A bore draw at Oakwell in extremely poor conditions for football meant that Barnsley were unable to make it eight wins on the bounce as they were held to a 0 – 0 draw by Derby.
Again, as we come to expect now from Ismael, changes were made to his line-up handing a start to Chaplin this time in the attack and bringing Sibbick back into the defence.
It was a very quiet opening half in real blustery conditions. The ball was hanging in the air which you could see was causing the players some issue as it was really making it awkward to judge the flight of the ball. It was windy beyond belief but we have seen some games played in much the same manor this season.
Despite this Barnsley stuck to their game plan and went long and looked to press but a combination of the wind and poor passing meant they were unable to threaten the away side. It was a night to mix it up more and try to pass it on the deck but Barnsley have a way of playing and won’t budge. And why should they after the run they have been on? Derby who were very critical of Barnsley’s style of play prior to the game, seemed to come and employ the same method as the hosts.
The home sides best chance in the first half fell to Dike who was picked out by Brittain’s cross from the right but the powerful American couldn’t direct his header on target and it went well wide. He should have at least hit the target as he had managed to shake off his marker and was able to head unchallenged.
Not a great deal to report about in what was a really poor opening half of football.
The reds came out really quickly at the start of the second half and should have taken the lead just moments after the restart.
Mowatt crossed from the left and he picked out Chaplin unmarked in the box. He stabbed his effort towards goal from point blank range but only managed to hit it straight at Roos in the Derby goal. The striker really should have found the net from there. He got a good connection on it and at the time you felt that chances like that would be few and far between.
Barnsley kept the pressure on following the miss with a succession of corners and long throws into the box. The away defence stood firm though and the scores remained level. That was about as good a period as there was in the game. It was just one of those nights where conditions didn’t help and the players were slightly off the mark.
Derby then managed to provide a few scares for the home side as they looked to damage the Barnsley play-off hopes as well as enhance their own survival hopes.
Firstly, they tried to claim a penalty after Jozwiak went down in the area under the challenge of Sibbick after the pacey winger had got in behind. The ref took a long look at it before waving away the appeals. He should have booked him for diving in my opinion. If not in that incident then on one of the other half dozen times he felt the need to dive to try and con the ref.
The Rams then had their best chance of the game and it fell to Lee Gregory. A ball down the right found Kazim-Richards in behind after beating the high line of Barnsley.
He put in a low cross towards Gregory who controlled before trying to finish under the keeper. Brad Collins however had rushed out of his goal well and made a big save to keep the score at 0-0. You really would have backed him to score on that occasion.
Derby again came close soon after and they couldn’t have come closer without scoring. Shinnie turned his marker well on the edge of the area before curling a right footed shot towards the far post.
His effort hit the base of the post before practically rolling across the goal line before been hacked away by the home defence. I said out loud ‘that’s in’ as I sat and watched and still couldn’t believe that it didn’t end up in the back of the net.
Barnsley then appealed for a penalty late on when Dike went down in the box under the challenge of impressive teenage defender Teden Mengi, on loan from Manchester United. I wonder how manager Wayne Rooney managed to get that one sorted?
Dike managed to get the better of the young centre back for the first time all evening before going down as he got into the area. The ref blew the whistle but only to award a free kick to the away side and book Dike for diving. After seeing the replays the striker did go down far too easily under minimal contact and the ref made the right decision. The question is why did Dike go down instead of staying on his feet and going for goal? A school boy error from the young USA international.
So 0 – 0 it finished and a good point really all in all.
Now on to Saturday where we travel to seventh placed Bournemouth who would leapfrog us in the table if they were to win. I would be happy with a point myself but there is no reason we can’t come back from the South coast with all three points.