MAN OF STEELE SAVES TYKES

N FOR­EST ........0 BARNSLEY........0

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Ian Baker

DAVE FL­ITCROFT hailed his Barnsley side’s bat­tling qual­i­ties and in­sisted af­ter they some­how got a point at Not­ting­ham For­est: “We’re not down yet.”

Goal­keeper Luke Steele made save af­ter save and For­est hit the wood­work four times to en­sure Barnsley are only goal dif­fer­ence away from safety go­ing into their fi­nal games with Hull and Hud­der­s­field.

“Luke Steele’s a top keeper, but to keep a clean sheet at For­est takes more than a keeper, it’s a real squad ef­fort to get draws at th­ese kind of places,” said Fl­itcroft. “That group of play­ers have earned it.

“When I re­alised it was not cross­bar chal­lenge I came back down to earth! I ex­pected For­est to play with that flu­id­ity and you have to de­fend. There are two sides to foot­ball and what my boys have done is fan­tas­tic.

“There have been freak re­sults week-in week-out. We’re in with a fight­ing chance de­spite be­ing ev­ery­one’s favourites to go down.

“We’ve not been scared of any team in this league, we have a no-fear ap­proach. I have no fear of tak­ing on Hull or Hud­der­s­field. They have brought more mem­o­ries. They don’t know when they are beaten. Ev­ery­one said Barnsley are go­ing down with a whim­per but we’ll keep fight­ing.”

It was scarcely be­liev­able how For­est did not win a game they dom­i­nated from start to fin­ish.

Out of form Simon Cox had a shot de­flected wide early on be­fore Henri Lans­bury headed Radi Ma­jew­ski’s cor­ner onto the cross­bar.

For­est were hin­dered by a knee in­jury to right back Sam Hutchin­son forc­ing a de­fence re-shuf­fle with Danny Collins coming on and Greg Hal­ford switched to the right.

But the change did not really hin­der Billy Davies’ side as Steele then made won­der saves to keep out a Billy Sharp header from Hal­ford’s long throw be­fore deny­ing Ad­lene Gue­dioura from long range ef­forts. Steele was at it again af­ter half-time as he thwarted Lans­bury from Andy Reid’s cross.

Reid then drove against the post from out­side the area be­fore Sharp did the same af­ter El­liott Ward had headed down Gue­dioura’s cross.

Barnsley did not have to make For­est goal­keeper Karl Dar­low work all day and they did well to hold on with the gods smil­ing on them.

Sharp’s agony con­tin­ued as he headed against the cross­bar in in­jury time from Reid’s cen­tre from the wide as it just was not For­est’s day.

For­est have now failed to win their last six matches and sud­denly find them­selves two points out­side the play-off zone.

“I can ask no more,” said Davies.“We’ve seen the post, bar, crosses and shots and de­served three points. We should have got three points. We picked up a point. But I said to my play­ers if you do that in the next two matches we win both games. Lady luck was against us.

“We now need two wins and need to carry on as we did. If they do the ex­act same again they will pick up six points.With 70 points it might just be enough.

“With the dy­nam­ics, I’ve asked them to work hard for me.We’re try­ing to man­u­fac­ture a bit and put peo­ple in wide ar­eas.

“When I ar­rived, I said that on pa­per we had a very good squad but the games are won on foot­ball pitches.

“But I felt get­ting to 55 points would have been re­mark­able.”

LATE SHOW: Billy Sharp rises high but his header came back off the bar

HEADS UP: Danny Collins’ flicked header came close to open­ing the scor­ing

PIC­TURES: John Sumpter

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