Ter­ri­ble Tykes trig­ger Hill

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Simon Smed­ley

KEITH Hill paid the ul­ti­mate price last night as this lat­est de­feat saw him sacked by Barnsley.

An­other dis­mal per­for­mance – this time against man­ager­less Rovers who came through thanks to goals from Josh King, Ruben Rochina and Jor­dan Rhodes – proved too much for the board at Oak­well and they broke the news to Hill half-an­hour af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle.

Fol­low­ing a run of just one win in 14 games and hav­ing just watched his team slump to the Cham­pi­onship’s base­ment, Tykes di­rec­tor and gen­eral man­ager Don Row­ing said: “It’s not a very nice thing to have to tell some­one, but we have just dis­pensed with Keith’s ser­vices.

“It is a re­sults­based de­ci­sion, one which all of the board mem­bers backed.

“We have seen some good at­tack­ing foot­ball at Barnsley since Keith joined us 18 months ago, but look­ing at our league po­si­tion now, it was clear a change was re­quired be­fore it’s too late.

“Keith has been un­der pres­sure for some time, but this was par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­point­ing and the out­come forced us into a de­ci­sion.

“Keith is a su­per foot­balling man, but we couldn’t let the sit­u­a­tion get any worse so we all just wish him all the best for the fu­ture now. It sad­dens me, but over­all things haven’t worked out as we all would have liked.”

Two badly strug­gling sides meant there was an air of ten­sion on all four sides of Oak­well, and that clearly made its way through to the play­ers as they pro­duced a mis­er­able first half.

Rovers coped with the at­mos­phere bet­ter, how­ever, and against the low­est scor­ers in the Cham­pi­onship so far, led 2-0 at the break.

The open­ing goal came just be­fore the half-hour mark as Manch­ester United loa­nee King left Scott Wise­man and Stephen Fos­ter for dead be­fore slot­ting an an­gled ef­fort past Luke Steele.

The boos were turned up a sig­nif­i­cant notch two min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val as Rochina strolled com­fort­ably past Wise­man be­fore driv­ing home low and hard past Steele.

Still there was lit­tle craft or in­ven­tion from the hosts in the sec­ond pe­riod, but af­ter Rochina had fluffed a great chance, the Tykes grabbed them­selves a life­line in the 76th minute as Stephen Daw­son drilled a shot into the top cor­ner.

They briefly ral­lied, but it didn’t last long and an­other de­fen­sive mix-up was pun­ished deep into stop­page-time as Rhodes was al­lowed to burst through the heart of the de­fence be­fore slid­ing a shot past Steele from the edge of the box.

Man­ager­less Rovers might have bagged only their sec­ond win in 11 games, but it still wasn’t enough to ap­pease the trav­el­ling fans who chanted their dis­dain for In­dian own­ers Venky’s al­most through­out the game, with global ad­vi­sor Shebby Singh cop­ping for the fiercest flack.

But on the field care­taker boss Gary Bowyer was de­lighted.

He said: “That was a bril­liant win for the lads. It’s been a dif­fi­cult week for ev­ery­one, but they've been great in train­ing.

“The level of per­for­mance was first class through­out, and I was par­tic­u­larly pleased with the way the lads threw their bod­ies on the line.

“It’s a great way to end 2012 I sup­pose, but we've got to try and re­peat that kind of ef­fort on Tues­day now.”

ROLLER­COASTER ROVERS: Mar­cus Ols­son cel­e­brates af­ter Jor­dan Rhodes (hid­den) has scored the third goal for Black­burn

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

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