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8 May 2022



8 May 2022

Following our 4-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion on the final day of the Sky Bet Championship campaign, Martin Devaney feels the game changed on a bizarre penalty decision late in the first half.

Barnsley were defending well and had rarely been troubled before Clarke Oduor was penalised for a challenge on Jayson Molumby, much to the bemusement of everyone inside the Hawthorns.

Karlan Grant despatched the resulting spot-kick, and one soon became two as Adam Reach doubled the Baggies’ advantage moments later.

“I thought we set up really well and sort of stifled them a bit, and they were finding it hard to break us down,” discussed Devaney. “The structure was good – we were pleased with it – the work rate, but then they just get that decision for the penalty and, obviously, things changed from that moment.

“It was never a penalty and, when you come to West Brom with a young team, big moments like that change games, and it certainly did.”

The Reds looked bright after half-time, with Cauley Woodrow testing David Button, while Aiden Marsh was denied what looked to be a certain goal by an excellent piece of defending from Semi Ajayi.

But that lively start was soon extinguished as the hosts added another through Matt Clarke to effectively end the tie as a contest.

“The third goal, we gave the ball away, which is disappointing,” reflected Devaney. “We created a couple of chances, but we knew coming here with the team that we’ve got and the time we’ve had to work with them, chances were going to be limited because they’re inundated with Premier League and Championship quality.

“So, it’s a mixed bag, really. I’m pleased with certain individuals, but it’s a day where we’ve been relegated and it’s disappointing.”

Grant doubled his own personal tally and was denied a hat-trick by a fine penalty save from Jack Walton on what was a chastening afternoon for a young Barnsley side.

There were 90 minutes for Jordan Helliwell – on his full Reds debut – Marsh, Jasper Moon, Jason Sraha and Matty Wolfe, who Devaney believes will all learn from this relative baptism of fire.

“That experience will be great for them moving forward,” continued our interim head coach. “It’s one that we’ve had to do but, for that, they’ll gain a lot of confidence, they get to understand the physicality of the Championship, and that can only help them in their careers.

“They need to make sure they look after themselves in the off-season and come back fully prepared for a good pre-season.”

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