STYLES-ISH Barnsley take all three points after two great goals in the final ten minutes see them run out 2-0 winners. A very even and end to end game was settled late on with two quick fire Barnsley goals. The first a wonder strike by FFV one to watch Callum Styles, this was soon followed a few minutes later by a real poachers finish by Barnsley top scorer Cauley Woodrow.
Barnsley who had beaten Forest in the last 3 meetings at Oakwell by a solitary goal went one better today in what was a very entertaining and end to end game at a somewhat wet Oakwell afternoon. Early signs were good for the home side winning a corner within the first few moments, this was easily cleared and Forest countered and this set the tone for most of the first half with the away side creating 3 really good chances on the break in the opening 45 but were unable to take any of these chances which they were later made to regret.
Forest were on top in the early exchanges but Barnsley got a foothold in the game and rattled the bar in the tenth minute with a long range curling effort from Cauley Woodrow that had Brice Samba beaten and rooted to the spot. Chaplin then followed this up with an effort of his own shortly after which also smashed the bar. He was found in the box following some neat build up play involving Styles and Brittain. The striker was given space to turn just inside the area and he let fly only to be denied by the woodwork again with Samba well beaten.
After being let off twice by the woodwork, Forest then regained control of the game and should have scored on seventeen minutes when some miscommunication between Mads Andersen and Helik at the back saw Helik head the ball towards his own goal for Miguel Ángel Guerrero to run onto giving him a 1v1 with Walton. Luckily for Barnsley and Helik, Walton saved well with his legs.
A few minutes after that miss, Forest again continued to push for the opener and came very close again. A great cross from the Forest left hand side found Lolley free at the back post. He hit this first time on the half volley but Styles got his body in the way superbly to send it behind for a corner kick.
The game continued at a frantic pace with lots of little fouls stopping either team really get into a good passing rhythm but again Forest continued to create the better chances at the end of the first half. Just before the interval Forest had the best chance of the half. Again it fell to Guerrero and again he fluffed his lines. Forest caught Barnsley on the break again and found themselves 2 v 1 and looking destined to score. Lolley brought the ball forward and fed it to Guerrero who again was 1v1 but his shot was poor and went straight into the grateful arms of Walton.
Half-time Barnsley 0-0 Nottingham Forest
At Half time it was hard to believe it was still goalless given the chances made and the second half started as the first had ended with the visitors creating another chance. Lolley was found in space on the left and the home defence was slow to close him down. He was able to get to the edge of the box and fire a low cross into the area. No one was able to turn it home and it was cleared. The game was stopped briefly though as Walton and Lyle Taylor collided as the striker tried to turn the ball in. Both were fine and carried on thankfully.
After that early scare the hosts began to take control of the game and carved out some chances of their own. An excellent through ball from Chaplin found Styles in behind down the left and he fizzed a cross in first time which was met by the head of Dom Freiser. The Austrian forward was unable to guide his header on target and it sailed behind for a goal kick. Soon after Barnsley found space down the right with Brittain, he pulled the ball back to Woodrow who tried to backheel the ball towards goal but it was easily gathered by Samba.
After this good spell Barnsley again were almost their own worst enemies, some sloppy passing in the middle of the park allowed Forest the chance to break. Christie sent in an inviting cross and Taylor headed this towards goal. Walton again came to the rescue for the hosts diving well to his right to tip it away.
Barnsley made a double sub just after the hour mark and one of the substitutes Herbie Kane came close with his first involvement firing a free kick inches wide from distance. Not long after this the other sub Luke Thomas combined well with Styles down the left before pulling the ball back to Woodrow. The striker controlled well in the box and look destined to score but his chipped effort clipped the underside of the bar.
The game then calmed and it looked as if we were going to see a stalemate until a real moment of magic gave Barnsley the lead. Third sub Victor Adeboyejo found space on the left and got to the by line, he found Woodrow in the area, he turns and lays the ball off to an advancing Callum Styles who thunders the ball into the top corner from at least twenty yards out! A truly fabulous strike from the talented young midfielder, the strike left Samba with no chance in the Forest goal.
The game soon went from bad to worse for Forest who conceded again minutes later. The visitors were caught out at the back and Brittain found space down the right hand side. He got the to by line took his time and picked out Woodrow who finished calmly into the bottom left hand corner.
It was a game that really could have gone either way especially with the chances created in the first half but it was Barnsley who got the win, and continue their fine form under new manager Valerien Ismael. Forest suffer just their second defeat since Houghton took over and will feel aggrieved not to have gotten at least a draw considering the chances they made in the first half.