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Match Reports

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

5 August 2023

Match Reports

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

5 August 2023

Barnsley made the perfect start to the new season with an emphatic 7-0 victory over Port Vale on Saturday afternoon.

Devante Cole set Oakwell alight with a blistering hat-trick, while Dan Jones’ own goal was added to by Liam Kitching, Jon Russell and Andy Dallas in what was a tremendous performance in Neill Collins’ first game at the helm.

For large parts of the opening exchanges, however, it appeared as though this would be a difficult assignment, with the visitors applying plenty of pressure on our goal but not particularly carving out a meaningful opportunity.

The pace of Gavin Massey threatened to cause the Reds’ backline problems, but debutant Kacper Łopata looked assured in his duties featuring at this level for the first time in his career.

Perhaps against the run of play, we made the breakthrough as Corey O’Keeffe intercepted a loose pass and surged down the right flank before firing an inch perfect ball into the path of Cole, who confidently slotted home from close range in front of a joyous Ponty End.

Moments later, Vale thought they had found an equaliser, only for Liam Roberts to claw Ellis Harrison’s header away with a stunning reflex save at his near post.

The Staffordshire outfit continued to make forays forward, but it was Barnsley who netted the all-important second when Nicky Cadden’s wonderful low cross was bundled into his own goal by Jones.

HALF-TIME: Barnsley 2-0 Port Vale

If it had been a sluggish start to the first half, the second was anything but as we came flying out of the blocks and extended our lead just three minutes after the restart.

Similar to the opening goal, this time Barry Cotter – introduced for the injured O’Keeffe – whipped a magnificent cross in for Cole to superbly slam into the roof of the net to bag his second of the afternoon.

Within a matter of moments, the Reds had a fourth following a blistering counter-attack spearheaded by Cole, who galloped clear of the last man and squirmed a shot under Connor Ripley that bobbled over the line, with Cadden unselfishly refusing to tap in as our number 44 claimed a first professional hat-trick.

It continued to get better as Kitching got in on the act when he was picked out by Herbie Kane’s exceptional through ball before chesting it down and rifling an unstoppable half-volley into the top corner to make it 5-0.

Shortly after, Russell climbed highest to power home Cadden’s fabulous free-kick, finding the bottom corner with unerring accuracy to score his first goal in Barnsley colours since arriving at Oakwell back in January.

With three points well and truly secured, Collins handed debuts to Dallas and Jack Shepherd, while academy graduate Theo Chapman made his first league appearance for the club.

Six minutes into additional time, it was seventh heaven for the Reds as Cotter’s fantastic cross from deep was met by a flying Dallas, who nearly took the pegs out with a thunderous diving header.

It was the icing on the cake for what was a fine display – add to that a clean sheet, too. Opening days don’t get much better than that, do they?

Barnsley are back, and with a bang!

FULL-TIME: Barnsley 7-0 Port Vale

 

REDS XI: Roberts (GK), O’Keeffe (Cotter, 33), Williams, Łopata, Kitching (C) (Shepherd, 75), Cadden, Kane, Russell (Chapman, 75), Styles, Watters (Shaw, 61), Cole (Dallas, 75).

Not used: Killip (GK), Winfield.

PORT VALE: Ripley (GK), Cass, Jones, Sang (Plant, 65), Smith (C), Clark (Chislett, 46), Garrity, Harrison (Iacovitti, 71), Ojo, Grant (Arblaster, 71), Massey (Thomas, 56).

Not used: Leutwiler, Plant, Wilson.


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