Barnsley FC 1
The opening game of the 2012-13 season and the Reds entertained the fancied Middlesbrough, but the ever so unfancied (by the bookies) Reds secured a hard working and skillful victory with a performance that was always on top.
A Craig Davies goal was enough to secure the three points in the opening fixture of the season in front of a voiciferous Oakwell crowd that was also every inch up for the first game of the new season, new hope, new look squad.
Gone was the poor form of the second half of last season, and a new fresh open attacking football from the Reds was served up at Oakwell. The goal came just on half time as Craig Davies latched onto a Perkins pass to fire the Reds into a well deserved lead, Davies was sharp and keen throughout, having several chances kept out by visiting keeper Steele. Steele was also called into action with efforts from Stephen Foster and Jacob Mellis for Barnsley FC.
The victory was the first opening day win for the Reds in seven years, and is revenge for the double boro inflicted on Barnsley FC last term. It was a rousing positive performance under a glaring late summer sun; in itself a rare event this year.
Instead of negativity towards the management team that occurred over the second half of last season the fans came out buzzing with an excitement and optimism for the season and the team that Keith Hill had assembled over the close season.
The Tykes nearly took the lead early on as Fosters header blazed over from a good position before Davies got the only goal that was to prove crucial as the Reds continued to hold all the strings despite a triple second half substitution from Tony Mowbray.
The tackling across the Barnsley side was impressive to keep the Boro side from forming anything of danger, with Stones at the back looking very impressive in a display that saw us convincingly play Middlesbrough off the park.
Keith Hills comments on the performance:
"I am over the moon with the players' efforts and their pace. I would have been disappointed if we had lost that game.
"The performance merited the result. We had opportunities to score more goals on the counter-attack.
"I expected Middlesbrough to give a bit more than they did but I still believe that they are one of the favourites to get a play-off place."
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