JOHNSON’S TYKES NOT DONE YET
LEE Johnson believes his battling Barnsley side are still in with an outside chance of making the play-offs after they went toe-to-toe with sixth-placed Chesterfield.
The Tykes gave as good as they got at a sun-drenched Oakwell, though a draw leaves them still seven points shy of the top six with four games to play.
However, Johnson clearly hasn’t given up hope after his team responded positively to back-to-back defeats over Easter.
Johnson said: “In the second half we gave it a right good go and we were probably unfortunate not to have won the game. And that’s against a very good side in Chesterfield.
“We pegged them back and all the lads showed great character.
“I’d probably still say the chances of making the play-offs were around five per cent, but we’ve got to retain that belief.
“It’s been a little frustrating because other results around us went for us, but the players showed real commitment and desire. Nobody has given up hope yet.
“We can only get better from here on in, so we’ll have to see what transpires.”
The Spireites held a single-goal lead at the break thanks to Jay O’Shea’s smartly-taken strike in the 25th minute.
After pouncing on a stray pass from Tykes midfielder Conor Hourihane, Jimmy Ryan steadied before feeding Jay O’Shea, who slotted home his ninth goal of the season across keeper Adam Davies and in at the far corner.
Earlier Sam Clucas had been thwarted by a superb point-blank stop from Davies, while Barnsley were denied by the woodwork minutes after the Spireites had broken the deadlock.
Skipper Martin Cranie went agonisingly close to a leveller when he charged in to meet Ben Pearson’s corner-kick, only to see his brave header strike the crossbar.
The Tykes grabbed what turned out to be a deserved leveller just after the hour mark.
A cross into the Spireites’ box wasn’t sufficiently cleared, defender Peter Ramage knocked the ball back into the danger zone, and there was the unmarked Sam Winnall who slotted home neatly from ten yards to register his 11th goal of an injury-interrupted campaign.
Winnall almost nicked a winner later on when denied by keeper Tommy Lee, while at the other end Ryan ought to have at least got his shot on target as he lashed wastefully over.
Spireites boss Paul Cook said: “Like I’ve said a number of times already recently, we’ve just got to keep going now.
“We’ve got four games left, but I still think there are plenty of twists and turns to come yet. It’s been that kind of a division all season.
“I’m really pleased we’ve kept our fans interested until this stage of the season. They’ve been brilliant.”
EYES ON PRIZE: Jay O’Shea opens the scoring for Chesterfield
JOY: Sam Winnall after scoring Barnsley’s equaliser
STAR MAN DECLA
N JOHN Barnsle