Tykes are Wright to want to win ugly

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Colin Hen­rys

WIN­NING ugly is just fine for Barns­ley as­sis­tant head coach Tommy Wright af­ter the Tykes’ res­o­lute per­for­mance earned vic­tory against Gilling­ham.

Gilling­ham had only pre­vi­ously won once at Oak­well, back in 1968, and goals from Ben Pear­son and Sam Win­nall en­sured it re­mained an un­happy hunt­ing ground for the visi­tors.

And though Wright ad­mit­ted the hosts were not at their best, he be­lieves grind­ing out a vic­tory is a mark of the progress the young team is mak­ing.

“I’ve told the play­ers it wasn’t our best per­for­mance – the qual­ity on the ball was not great – but some­times you get that and the im­por­tant thing is to win ugly,” he said.

“You will get games in the sea­son where you aren’t play­ing so well and it’s im­por­tant to learn how to win them.

“The pleas­ing thing was how we stood up and apart from two or three oc­ca­sions we coped with Gilling­ham’s pres­sure quite well.

“We’ve got a very young team and if we want to be suc­cess­ful we need to learn to get that con­sis­tency – win­ning this game was a big plus.”

Gilling­ham started the brighter of the two, but Luke Nor­ris fired wide on three min­utes and Ben Wil­liamson’s low shot was held by Nick Townsend.

But Pear­son’s un­stop­pable 20-yard strike, af­ter Josh Scowen’s cross was not prop­erly cleared, gave Barns­ley the lead on 18 min­utes.

Kadeem Harris then cut in­side from the left-wing on 34 min­utes, and his right-footed shot looked des­tined for the top cor­ner un­til Stu­art Nel­son pushed it wide.

Win­nall dou­bled the ad­van­tage in first-half stop­page time, ar­riv­ing late af­ter Mar­ley Watkins’ pulled the ball back to fin­ish low into the cor­ner.

Gilling­ham shuf­fled their at­tack­ing op­tions af­ter the break, and sub­sti­tute Rory Don­nelly volleyed just over from the edge of the box on 69 min­utes.

Cody McDon­ald’s shot was then saved by Townsend’s legs on 89 min­utes and Jake Hessen­thaler’s header hit the post in stop­page time. But boss Justin Ed­in­burgh felt his team lacked a cre­ative spark as they suf­fered their sec­ond straight de­feat.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed,” he said.“No­body en­joys los­ing and it’s the first time this sea­son we haven’t done enough to win the game.

“To go in 2-0 down at half time was hard to take but, though we huffed and puffed, I didn’t think our in­ven­tive­ness in the fi­nal third was good enough.

“We’ve got to learn from these two defeats now to get us back on track.We have to be more cre­ative.

“The level of per­for­mance has to be bet­ter.”

STAR MAN GE­ORG

E SMITH Barnsle

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