A BELIEVER AS HIS TYKES HIT BACK
Barnsley strike at death to get point
DANNY Wilson is convinced Barnsley have the bottle to win their battle against relegation after Nick Proschwitz grabbed a last-gasp equaliser at fellow strugglers Doncaster.
While a point does little to close the gap between the Tykes and safety, defeat would have been a crushing blow that would have handed Donny a nine-point advantage.
Only Millwall, who hope Ian Holloway will inspire them to safety, and Charlton, who have plenty of games in hand, stand between the two sides with Barnsley wedged second-from-bottom.
It looked like that gap would narrow significantly when Proschwitz grabbed the opener only for two James Coppinger strikes in a ten-minute spell after half-time to turn the game on its head.
To Wilson’s relief Proschwitz came up with a response in the 89th minute to earn the Tykes a point and fuel the manager’s belief that survival remains a possibility.
He said:“To keep going until the end of the game showed that we have some character. It was a game of big magnitude at a key time of the season so I have to praise the lads for digging in right until the end.
“We got what we deserved. We asked a lot of questions, especially towards the end of the game, and had some good chances and kept persevering. We always believed we could get something out of it and thankfully we did.
“At the end of the day it’s a good result for us but I’m sure Doncaster will feel like it’s two points dropped, as we would if we’d conceded a late goal.
“We’ve caused problems to most teams in the last few weeks but we’ve let in too many soft goals.”
It was the Tykes who took the lead on 27 minutes when Hull loanee Proschwitz slotted home. The big German striker got on the end of a deflected long ball and outjumped goalkeeper Sam Johnstone before tapping in from a few yards in front of the travelling supporters.
The game’s big controversy came a few minutes later when former Rovers midfielder Martin Woods brought down James Husband in the box. Referee Andy D’Urso wasn’t looking at the incident and allowed play to continue, but Rovers fans and boss Paul Dickov were furious.
Five minutes later, there was controversy at the other end as Barnsley skipper Martin Cranie’s headed goal from Woods’ corner was disallowed for pushing. It didn’t look like there had been much contact between Cranie and Rovers players but D’Urso blew his whistle.
A few seconds before the interval, Rovers equalised in comical fashion as Barnsley ‘keeper Luke Steele and Cranie made a hash of Hus- band’s deep cross and the ball spilled to Coppinger who tapped home.
And the hosts got their noses in front on 55 minutes when Coppinger’s deflected strike from the edge of the box sailed past Steele. The Barnsley ‘keeper was wrongfooted but seemed to watch the ball sneak past him without moving.
Centre-half Peter Ramage saw his looping header hit the bar but it looked like Rovers were going to claim the points only for Wilson’s men to nick a point in the 89th minute.
Proschwitz slotted home after good work from Chris O’Grady and substitute Paddy McCourt.
Dickov said: “After going 2-1 up we expect to win the game but we lost concentration.We dropped too deep and stopped doing the things that got us back in the game.
“They put us under a lot of pressure but we’ve been sound defensively in the last few weeks and I’d expect my team to cling on.
“I’m disappointed but it’s another point on the board and we’ll keep going.
“Barnsley might feel that they deserved it with the pressure they put on us at the end but having been 2-1 up we should have hung on there’s no doubt about it.”
POINT NICKED: Nick Proschwitz fires home a priceless equaliser for Barnsley
STAR MAN JAMES COPPINGER Donca sterRvrs