Barnsley 1 (Odejayi 87)
Sheff Utd 2 (Beattie 20, 85 pen)
A match that had everything left Barnsley with nothing despite dominating for long periods of the game.
Three goals, two red cards, a penalty and of course it wouldn’t have been a football match without ridiculous decisions from the officials.
It really does make you wonder what it takes to gain a license to referee in such a high-profile encounter. Collect vouchers from boxes of cereal and send them off when you have six? Some of the decisions, for both sides, were bizzare and ludicrous to say the least.
As is the occasion in virtually every game, the Reds started the brighter of the two teams brimming with confidence after three recent derby victories.
Rob Kozluk was quick to remind his former club how hard he can tackle as he went in on Stephen Quinn ever so hard, the entire crowd wondered how Kozluk got away scott free.
Devaney found he had the legs on Sun down the right in the opening minutes, giving the former Man City man a nightmare.
The Reds were bossing in midfield with some great one-touch passing but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock twenty minutes in.
Stephen Quinn was the livewire for the visitors on the right wing, and after finding Webber, his cross allowed Beattie to tap home at the back post to score against the run of play.
Beattie almost doubled the Blades’ lead a minute later but for a splendid low save from Muller low to his right.
Just before the half hour mark, Martin Devaney thought he had equalised but his header from a Kozluk throw somehow went the other side of Kenny’s post with the Irishman well beaten.
On thirty minutes two players were sent for early baths in Anderson and Ehiogu. The two were tussling on the edge of the box, and punches were thrown along with a couple of head butts.
The referee then decided to take action against former Tyke Chris Morgan, who led with his elbow in a challenge with Iain Hume. However, D’Urso only produced a yellow card with Hume having to be replaced by Miguel Mostto.
Argentine, Hugo Colace, twice tried his luck from distance, the first of which drew a top class stop from Kenny.
The second half saw much of the same from Barnsley, Rob Kozluk burst into the box to meet Kenny one-on-one, but the full-back’s effort was blocked by a good save.
The first of the ridiculous decisions came when Darren Moore was literally hauled down in the box by Chris Morgan. The fans, the manager, the players, the St John’s Ambulance men, the stewards, the Police, the groundsman, the ball boys, the PA man, the journalists, the commentators, even the pigeons sat on the east stand saw it, but Andy D’Urso, didn’t. So no penalty for the Reds, but hey, these things even themselves out over the season don’t they?
Heinz Muller almost let the game slip after giving the ball away to Quinn and Beattie in the box. Ther German somehow got away with it.
Ready for the other barmy decision? A linesman in the other half of the pitch, deciding on a penalty for a hand ball by Kozluk. Tyke’s manager Simon Davey was sent to the stands for showing his understandable disgust at the ridiculous decision.
Beattie stepped up to power home his second of the game with five minutes to go.
The Reds showed that they were by no means down and out as susbstitue Odejayi nodded home with three minutes to go after a great cross from on loan Whaley.
Anyone who knows anything about football will know that Barnsley deserved at least a draw from this clash, but that’s football – and it’s why we love it.
Next up for the Reds is another tough clash with the visit of Watford next Saturday.
Barnsley: Muller, Hassell (Odejayi 67), Souza, Moore, Kozluk, Campbell-Ryce, Anderson, Colace (Rigters 89), Devaney, Hume (Mostto 33), Whaley.
Subs: Leon, Van Homoet.
Sheff Utd: Kenny, Morgan, Stokes (Kilgallon 33), Beattie, Webber (Halford 73), Sun, Speed, Spring, Quinn (Montgomery 88), Naughton, Ehiogu.
Subs: Cotterill, Sharp.
Reds get nothing from Blades battle
Barnsley 1 (Odejayi 87)