‘RED’ MICK FINALLY GETS LAST LAUGH
OAKWELL legend Mick McCarthy thanked his old club for finally doing him a welcome favour after his Ipswich Town side scored twice in the last ten minutes to grab a draw.
McCarthy, who played almost 300 games for Barnsley, looked to be heading home empty handed until two goals in the space of four minutes late on rescued a point for the former Reds skipper.
Despite a second half onslaught, McCarthy’s men were trailing 2-0 with just ten minutes to go but Christophe Berra and leading scorer David McGoldrick made sure McCarthy’s homecoming did not end in tears.
It was enough to bring a smile to McCarthy’s face as he joked afterwards he’d been waiting long enough for a helping hand from his first club.
He said:“I always love coming back here – even though I usually get my backside slapped!
“The Barnsley fans were singing ‘Mick’s a Red,’ and they are right – I always will be, but make no mistake, this is a blooming good point.
“It looked like being the most one-sided 2-0 defeat ever at one stage.
“We played really well in the second half but we were a bit profligate and we let them off the hook at times, but we deserved at least a point.
“When it went 2-0 you can think it’s not going to be your day but there was no reason for the players to think that because we were playing well, particularly in the second half.
“We kept shouting not to give up and to keep going and we rallied them on. I thought if we could get one back we could still get something. We got back into the game and I think that’s the least we deserved.”
Barnsley could have been ahead as early as the sixth minute when leading scorer Chris O’Grady shot wide but he made amends on 12 minutes, turning and firing low past the helpless Dean Gerken.
It was O’Grady’s 11th goal of the season and no more than the home side deserved but Ipswich came within inches of levelling just five minutes later.
Aaron’s Cresswell’s 25-yard free-kick beat both the wall and keeper Luke Steele but sadly for the Tractor Boys it smacked against the post.
A goal looked on the cards and it duly came eight minutes later, but not at the end everyone was expecting. Substitute Tomasz Cywka drilled home a fine free- kick, which took a slight deflection along the way, from just outside the area to double the home side’s lead.
It looked game over but the visitors had other ideas.
They were back in it with ten minutes to go when Paul Anderson’s corner was headed goalwards by Tommy Smith and although Jim O’Brien blocked the effort on the line, Berra was alive to the rebound and thumped it home.
McGoldrick then took his tally to 16 for the season with a similar free-kick to Cywka’s, drilling home a fierce drive.
Barnsley manager Danny Wilson admitted: “I am frustrated more than disappointed about being pegged back the way we were. But, you have to be honest, we had our backs to the wall for long periods in that second half.
“We knew the situation with the wind and the quality that they possess meant we were going to be on the back foot. But the performance wasn’t disappointing, just the manner in which we conceded the goals.The wind played a big part in that second half and because of the pressure it meant they had the momentum and we had to deal with that.
“I am getting the commitment I want from the lads, but the quality could be better at times. We maintain the belief that we can still get out of trouble.”
BACK OF THE NET: Christophe Berra scores for Ipswich Inset: Chris O’Grady scores the opener