Barnsley vs Stoke City Match Report

Barnsley claimed their fourth win in a row beating Stoke 2-0 at home to move within a point of the playoff places. Goals in either half from Callum Styles and a first in English football for January signing Daryl Dike were enough to get the home side all three points at a very windy Oakwell. 

As usual, Ismael made changes with Morris getting a start after some impressive appearances from the bench. He was joined by Woodrow and Freiser in attack as the Barnsley boss shuffled his pack again.

Barnsley started brightly and they came close early on when Freiser was moments from heading home only to be denied by a great-headed clearance by Batth at the back. The home side sprung a quick attack and the ref played a good advantage allowing Brittain to cross towards the back post.

Freiser was poised to head home unmarked but Batth did come to the rescue to clear well for a corner. From the resulting corner though, Barnsley did take the lead, and what a strike it was from the Bury Baggio Callum Styles.

The corner was played in towards the front post but was easily headed clear by the Stoke defence. The ball went as far as Styles on the edge of the area who took a touch and hit a fantastic strike with his left foot from twenty-five yards or so into the far corner. Lovely strike from the young wing-back to give the home side an early lead.

Stoke had a chance soon after to pull level through Batth but his header was poor and the chance went begging. Smith got away down the right and his cross found the defender unmarked at the back post but he headed well over.

Stoke continued to push to get level after going behind with a succession of corners both of which were volleyed towards goal by Mikel but both were cleared by the reds in the end.

Smith was proving to be a problem down the right for the reds and he was being allowed too much space to get crosses in. His latest cross was met by Powell but he didn’t get a clean connection on it and it went wide.

Ex Barnsley player Jacob Brown was the next to pose a threat for the away team, he broke the offside trap to get in behind down the right. He crossed towards Tymon at the back post but he couldn’t turn it home on the stretch.

Barnsley then had the ball in the net late in the first half but the flag went up to rule it out for offside. It was good football between Woodrow and Freiser and it was Woodrow who flicked the ball through for Freiser who lobbed the keeper from just inside the area to score but the flag went up to deny him.

Stoke rallied again before the break as they tried to get level before the halftime whistle but they were unable to breach the Barnsley defence. The first chance fell to Souttar from a corner as his initial header bounced off Palmer but the big defender fired over when it fell back to him.

Smith fired a powerful long shot towards goal right at the end of the half but his shot was easily saved by Collins and that was the last action of the half.

Half Time – Barnsley 1-0 Stoke City 

Barnsley started brightly and took an early lead, Stoke did get back into the game after the goal and had more of the ball but were unable to create any clear chances despite a good number of crosses into the box especially from Smith down the right.

It was a very tame start to the second half which prompted both managers to turn to the benches to try and get things going again. Stoke were the first to go to the bench and this saw them change formation too in an attempt to get back level.

Barnsley then looked to the bench as they looked to freshen up the attack as they so often do around the hour mark. Morris and Freiser made way for Adeboyejo and Dike as Ismael looked to add more physicality to the front line to compete with the big Stoke centre backs.

The changes didn’t really help Stoke as the change of shape nullified the threat they had in the first half down the right. This was totally removed when Smith was subbed off as Stoke tried to match Barnsley with a back three.

The game looked to be fizzling out to a 1-0 home win but late in the game Barnsley rallied to kill the game off. They came close when Styles got down the wing to cross, the ball bobbled around in the box but neither Dike or Adeboyejo could turn it home and Batth was then able to get it clear.

With time ticking away, Adeboyejo did superbly well to beat his man down the right and he crossed towards fellow sub Dike but Souttar just got there first to turn it behind to deny the American a tap in.

The resulting corner was whipped in by Mowatt but was initially cleared and Stoke looked to counter. Adeboyejo tracked back so well and he easily outmuscled Clarke who tried to break away, the striker then turned and picked out Chaplin.

Chaplin brought the ball down and threaded the ball through to Dike who timed his run perfectly before slotting the ball through the legs of the keeper and into the net to make it two in the final minute of normal time.

There was a late scare for Barnsley when Clarke put in a dangerous corner which Collins had to punch over the bar under pressure. The keeper did well to clear over the mass of bodies to preserve his clean sheet.

Full Time – Barnsley 2-0 Stoke City

MOTM – Callum Styles, wonderful opening goal and was tireless down the left all game.

Overall it was a pretty poor game with few clear chances. Barnsley took the chances that fell to them in what was a professional performance that moves them within a point of the playoffs with a game in hand. Stoke tried to go long but Barnsley’s centre backs stood firm and handled the scrap well. Is it time to start believing of the playoffs now for the Tykes? Surely they can’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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