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Match Reports


10 August 2022

Match Reports


10 August 2022

Our U21s were beaten 3-2 by Bristol City in their opening game of the 22/23 Professional Development League campaign on Tuesday afternoon.

Under the scorching sun shining over Barnsley, the young Reds fought incredibly hard despite Fabio Jalo being dismissed in the 30th minute, with the visitors’ numerical advantage eventually proving to be decisive.

The action on the pitch started straight from the whistle. City came into the game with a plan and executed it perfectly with what can only be described as surgical football. The away team kicked the game off and within seconds they had the ball in the back of the net. Perfect play down the left wing gave Tommy Backwell the opportunity to curl a beautiful strike into the top right corner, giving Jamie Searle no chance of saving it, and putting the Robins 1-0 up.

Despite that early setback, the young Reds came back into the game with a vengeance. In the ninth minute, a through ball from Jalo put Jack Butterfill through one on one against the goalkeeper. The number nine picked his spot, but his effort was matched by a wonder save from Harvey Wiles-Richards, whose fingertips just pushed the ball onto the post, denying Barnsley the leveller.

However, a minute later, the Reds found the equaliser with a stunning effort from the man who just saw his shot hit the woodwork. Excellent work down the left from Hayden Pickard resulted in Danny Benson receiving the ball and his pinpoint cross found Butterfill in the box. A moment of brilliance from the striker then took place as he astonishingly backheel flicked the ball into the top corner of the goal, bringing the score back level.

Following the goal, the game quietened down for a 10-minute spell, with neither side having any clear-cut chances until midway through the half as Fabio Jalo cut the ball back across the six-yard box for Joe Ackroyd, who just couldn’t connect with it following pressure from a Robins defender.

Barnsley were left ruing this missed opportunity minutes later when an unfortunate error from Searle resulted in the ‘keeper catching Seb Palmer Holden as he went to clear the ball, gifting the visitors a penalty and a yellow card for the man between the sticks. Palmer Holden made no mistake from the spot, hammering the visitors into the lead.

Tensions rose and exploded on the half hour mark. A foul from Butterfill on the away ‘keeper sparked a reaction, resulting in a clash between the players from both teams. In the midst of the melee, Jalo was show a straight red card. This forced a tactical reshuffle from Tom Harban, as wing-back Josh McKay was replaced by striker Josiah Dyer as our U21s reverted to four at the back.

A Barnsley free-kick shortly before the break was the final clear-cut chance of the half as Pickard whipped a ball to the back post, only for Kareem Hassan-Smith to be denied by another excellent save from Wiles-Richards.

HALF-TIME: Barnsley 1-2 Bristol City

The second half began in a much calmer manner than the first. Neither side tested the goalkeepers for the 20 minutes following the restart. Substitutions from Barnsley saw Harrison Nejman and Joe Ackroyd make way for Jean Claude Makiessi and Jonathan Bland, a tactical decision that ended up directly affecting the game soon after.

Freshly brought on for his U21s debut, Makiessi grabbed his first assist for the team in the 66th minute. Another bout of tenacious play from Pickard led to the left back giving the ball to Makiessi, whose cross was met at the back post by Hassan-Smith to smash home. The right back’s marauding run into the box meant he was completely unmarked and in the right position to make the score 2-2.

Sadly, the hard work put in by the ten-man Reds was undone in 10 minutes from time. Some nice passing play down the visitors’ left resulted in a Josh Owers cross being headed in by Palmer Holden, giving the City striker his second goal of the game and what proved to be the winner.

It was cruel on the young Reds, who battled hard to salvage something from the encounter, but ultimately came up just short.

FULL-TIME: Barnsley 2-3 Bristol City


REDS XI: Searle (GK), McKay, Pickard, Ariely, Hassan-Smith, D Benson, Ackroyd, Nejman, Butterfill, Hartley, Jalo.

Subs: Trialist (GK), Joof, Makiessi, Bland, Dyer.

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