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Match Reports

U23S DRAW WITH BRISTOL CITY

26 April 2022

Our U23s played out a 1-1 draw with Bristol City on Monday afternoon at Oakwell in the Professional Development League.

Jordan Helliwell’s second half opener was cancelled out late on by the visitors, with Sam Bell finishing in the 87th minute, meaning the spoils were shared on a cloudy Barnsley afternoon.

Our youngsters came into the match off the back of a defeat in South Wales last time out, losing 2-0 to Cardiff City.

Bristol City were top of the South division coming into this one, beating Colchester United 3-0 away from home in their last encounter.

The Reds started well in the match, dictating the tempo of the affair and controlling possession early on.

The majority of the play was being played in City’s half, but the final pass was not quite there for the Reds to enable a clear sight of goal in the first half an hour.

Kareem Hassan-Smith came closest in the first half, after he danced into the six-yard-box in the 35th minute, but his effort was a tame one and was saved by Jose Casa Grande in the Robins goal.

It was Hassan-Smith who nearly got on the end of a pull back by Helliwell in the dying minutes of the first half, but an important toe away by a City defender in the box denied the wing-back a clear chance at goal.

HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0-0 Bristol City

Bobby Hassell looked to his bench the interval, introducing Charlie Hickingbottom and Theo Chapman in place of Amir Ariely and Keegan Hartley.

The affair became scrappier in the second period, with the changes and a series of fouls in the centre of the pitch disrupting the flow of the match.

In an attempt to freshen things up, Hassell turned to his bench for the final time in the match and introduced Mylan Benjamin for Harrison Nejman, who put in a tireless performance in the middle of the park.

It was nearly an immediate impact for Benjamin, as soon after his introduction he found himself in behind the Robins’ defence and squared the ball to the trialist in the centre. As he was just about to pull the trigger, Zak Bell made a goal-saving challenge to deny the trialist in the area in the 78th minute.

The game began to open up, with the visitors beginning to grow into the clash in the final minutes of the contest. A fantastic goal line clearance from a trialist denied Bristol City a late opener after Tommy Conway’s powerful strike from a tight angle in the 81st minute.

Barnsley then took the lead with just five minutes to play. After a sustained period of pressure in the Robins’ box, the ball eventually fell for Helliwell on the edge of the area who swept home into the corner with precision and gave our young Reds a late lead.

However, just two minutes later, City pegged the Reds back. A ball bounced through on goal, and Sam Bell was alert to run through on goal to finish from close range.

Neither side could find a late winner in what was an end-to-end finale, despite the visitors having a chance to convert a header from close range in the final seconds of the match, but the trialist goalkeeper held well.

FULL-TIME: Barnsley 1-1 Bristol City

REDS XI: Trialist (GK), Hassan-Smith, Trialist, Lancaster, Ariely (Hickingbottom), Hodgson, Nejman (T. Chapman), Helliwell, Bremang, Trialist, Hartley (Benjamin).

Unused: Flavell (GK), Dyer.


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