WILSON’S TYKES WON’T GIVE UP
O’Grady pays the penalty
DANNY WILSON says “devastated” Chris O’Grady – and his Barnsley teammates – will not give up on their battle against relegation despite losing against Bolton.
O’Grady, so often the Tykes hero, was the villain on this occasion as his penalty miss cost the struggling Yorkshire outfit at least a point.
The result was harsh on Wilson’s side, who displayed all the courage and desire they will need in the final weeks of the season if they are to pull off the greatest of escapes and retain their Championship status.
Ultimately, though, it was the difference in quality in front of goal that proved key. Jermaine Beckford’s first-half strike gave Bolton the lead, before O’Grady struck the crossbar from 12 yards in the dying moments after having an earlier penalty appeal turned down.
Five points now separate Barnsley from safety, but Wilson remains insistent his side can stay up on the back of a game he felt they deserved to win.
He said: “Chris O’Grady is devastated and so is the whole team.
“But we’ve picked them up straight after the game because we’ve got another match on Tuesday.
“The first appeal was a blatant penalty.
“The referee didn’t give us anything.
“There were incorrect bookings, penalty decisions, the inconsistency frustrates me. I feel let down by the referee.
“We’re capable of staying up, we’ve got the fight and the will – you saw that.
“I’m delighted by the performance and I felt we deserved the three points.”
The swirling of empty crisp packets around the Reebok Stadium surface threatened to be the most entertaining sub-plot to this encounter such was the lack of quality on show in a pretty dire first half.
Barnsley’s Dale Jennings ought to have brought the entertainment ceasefire to an end midway through the opening period, but he blazed Ryan McLaughlin’s pull back over the bar from eight yards.
That miss jolted some life into a Bolton side seemingly already on their summer holidays.
Beckford rounded Luke Steele and slotted home on 44 minutes after Matt Mills’ long ball caught the back four napping.
Thankfully for the paying public the second period offered plenty more in the way of enthusiasm.
The visitors set about Bolton straight from the restart and were unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty on 71 minutes when O’Grady went down under a clumsy tackle from Liam Trotter inside the box.
Minutes later the lively Ryan McLaughlin headed wide a wonderful opportunity inside the six-yard box, on the end of a brilliant delivery from Jennings.
But, with just seven minutes remaining, he looked to have atoned for that miss when he won a penalty after being brought down by Alex Baptiste, only for O’Grady to see his spot-kick come back off the crossbar.
The result was a flattering one for Bolton, but Wanderers’ boss Dougie Freedman was satisfied with the efforts of his players after they extended their unbeaten run to 12 games.
He said: “It was a very hard fought victory but I expected nothing else against a team fighting relegation.
“I was pleased for Jermaine. It was his first 90 minutes in quite some time and he took his goal well.
“He gave us a threat all the way through the game on the shoulder of the last man.
“My worry was our end product and then they got the penalty.
“They’ll be disappointed they missed it but we should’ve finished the game off before then.”
HOT TO TROTT: Jermaine Beckford, right, celebrates with team mates after scoring the winner for Bolton
GOING IN: Beckford tucks away his goal