Date: 7th August 2013 at 5:18pm
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Barnsley made it past League Two Scunthorpe finally winning this encounter on penalties.

Chris O`Grady scored the winning penalty in what can only be described as a farcical but dramatic penalty shoot-out. O`Grady was ninth up for Barnsley, even behind Steele, not what you`d expect from your centre forward in a shoot-out. He did what was needed and judging by what went before him he certainly should have volunteered to be in the first five.

Steele saved three penalties and missed his own spot kick in what turned out to be a long night for Barnsley fans.

Don`t let the stats fool you which suggest that Barnsley battered their opponents both in terms of possession, chances created and attempts on goal.

In truth most of Barnsley`s possession was negative, they lacked creativity to cut open a poor Scunthorpe side and all of the shots that they did have were no more than half chances at best.

It was a second poor performance in as many games. Whilst I am not worrying at this stage of the season, the team needs to step up in their next game.

I also won`t have a go at the players and certainly not the manager after what they achieved last season and after all it is only two games in.

However I think Flitcroft should consider changes for the next game. Perkins had another bad game; he seems to want to take five touches when one would suffice. He was probably my favourite player last season but he`s started this season badly and his place must be under threat.

Scott Golbourne was certainly missed last season from the 5-3-2 formation but I could probably count on one hand the amount of actual good games he has had for Barnsley. No doubt he fills a demanding role that others failed to do but I don`t think we ended up stumbling upon a better left wing back option last season in Noble-Lazarus. I would like to see Noble-Lazarus given a run in this position. I am convinced he would do better than Golbourne. There`s not much to choose between them defensively and Noble-Lazarus is a lot better going forward.

I have sang the praises of David Flitcroft almost since the day he took over and I will continue to do so as I love his management style and he was possibly the only man in the world who could have got that group of players out of that position.

However there is something that I have noticed and this is not having ago at him but there seems to be certain players who are not only un-droppable but who he also won`t take off no matter how bad they play – Golbourne, Perkins, O`Grady and Dawson are those palyers.

You could argue with Etuhu injured he feels he needs both Perkins and Dawson in the engine room for the full game no matter how well they are playing. I would argue one would be enough particularly if they are having a bad game.

I`m not having a go at those four players. I like them all very much and each one of them gives their all for the team but in my opinion they have started the season poorly and should be taken off when not playing well. Having said that I do think Dawson came in to the game more as the match went on.

The major worry from this match was an injury to Cranie. Hopefully it won`t be too serious but a knee scan is required.

So what positives can we take? A clean sheet for one and the performances of Cywka and Scotland when they came on.

For me Cywka should start the next game and I would say the same about Scotland if he could last 90 minutes.

More fire power is needed in the squad. We need a goal scorer and a creative midfielder to come in and hopefully before the Blackpool game.

It`s only two games in to the season so there is plenty of time for the reds to come good. I expect a positive response on Saturday in terms of performance but I still think goals will be hard to come by. Keep the faith though reds fans, we can`t continue to play this bad, that I am sure of.

Penalty Farce and Excitement
A run-down of the penalty shoot-out

Scunthorpe – Hawkridge MISS

Barnsley – Dagnall MISS

Scunthorpe – Collins GOAL

Barnsley – Scotland MISS

Scunthorpe – Sparrow MISS

Barnsley – Cywka GOAL

Scunthorpe – Iwelumo GOAL

Barnsley – Dawson GOAL

Scunthorpe – Godden GOAL

Barnsley – Perkins GOAL

Scunthorpe – Welsh MISS

Barnsley – Steele MISS

Scunthorpe – Slocombe MISS

Barnsley – O`Brien MISS

Scunthorpe – Mirfin GOAL

Barnsley – Golbourne GOAL

Scunthorpe – Canavan MISS

Barnsley – O`Grady GOAL

Barnsley win 5 – 4 on penalties