Date: 24th October 2009 at 5:07pm
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Mark Robins made two changes to the starting line up that lost at the City Ground on Tuesday night. In came Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Andy Gray at the expense of Anderson Da Silva and Jon Macken. Barnsley were looking for their third successive home victory and Bristol City looked to make it five games unbeaten after wins over Plymouth Argyle and Blackpool and draws with Newcastle United and Peterborough United.

Emil Halfredsson provided Bristol City goalkeeper Dean Gerken with his first test of the afternoon with a fizzing effort from 25 yards but his parry fell back off the cross bar to Iain Hume who promptly blasted over the bar from 10 yards when everyone in the ground expected the back of the net to be rippling.

As usual at Oakwell, Barnsley started the brighter of the two sides and forged more chances to take the lead with Campbell-Ryce and Shotton firing wide from close range. For all the pressure they were putting the Robins under, the Reds couldn’t find reward with a goal and Nicky Maynard gave Bristol City the lead after 25 minutes with a fine strike from inside the Barnsley box after Foster and Moore had failed to clear a seemingly harmless clearance by Dean Gerken.

The 22-year-old ex Crewe Alexandra striker grabbed his eighth goal of the season, turning the game on it’s head.

Bristol City’s goal reversed the run of play and they pressed forward straight away, pushing for another. Mark Robins’ unbeaten home record looked under serious threat as the Reds laxed back in to old ways, losing their composure on the ball and it was their undoing on 42 minutes as the Dutchman Evander Sno effectively buried the game with his strike from 18 yards making it 2-0 to Bristol City.

Robins and Foster had said earlier in the week that Barnsley minds were focussed firmly on this match but it looked like the entire team were lacking in concentration ahead of their date with Manchester United. Darren Moore was in the right place at the right time to block Maynard’s effort that could have made it 3-0 just before the half-time whistle and Barnsley trudged back into the changing rooms to a chorus of boos from the home crowd.

Half-Time: Barnsley 0 – 2 Bristol City

The second half began quietly thanks to the home crowd’s humbling at the hands of the rioting Bristol City side and more unforced errors from the Barnsley team occurred, begging the question of whether or not their minds were actually on the game. Iain Hume had been replaced by Daniel Bogdanovic at half-time through an injury to the Canadian.

The ineffective Jamal Campbell-Ryce was replaced after 55 minutes by Anderson Da Silva who tried to dicate play with his vision from the middle of the park but little came off for any of the Reds. Da Silva did manage to slip Andy Gray in for a chance on the hour mark but on the turn, Gray ground out a weak effort that didn’t trouble Gerken.

Moments later, the Reds should have had a penalty when the referee blew for a handball on the edge of the Bristol City box, but he inexplicably gave a free kick. Hammill’s dipping cross was easily cleared by goalscorer Evander Sno but the Reds were back in it when Daniel Bogdanovic proved why he’s a valuable hitman, his tame effort from outside the area went through the legs of Dean Gerken to half the deficit with his fourth of the season.

This sparked the crowd into life and Robins made his third change of the afternoon, replacing defensive midfielder Hugo Colace with the more attacking youngster Jacob Butterfield, signalling the intention of the Reds to go for broke for the final half hour of the game. Darren Moore was beginning to atone for his earlier costly mistake and he continued to deny the Robins as they attempted to kill the game off.

Butterfield blazed wide on 70 minutes from long range as the Reds pushed for an equaliser but it was over minutes later when Shotton made a professional foul on Haynes in the box, receiving a red card to reduce the Reds to ten men. He left the field to applause from the Barnsley fans for a man of the match performance but Marvin Elliott killed the game off with a rebound from the resulting penalty, McAllister’s spot kick originally saved well by Luke Steele.

Bogdanovic’s never say die attitude showed through straight after the restart, barging through the defence to fire another effort goalwards which was deflected wide for a corner. With three at the back the Reds were hanging by a thread and played the game out with the result already a certainty.

Barnsley temporarily went down to nine men when Jacob Butterfield went off for stitches in a cut sustained in a challenge. The game was petering out through stoppage time when Adam Hammill ran at goal and curled a trademark effort past Dean Gerken to leap back to the top of the scoring charts at Barnsley and set up a nervy finish for Bristol City. Hammill headed wide from an Anderson Da Silva cross moments later when he could have left it for Andy Gray who was in a better position to give Barnsley an unlikely equaliser.

The game ended in a frustrating fashion, the Reds losing out by the odd goal in five when they could have so easily been level, but for the denial of a penalty by the referee, leaving Barnsley stranded in 20th position, whilst Bristol City shot up into the play-off positions, two points off the league summit.

Full-Time: Barnsley 2 – 3 Bristol City