Goals from Styles and Woodrow saw Barnsley get back to winning ways at home to struggling Wycombe. The win was much needed after the poor result last Friday evening. The victory sees the Reds side move back up into 16th in the table whilst Wycombe remain 23rd.
The home lineup saw Ismael shuffle his pack following the heavy defeat last time out. ,He handed a first start of the season to Aapo Halme at the back with Matty James and Luke Thomas also coming in at the expense of Helik, Kane, and Adeboyejo.
The game got off to a steady start but it was the hosts who got the first chance within the first few minutes. Chaplin chased down a long ball and picked the pocket of Grimmer who was trying to shield the ball out for a goal kick. He squared the ball to Woodrow but the shot was scuffed wide.
The visitors then demonstrated their main threat as a Joe Jacobson corner caused trouble for Barnsley, Walton came to punch but missed the ball completely. Luckily for him, Sollbauer was in the right position to lump the ball clear.
The game was scrappy early on with lots of long balls going forward. This was always to be expected from the visitors but it was a slight surprise to see this from the hosts given the lack of height up top. When Barnsley did get the ball down and play they did look a threat, especially from wide areas. Just like in so many games this season the main threat was coming from Styles and Brittain.
Wycombe were going long at every opportunity looking to hit Akinfenwa and play off him. Kashket was chasing every loose ball but they didn’t really look a threat from open play. However, Walton was not looking comfortable when dealing with corners at all which posed a potential problem for The Tykes.
Midway through the first half, Barnsley claimed a penalty but this was waved away. Woodrow got into the box wide on the left and looked to put it across goal but it was blocked by a sliding challenge from the defender. Woodrow instantly appealed for handball but the ref was not interested.
Even with the benefit of seeing a replay it did not look clear to me and would have been harsh on the away side had it been given.
The home side continued to press on though in what was a better spell for them. They were getting the ball down more and started to get some joy in wide areas with Brittain especially finding space wide on the right.
It was the right wing-back who got the next chance but he showed why he is a defender and not a striker with a wayward shot over the bar. He was found in acres of space on the right and had plenty of time to cross, but instead, he drove into the box and elected to shoot but he found the stands.
Another chance soon followed and this time it was Barnsley causing the Wycombe defence a problem from a set-piece. A training ground routine saw James float the ball to the back post for Chaplin to hit first time. His effort was mis-hit and was going well wide, Sollbauer tried to divert it towards goal but didn’t get enough contact on it.
The pressure did eventually pay off for Barnsley though as they took the lead just after the half-hour mark. Again the move started down the right with Brittain in plenty of space. He looked to switch the ball to Luke Thomas on the left, the pass was overhit but it ended up finding Styles in lots of room wide on the left-hand side.
He was 1v1 with McCarthy on the edge of the box, the young wing-back shifted the ball onto his stronger left foot and smashed the ball across goal into the far corner to open the scoring and get his third of a so-far impressive season.
Barnsley continued to dominate after the goal and went in search of a second before the half time whistle. A few half chances fell the way of Woodrow but he was unable to really test Allsop in the Wycombe goal.
In added time at the end of the half Wycombe did rally to try and force a leveller, they put some dangerous crosses into the box from deep areas but the home defence stood firm and went in leading at the break.
Half-Time Barnsley 1-0 Wycombe
The second half started as the first ended with Wycombe threatening the Barnsley goal via crosses into the box. The hosts got a real scare just moments after the restart when a corner from the left was brilliantly met on the front post by Wheeler, thankfully Jack Walton was able to get a strong arm to it to turn it away from goal.
Barnsley did not pay attention to the warnings though and they allowed the visitors to pull level just minutes into the second half. A hopeful long ball forward was flicked on and Gareth McCleary got onto the loose ball. He was challenged by Halme and the experienced winger went down in the area and the ref pointed to the spot.
The challenge was clumsy by the big Finnish defender but the replay showed the initial contact happened outside the area. It was a poor call by the ref. Certainly a foul but the first contact was outside the area. The away side didn’t care one bit and the penalty was smashed home confidently by Jacobson who had scored a penalty on his last trip to Oakwell too.
The goal gave The Chairboys a real lift and they certainly had an extra spring in their step following the goal. They continued to go long into the box at every opportunity but looked more lively after getting level.
Eventually, though Barnsley got a foothold in the game again and caused more problems on the break out in wide areas. The narrow formation Wycombe were playing kept allowing the host’s space out wide and it seemed Ismael was keen for his side to utilise this to their advantage.
The second goal came just after the hour mark and it was another penalty. Luke Thomas was found in space on the right, he drove into the box and was clearly felled in the box as he looked to shoot. This was much more of a clear cut penalty than the one awarded to Wycombe. The ref was very quick to blow despite the ball breaking to Woodrow following the foul. The striker smashed the ball home but the ref had already blown for the foul so the penalty had to be taken.
Woodrow stepped up and smashed the ball home despite the keeper going the right way. It was his seventh goal of the season and fifth goal from the spot.
Both sides made a number of changes to freshen things up and it was at this point the game became more of a scrappy affair again. Wycombe continued to throw the ball long towards Akinfenwa but the home defence coped well with this. The only real scare came from a free-kick which was floated into the box and fell to Kashket. He controlled the ball but was surrounded by defenders and could not get a shot away.
Barnsley dropped deeper as the game went on and were happy to allow Wycombe to lump the ball forward as they were dealing with the long ball well. Halme, Sollbauer and Andersen were more than capable of winning most of the aerial duels thrown at them.
When Barnsley did get the ball they looked to break quickly down the wings and substitute Dom Freiser was presented with a huge chance to kill the game within the last ten minutes as he was picked out in the box by Brittain.
The Austrian controlled the ball well which had been fizzed into him but his powerful shot was straight at the keeper. A yard either side and it was a goal. He really should have done better.
This meant a slightly nervy final few minutes for the home side who had to contend with a final late surge of Wycombe long ball but they held on and took a deserved three points.
Full Time – Barnsley 2-1 Wycombe
MOTM – Callum Styles
This was a big win for the home side. It was far from a thriller on a cold night in South Yorkshire, but it was important to bounce back after the last game. Beating the sides in and around you in key in this league and that is something Barnsley have done well this season picking up most of their points so far beating teams below them in the table.