Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports


7 May 2024

Match Reports


7 May 2024

Barnsley’s promotion dreams were ended despite a 3-2 victory in the Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final second leg at Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday evening.

Sam Cosgrove’s double and Adam Phillips’ 12th goal of the campaign were not enough to see the Reds to Wembley, as the hosts struck twice in quick succession at the end of the first half through Aaron Collins and Eoin Toal, meaning we succumbed to a 5-4 loss on aggregate.

It was a keenly-contested encounter from the off as both teams looked to make bright starts. Collins had the ball in the net with a little over ten minutes on the clock, but saw his effort ruled out for a foul on Maël de Gevigney.

Moments later came the game’s first real controversial incident as the Reds were denied a stonewall penalty when Wanderers stopper Nathan Baxter brought down Cosgrove in the area, only for referee Oliver Langford to wave away our protests.

Long shots were the order of the day at either end of the field, with Luca Connell firing straight at Baxter and Collins forcing Liam Roberts into a flying save up to his right.

After a sustained period of pressure, Barnsley deservedly took the lead when John McAtee’s deflected cross was powered home on the line by Cosgrove to breathe new life into the tie.

Unfortunately, the Reds couldn’t make it to the interval unscathed, and they suffered a devastating double blow as Collins rifled in from distance before Toal nodded home from a corner in stoppage time to turn the match on its head.

HALF-TIME: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Barnsley (5-2 on aggregate)

Bolton continued to push forward in search of more goals after the break and squandered an excellent three-on-one opportunity when George Thomason opted to pass to Dion Charles rather than shoot, which allowed Josh Earl the chance to make an important block.

A triple change from Martin Devaney on the hour mark injected new life into the Barnsley attack as Devante Cole, Barry Cotter and Conor Grant all entered the fray.

Midway through the second half, we found our equaliser on the evening when Phillips latched onto Cosgrove’s pass and saw his deflected strike nestle into the back of the net with Baxter stranded.

The Reds began to believe further still with 15 minutes remaining as Grant flighted a magnificent ball into the box from deep that a stooping Cosgrove nodded into the bottom corner to reduce the arrears to one overall.

With the wind in our sails, we pushed forward in search of that elusive fourth goal to level the scores and came agonisingly close on two occasions through Cosgrove, who couldn’t stretch to reach Corey O’Keeffe’s enticing free-kick before Cole’s cross bounced off his chest.

In stoppage time, a slide-rule pass from Phillips into the path of Jordan Williams created another opening, and the skipper’s deflected cross looped towards goal but bobbled inches wide of the post.

That proved to be the final action of the match, as the Reds – despite battling gallantly – were unable to overturn the first leg deficit and fell to a painful defeat.

FULL-TIME: Bolton Wanderers 2-3 Barnsley (5-4 on aggregate)


REDS XI: Roberts (GK), O’Keeffe, Williams (C), de Gevigney, Earl, Cadden (Cotter, 61), Phillips, Connell, Kane (Grant, 62), McAtee (Cole, 62), Cosgrove.

Not used: Killip, McCart, Russell, Jalo.

BOLTON XI: Baxter (GK), Jones, Thomason, Almeida Santos (C), Sheehan (Morley, 85), Charles (Jerome, 80), Dacres-Cogley, Toal, Maghoma (Dempsey, 77), Williams, Collins (Adeboyejo, 80).

Not used: Coleman (GK), Iredale, Ogbeta.

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account