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Coca Cola Championship
Saturday 8th August 2009
A sensational second half come back from the reds saw us share the spoils at Hillsborough, roared on by a very noisy following of nearly 5000 Barnsley fans in opening day high spirits. In the end it was a fair result, but Wednesday will be smarting after loosing their first half two goal lead. Another good performance by fast improving youngster Jacob Butterfield was capped with the first goal of the season for Barnsley, which re-ignited the passion and noise from the reds fans, and saw us press on ultimately to secure the draw.
Wednesday shaded it in the first-half of this opening day derby and built up a 2-0 lead at half time with goals from Jermaine Johnson and Michael Gray. But the reds probably had more chances with Macken squandering three good chances at the other end.
We came back after the interval with Jacob Butterfield getting the first goal back on 58 minutes, with super Jonny Macken angling in the equaliser 15 minutes from time.
Another class performance from Luke Steele, saw him make a flying one-handed block to stop a fierce shot from James O'Connor in the ninth minute, but the Barnsley goalkeeper was beaten in front of the Tykes' traveling only minutes later.
Gray got past Rob Kozluck down the right side and a deep cross was knocked home at the far post from six yards by the unmarked Johnson. Which dig beg the question where was the de fence, and it did look for a moment like same old story at the back.
Gray curled a left-footed free-kick wide of the barnsley goal 10 minutes later before Wednesday keeper Lee Grant did well to keep out the reds at the other end saving with his feet to block Macken's effort from 10 yards.
Wednesday knocked the ball about in the first half, and we looked a beaten side at times, but you did feel that a derby game anything could happen, and we would have our period.
Richard Wood's late block foiled Macken chance for an equaliser just before Wednesday pulled more clear with their second goal, which could have been game over.
Some good passing took them deep into the Barnsley half and Marcus Tudgay's flick found Gray in the middle of the box and curled a placed header into the bottom corner of Steele's goal.
Grant blocked an effort from Kayode Odejayi just before the break and again used his legs to keep out Macken's shot on the turn minutes into the second half, as the reds now had the home side pinned back, and we worked harder than Wednesday and it culminated in the first goal for Butterfield.
Martin Devaney broke free down the right wing after a poor showing up to this time, and his cross dropped nicely in the penalty area for Jacob Butterfield, who kept his composure showing the strikers how to do it, driving his shot in under Grant in the 58th minute. The traveling fans did their part at this stage with a huge noise coming from leppings lane, and we had the upper hand and the momentum, and another goal for the reds always threatened.
Wednesday were floundering at this stage, this was our half and we wanted it more than them, the pressure paid off in the 75th minute with Macken doing well to angle his shot past grant to send the away support into raptures. Odejayi flicked on a long free-kick and poor defending allowed Macken in, racing into the box and got off a nicely place right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
I did feel at this time a bit more positivity could have got the win, we had Wednesday reeling, we had the upper hand psychologically, and maybe the introduction of a fast young eager to please striker like Sodje might have sealed it, from the fans point of view Odejayi should have been off the pitch at half time, as he was back to his normal tricks, of not really doing much, and being ineffective in front of goal. So, Sodje should have had a run out. All in all it was a good derby spectacle, and it wouldn't have been a nice start to the new season in defeat against Wednesday. So, a 2-2 draw sees us in fourth spot! With the next two games at Oakwell, lets string a run together then who knows!
For the next games we should hopefully have Hammill on the wing, which would greatly improve the look of the team, as Devaney increasingly looks like he should be plying his trade in Division 1.
Listen to Simon Daveys comments on the game
BFCWEB Man of the match: Jacob Butterfield, fast improving, up for it in midfield, capped by nice composed finish.
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