The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Stephen Thirkill

BARNS­LEY may be off the mark with their first league win of the sea­son but Lee John­son ad­mits his side are lack­ing an early-sea­son spark af­ter watch­ing a slug­gish dis­play.

Conor Houri­hane’s sec­ond-half spot-kick sealed vic­tory but in truth the Tykes can count them­selves lucky af­ter Bur­ton missed a glut of chances in the first half.

And John­son said: “Gen­er­ally we were solid, but we have got to im­prove to be fair to the fans.

“Hope­fully that will come with more energy, be­cause we have got some good foot­ballers.

“We want the ball in play and mov­ing about and we have got to make sure that when we get up the pitch we pick peo­ple out.

“I’m re­lieved to have won. Bur­ton set their stall out to dis­rupt our tempo and they are a good team who know how to win.

“They are a very hard team to break down and, at times, we were a bit loose due to our lack of energy.”

Stu­art Beavon fired a com­fort­able shot at Adam Davies for Bur­ton on 17 min­utes as both teams strug­gled to cre­ate early chances.

Davies had to be at his best five min­utes later when he tipped Mark Duffy’s glanc­ing header away for a cor­ner af­ter he met Nasser El Khay­ati’s in­swing­ing cross.

The Barns­ley shot-stop­per then pro­duced another ex­cel­lent one­handed save to push El Khay­ati’s goal­bound shot away for a cor­ner on 29 min­utes.

El Khay­ati then hit the side-net­ting on 39 min­utes af­ter he picked up a loose ball in mid­field and beat right-back James Bree.

The wasted chances proved very costly for Al­bion as Barns­ley took the lead on 67 min­utes when Houri­hane coolly con­verted from the spot af­ter Damien McCrory was ruled to have hacked down Josh Scowen.

Duffy wasted a su­perb chance to level for Al­bion on 74 min­utes af­ter Lu­cas Akins held the ball up and picked the winger out in plenty of space.

But Duffy, on loan from Birm­ing­ham, failed to show the com­po­sure needed as he blazed his ef­fort high and wide.

Sub­sti­tute Timmy Thiele saw a fierce 30-yard strike crash off the cross­bar on 82 min­utes but the newly-pro­moted Brew­ers ran out of time.

And Bur­ton boss Jimmy Floyd Has­sel­baink says a lack of cut­ting edge, rather than the penalty de­ci­sion, cost his side in the end.

Has­sel­baink said: “I am not go­ing to say any­thing about the ref­eree. There is noth­ing we can do to change the de­ci­sion now, it has been and gone and we have to move on.

“I am happy with the way the play­ers played and their com­mit­ment. We found it tough in the first 20 min­utes, but we worked their goal­keeper more than they did ours af­ter that.

“We had our chances, but did not take them. Once you go be­hind it is hard be­cause Barns­ley do not need to come out and they can keep the ball.

“We de­fended well and it is un­for­tu­nate that we lost. It was not meant to be and we have to put this be­hind us now.”

PIC­TURES: Dan West­well


y PRES­SURE SPOT: Conor Houri­hane keeps his cool to score Barns­ley’s win­ner

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