These two South Yorkshire sides clashed at the Keepmoat Stadium on Friday night with promotion on both of their minds. The hosts came into the game winless in five but the Tykes have not won at Doncaster since 2011. Back in late November when the sides met at Oakwell, there were just 6 points separating them, yet before kick off that had stretched to a huge 18 points.
Doncaster made 3 changes with Kane, Marquis and Coppinger coming in whilst Barnsley brought Ben and Jordan Williams in along with Victor Adeboyejo.
After a busy start to the first half, Doncaster settled better with the front three of Coppinger, Marquis and Wilks causing problems for Barnsley. Coppinger`s crosses were threatening and Davies in goal was busy making a great double save early on, taking one for the team in the midriff.
Barnsley struggled to get into any rhythm with players out through injury and suspension. Things got worse when Dougall went off injured taking a kick to the shin which resulted in him wearing a protective boot on the sideline. On the half hour, Rovers pinned Barnsley back into their own half but the hosts couldn’t get past Davies in goal.
The Tykes then finished the half stronger and Jordan Williams could have scored with a shot at the far post after a great cross from Thiam on the left wing.
The sides went in goalless at halftime with Doncaster more than shading the game.
Barnsley controlled the game better in the second half restricting the hosts and having more of the ball further up-field.
On 65 minutes, Doncaster were fortunate not to concede a penalty when Pinnock was clearly pulled back when challenging for a cross, but the referee only signalled for a corner that came to nothing. A couple of moments later, Woodrow shot from outside the area which stung the hands of Marosi who then had to claw away a cross come shot from Adeboyejo.
It was no coincidence that the more Mowatt got on the ball, the more Barnsley were causing Doncaster problems.
Three minutes before the end, once again Davies made a double save at his near post to keep the scores level as the game became more stretched.
A game devoid of some real class and where both goalkeepers were on top form resulted in Barnsley keeping a sixth successive clean sheet and taking one point back to Oakwell.
A quick run of games coupled with injuries and suspensions are clearly starting to bite on Daniel Stendel`s squad. A full weeks rest before the next fixture away at Walsall is much needed after some great performances against Southend, Accrington and Sunderland. Add the return of Jacob Brown and Cameron McGeehan from suspensions, the hope is Barnsley can push on for the last leg of the season.
Ethan Pinnock was awarded man of the match by Sky Sports for another fine performance. However, Davies was the real saviour for Barnsley with a string of fine saves to keep Doncaster at bay.
So was this a point gained or two lost for Barnsley?