Ostigard, whose header crashed away off the bar. Fortunately for the Reds, none of his teammates could turn the loose home, with the rebound ending up high in the top tier.
Midway through the first half, a wonderful through ball from Thomas, so often the Reds’ creative spark, was inches from finding Kilian Ludewig as he threatened to burst clear on goal.
Barnsley’s defensive line looked strong throughout the first period, with a crucial block from Andersen preventing a strong shot testing Jack Walton.
Just before half time, a Barnsley corner saw a strong coming together between Ostigard and Andersen, with the both ending up in the advertising boards in challenging for the ball. Fortunately, both were unscathed and able to continue.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-0 Coventry City
The second half saw Barnsley create the majority of openings, with the Sky Blues sitting deep and looking to counter-attack. A switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation allowed Conor Chaplin and substitute Dominik Frieser to exploit space out wide, with fellow replacement Elliot Simoes attacking the box with late midfield runs.
A series of Coventry corners almost saw the away side take the lead, with successive headers passing narrowly wide of the Barnsley net. On 48 minutes, excellent work from Chaplin on the right wing saw a floated cross aimed at Frieser. However, the ball was always a little too high for the Austrian substitute, whose effort skewed wide.
Skipper Alex Mowatt was determined to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, picking the ball up in midfield and driving purposefully towards goal. Having nutmegged a Coventry defender, the Reds’ captain curled an effort just wide. Barnsley continued to create openings, with more good play by Chaplin freeing Woodrow, but the first-time effort was again over the bar.
Barnsley’s chance creation was certainly improved in the second half, as Simoes and Woodrow saw successive shots whisk narrowly wide of the away side’s goal. A deft touch by Patrick Schmidt almost set up Woodrow to win it at the death, with the striker’s shot well saved by the goalkeeper.
FULL-TIME: Barnsley 0-0 Coventry City
Walton, Andersen, Helik (Frieser), Sollbauer, Ludewig, Mowatt, Styles, Williams, Thomas (Simoes), Chaplin (Schmidt), Woodrow.
Unused: Collins, Adeboyejo, Oduor, Ritzmaier.