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Match Reports


3 February 2024

Match Reports


3 February 2024

Barnsley had to settle for a point at the Toughsheet Community Stadium in a cracking Sky Bet League One encounter.

A 17th goal of the campaign for Devante Cole was cancelled out by Zac Ashworth in the second half to ensure the spoils were shared between these two promotion hopefuls in Greater Manchester this afternoon.

It was a keenly-contested affair with plenty of tackles going in and a fair amount of stoppages with referee, Lee Doughty frequently blowing his whistle in his attempts to try and control proceedings. 

Indeed, Maël de Gevigney saw his name enter Doughty's notebook when he scythed down the galloping Josh Dacres-Cogley on the Bolton right. From the resultant free-kick, whipped in by Josh Sheehan towards the back post, Eoin Toal could only nod wide, unopposed from six yards out.

The hosts would regret that missed opportunity when just two minutes later the Reds took an early lead. A trademark long throw from Barry Cotter near the byline was flicked on by Adam Phillips towards the front post and as the ball slid across the six yard box, there was Cole to tap in and send the travelling fans into raptures.

Bolton soon saw Paris Maghoma booked when he recklessly upended Cotter who was surging forward down the right flank, before Barnsley had a huge opportunity to double their lead through Phillips. 

After Luca Connell had won the ball high up, 50 yards from goal, the ball found John McAtee who timed his through-ball to perfection in releasing Phillips into the box, but Adam's shot was poor, dragging the effort wide as Trotters' 'keeper Nathan Baxter came to meet him.

There was still time for another booking, on this occasion for Connell as he was adjudged to have fouled Sheehan who had fallen to the ground theatrically for the third time in the half. 

HALF TIME: Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Barnsley

Within 90 seconds of the restart, Reds skipper, Jordan Williams became the latest player to be shown a yellow card after he'd pulled his man back on halfway. But for the next 20 or so minutes, it was all Barnsley as they looked to add a second goal to their tally.

There was a moment of controversy when McAtee looked to be through on goal only to be felled by a defender right on the edge of the box. The referee was nonplussed, allowing Bolton to clear.

The hosts' goalkeeper, Baxter was then down smartly to his left to thwart Cole who looked destined to score havong been played in perfectly by Phillips. 

Phillips himself was then denied by Baxter when he tried a long-range drive only for the stopper to save brilliantly low down with the ball heading inside his post.

Possibly the most glaring opportunity would fall for McAtee when Cole superbly slotted him in, four yards out with the goal at his mercy. But the Luton-loanee stabbed his effort weakly at Baxter and Bolton survived once again.

As is often the case in this game, those missed chances would come back to haunt Barnsley. When on 64 minutes, substitute Aaron Collins' deep cross from the right was powered home by Ashworth for the equaliser.

There were sub appearances for Corey O'Keeffe and another debutant in Conor Grant as Neill Collins looked to find a reaction. 

With just over 10 minutes to play, Williams glided beyond a defender and let fly from the edge of the box, seeing his shot deflect off a defender to take the ball inches wide of goal.

In an absorbing, end-to-end contest, possibly the moment of the match came as we entered stoppage time when Collins looked to be in on goal for Wanderers. As men got back to cover, his eventual strike took a wicked deflection with the ball looking nailed on to loop up and over Liam Roberts. But the Reds' number one somehow got a hand to hit to claw the ball behind and practically confirm a point on the road.

FULL TIME: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Barnsley

Roberts, Cotter (O'Keeffe), Williams, de Gevigney, Earl, Cadden, Kane (Grant), Connell, Phillips, McAtee, Cole.

Unused: Killip, Russell, Pines, Cosgrove, Watters.

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