Joy after his Tykes take off
NEW Barnsley boss Lee Johnson praised the spirit of his side after he celebrated his first game in charge with a win against Gillingham at Priestfield.
The visitors took the lead after Ben Pearson's shot was parried by Stuart Nelson and George Waring fired home, ending the Gills’ eightmatch unbeaten run.
The Tykes have now won three on the bounce and Johnson, who joined Barnsley this week from Oldham, hailed the performance of his team.
“I’m delighted. It’s a victory, a 1-0 win away from home and a clean sheet. It’s the perfect result,” he said. “I thought the boys were fantastic, spirited, and of course it was difficult because it was a blowing gale and we were against a side that were really in form and we had to come here and do a job.
“I thought the midfield five worked their socks off, and I thought big George up top worked very hard and got his reward with the goal.”
Barnsley’s Josh Scowen had the best chance of a scrappy first half when his long range strike flew over the bar.
The Gills struggled to get a foothold in the game, and John Marquis’ deflected header was their best effort before the break.
The second period started in similar fashion to the first, but the Tykes took the lead on 56 minutes when Stoke City loanee,Waring, tapped home from close range for his second goal for the Oakwell side.
The Gills almost hit back but Gavin Hoyte’s shot was palmed away by Adam Davies.
Barnsley almost got their second of the game four minutes from the end but Nelson’s fingertips denied John O’Sullivan.
Gillingham had one final chance to snatch a point in injury time, but Jermaine McGlashan’s shot was superbly saved by Davies.
Gills boss Justin Edinburgh was left frustrated as he suffered his first defeat as Gillingham manager and he admitted a lack of concentration cost his side.
“There’s nothing good about losing and it’s hard to take because I couldn’t see us losing this game,” said Edinburgh.
“We had too many players that haven’t performed at the level they have in the time that I’ve been here.
“I didn’t feel either team was going to win it, the conditions were difficult but we’re disappointed with the goal we’ve conceded.
“We didn’t’ want to lose it through a mistake or lack of concentration, but ultimately that’s what cost us.
“Jermaine had a good chance at the end, when you get a chance like that in a game where there’s been very little, you’ve got to take it.”
STAR MAN MARTIN CRANIE Barnsle