Barnsley 2-2 Charlton

Written by John Newsome
 
The Reds came into this home game off the back of a couple of disappointing results over the past week. After continuing their horrendous run at Hillsborough they followed that 2-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday with a 3-0 defeat against League 2 Carlisle in the First Round of the Carabao Cup.
 
The defeat against Wednesday, whilst disappointing for the Reds faithful, is just the norm when the Tykes travel to South Barnsley having only won at Hillsborough twice since 1983. With one of those victories being in the historic Zenith Data Systems Cup (remember that!) What was more galling for the fans was the home defeat against Carlisle in Tuesday’s Cup game. 
 
What the Reds faithful can hold onto is Daniel Stendel made a number of changes to his side from the two league outings. That said, the team put on the pitch by Stendel, should be good enough to beat a mid-table Division Four outfit. 
Carabao Cup dreams over for another year now concentrating on the League apparently. (At least until January!)
 
Charlton themselves were knocked out of the Carabao Cup, however, did put up more of a fight than the Reds, drawing with Forest Green 0-0 after 90-minutes but ultimately losing on penalties.  
 
Charlton headed to Oakwell as current joint leaders of the infant Championship League Table with two wins out of their opening games. Lee Bowyer’s Addicks have continued their fine form from last term that saw them just miss out on automatic promotion but then comfortably beat Sunderland in the Play-Off Final at Wembley at the end of May. 
 
Charlton lost only once in the final 15 games that took them into the Play-Offs finishing 3rd, 4 points adrift of the Reds and have continued that form in their two games of this Championship campaign. 
 
An opening day 2-1 away victory up north to Blackburn, was followed up with a 3-1 home win against Stoke taking the Addicks joint top of the Championship behind Sheffield Wednesday on goal difference.
 
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Sam Radlinger came back in between the sticks against Charlton following a night off in midweek, as did Bambo Diaby, Ben Williams, Toby Sibbick, Mike Bahre, and Luke Thomas along with Mads Andersen, Cameron McGeehan, Mallik Wilks, Conor Chaplin and Cauley Woodrow who all started in the disastrous Cup game midweek. 
 
The reds started brightly and for the first 20-minutes had the majority of possession but just couldn’t convert the possession into chances and it was Charlton who had the best chance after 10-minutes but scuffed a shot wide.
 
Cauley Woodrow scored a brilliant goal on the 34-minute mark controlling the ball on the volley then shooting past the helpless Dillon Phillips in the Charlton nets. Just what Cauley needed to get his confidence back. 
 
Unfortunately for the Reds Charlton’s game-plan to kick long, catch the Reds defence on the break and use the pace of Jonathon Leko and the brilliant Lyle Taylor paid off 6-minutes after Barnsley’s goal. 
 
A simple square pass from the annoying but lively Jonny Williams, who was a constant threat in midfield throughout the game, allowed Conor Gallagher to tap home giving Charlton the equaliser. 
 
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Barnsley pressed and pressed and the influential Mallik Wilks used his strength and pace throughout the 1st half to stretch the Charlton defence but couldn’t provide a killer chance for the forwards. Luke Thomas looked isolated on the right throughout the 1st period and a change was needed. 
 
Lee Bowyer sent his boys out a good 2 minutes before Stendel had finished his team talk and Charlton got off to a flyer in the 2nd-half which is what Bowyer would have hoped.  
 
Thankfully for Barnsley the Charlton flyer only lasted 3 minutes before Barnsley took control once again. With Thomas being isolated in the 1st half over on the right wing, Stendel decided to switch Thomas and Wilks over, with Wilks starting the 2nd half on the right.
 
A beautiful free-flowing move involving Wilks, Thomas and McGeehan, Conor Chaplin made sure that Gallagher was not the only Conor to score today at Oakwell. 
 
Charlie, as he is known in the Reds dressing room coolly slotted home after a brilliant move from the Tykes. 
 
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Barnsley controlled most of the game and will find to their cost that not closing games out and making the most of their possession will come back to bite them. 
 
Against Fulham in the previous home fixture, the Reds missed a hat-full of chances but held out for a 1-0 victory. Unfortunately, today at Oakwell, Barnsley couldn’t hang on to the lead and with time running out, conceded a penalty. 
 
The referee Matt Donahue did feel the wrath of the Oakwell crowd after several decisions infuriated the faithful and didn’t ingratiate himself when he awarded Charlton a penalty in the dying seconds. 
 
Big Bambo Diaby made a clumsy challenge on Charlton’s 1st goalscorer and Mr Donahue couldn’t wait to point to the spot. Whilst the crowd vented their anger on the referee, to Barnsley’s dismay, it was a penalty. 
 
Charlton’s impressive Lyle Taylor, who had an excellent game throughout, took the pressure kick and following a very laboured and annoying run up, made no mistake to give Charlton a share of the points. 
 
It could be argued that Barnsley were unlucky not to get all 3 points but as mentioned, the Reds need to put games to bed and think about game management more. 
 
The Championship is not League One and although both teams came from that division, the Championship takes no prisoners, Daniel Stendel just has to try and get it into his new-look Reds that it’s going to be a long hard season and must see out games in a much more professional manner. 
 
That said, after two defeats, the performance given by the young Tykes was encouraging and after next weeks home game against the other promoted club from League One, Luton Town, it’s a trip to Wigan ( and Kieffer Moore!).
 
Then time to take a breath and a break for the International’s before the much anticipated visit of Leeds United which will show if Barnsley can compete in this tough Championship. 
 
Attendance at Oakwell 13,006
 
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                              Reds Legend Scott Jones and John Newsome. 

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