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Match Reports


12 August 2023

Match Reports


12 August 2023

Barnsley's first away trip of the season saw them pegged back in a 1-1 draw in Sky Bet League One.

Spoils were shared at the Memorial Stadium after Rovers sub Scott Sinclair struck late on to cancel out Nicky Cadden's exquisite first half strike.

There was an early nervous moment for the Reds as Jon Russell was robbed of possession around 30 yards from his own goal, but the pass from John Marquis into the box looking for Aaron Collins was overhit, allowing Barnsley to regroup.

Some intriguing passing in and out of midfield created lots of room as the Reds came forward, and after Liam Kitching and Barry Cotter combined nicely on the edge of the box, the former tried to curl an effort beyond the Gas 'keeper, Sam Cox. However, the shot was well held by the on-loan Brentford stopper.

But a few moments later, Barnsley did beat Cox. Again, intricate football in and around the box resulted in Max Watters moving the ball into the run of Cadden and the Scot took one touch before unleashing a powerful drive into the opposite top corner, from the angle, handing the Reds a deserved early lead.

We weren't without a few scares though, with Marquis somehow heading wide as he'd wrestled free at the back stick, six yards out, whilst Kacper Łopata had to make a superb recovery tackle to thwart Collins who looked certain to level the contest.

The first booking of the afternoon went to Cotter who was a little over-zealous in his attempts to contain the dangerous Collins, with the hosts now seriously on top in their search for a leveller.

But it was the Reds who finished the half the stronger, particularly in terms of chance creation, with Cox having to be sharp at his near post to prevent an own goal after Cotter's wicked low cross took a nick off a defender, and then Russell expertly carving open the Gas defence to slide Callum Styles in, but the midfielder's shot was well smothered by the Rovers goalkeeper.

HALF TIME: Bristol Rovers 0-1 Barnsley

The second 45 belonged to the home side, as Neill Collins' men struggled to fashion any attacking moments and Rovers upped the ante. 

On the hour-mark, Marquis saw an effort from 15 yards crash off the underside of the crossbar, before Russell saw yellow for hauling down ex-Red Luke Thomas who was a constant menace from the right flank cutting in.

It took until the final 10 minutes for the Gas to equalise. Veteran wide man Sinclair came off the bench to terrorise our right-hand side and after a Reds corner was cleared, Thomas played the former Celtic man in on the counter, with Sinclair curling his finish into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.

The hosts should have been ahead three minutes later but this time, Sinclair fluffed his lines, heading over from the edge of the six yard box.

And he had a third glorious chance when the ball fell to him but from point blank range, Liam Roberts repelled his effort before the Reds launched the ball out of play, hoping to stem the tide.

In the dying embers, Barnsley sub Oli Shaw nearly took advantage of a misplaced pass to find himself in on goal, but Cox came out quickly to smother the toe-poked effort and Bristol survived.

In the fifth minute of time added on, a Cotter long throw caused chaos, but the ball wouldn't sit for a Reds player and Rovers hacked the ball clear.

A point on our travels as we now prepare for back-to-back games at Oakwell next week.

FULL TIME: Bristol Rovers 1-1 Barnsley

Roberts, Cotter (Lofthouse), Williams, Łopata, Kitching, Cadden, Russell (Chapman), Kane, Styles, Cole (Shaw), Watters (Dallas).

Unused: Killip, Shepherd, Winfield.

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