Barnsley vs Preston North End Match Report

Barnsley’s comeback kids strike again coming from a goal down early on to win 2-1 at home to Preston. Two fantastic second-half goals from Alex Mowatt and sub Victor Adeboyejo claim a third win on the bounce for the in-form Tykes which sees them move into the top half of the table. It’s now eight wins from twelve games under Ismael for Barnsley who again showed great spirit and fight to come back from an early setback to claim the win. 

Preston got off to a flying start and took the lead at Oakwell within two minutes. They kicked off, attacked down the left, and won a corner. The ball was whipped in by the experienced Paul Gallagher and was inadvertently flicked on at the near post by Cauley Woodrow who was trying to head it clear.

Unfortunately for Woodrow and Barnsley, the ball found its way to an unmarked Sean Maguire at the back post who stooped to head it towards goal. Walton blocked the ball but it seems it had just crept over the line and the away side took a very early lead.

Barnsley almost got level minutes later but Mads Andersen headed wide from inside the area following an Alex Mowatt free-kick from the right-hand side. The big Dane took his frustrations out on the advertising boards.

Callum Brittain then saw a cross come shot turned behind for a corner by goalkeeper Declan Rudd after some good work down the Barnsley right. The resulting corner was floated in by Callum Styles, his cross found Sollbauer unmarked but he headed high and wide from 12 yards out.

The game really slowed after this and there was a 20 to 30 minute spell with very little action of note as both teams seemed to cancel each other out. However, both teams did create one final chance each before the break.

The first fell the way of the home side, Chaplin picked out Styles at the back post and the young wing-back tried to loft the ball over Rudd into the far corner but his effort sailed over the bar. The better option may have been to try and pick out Woodrow in the middle for a tap in.

Then it was the turn of Preston to create an opening and what an opening it was. From a Barnsley corner, the away side broke quickly and found themselves in a two versus one situation. Preston striker Jakobsen opted to go it alone but his shot was tame and was straight at Walton. A huge let-off for the home side.

After going behind early on Barnsley looked good in spells in pursuit of the equaliser but Preston had stood firm in the opening half without being tested too much. They looked to slow the game down at all costs with little fouls in an attempt to stop Barnsley from getting into a rhythm and so far the plan was working.

Half Time Barnsley 0-1 Preston

Barnsley started brightly after the restart and almost got level via Cauley Woodrow but his shot hit the side netting. He was picked out by a long ball over the top and the striker controlled well before striking with his left.

That was a warning that Preston didn’t take as Barnsley were level just a minute later. After some good build-up in the midfield, Styles laid the ball off to Captain Alex Mowatt who curled the ball into the far corner from the left-hand side of the box. It was the midfielder’s third goal of the season all of which have come from outside the area.

Preston nearly retook the lead soon after though after a low cross from the right-hand side found Josh Earl in space in the area. The initial strike was saved by the legs of Walton after it looked to take a slight deflection on the way through. The ball then fell back to the defender who shot again, this time with his right foot but his effort sailed over the bar.

The game then looked like it was heading for a draw as neither side was able to take control of the game. Lots of breaks in play for silly fouls and offside really slowed the game down.

Much to the delight of Ismael and his team though a winner did come in the 81st minute. Woodrow dropped a little deep and was picked out following a quickly taken free-kick. The striker controlled, turned, and then drove at the defence before sliding the ball into Adeboyejo who curled the ball into the far corner from around 15 yards out. It was a superb finish from the young striker who had again made a real impact since coming off the bench.

The home side was able to see the game out after the second goal without Preston giving them any major scares to see them win 2-1 for the third game in a row. Another brilliant fightback showed the desire that Ismael has instilled in this young group in such a short time and the rise up the table has been excellent under the big Frenchman.

Full-Time Barnsley 2-1 Preston 

MOTM – Alex Mowatt

The win moves Barnsley up into 9th place in the league with Preston slipping slightly to 16th. Barnsley now are just four points off the playoffs which is an extraordinary sight and shows the brilliant work that Ismael and his team have done since his arrival. The only slightly negative for the home side saw Callum Styles pick up his fifth booking of the season in the second half which means he will miss Saturday’s trip to Swansea.

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