Thank you says Lee after poor run ended
TROUBLED Lee Johnson paid tribute to Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne for sticking with him after a nightmare run of eight straight league defeats came to an end at the home of his old club.
New loan signing Kevin Long hit an 89th-minute winner at Boundary Park after the visitors – who hit the woodwork through Adam Hammill and Ivan Toney – had been pegged back by a Mark Yeates equaliser.
At that stage, Oldham looked the more likely winners, with Johnson's men set to pay for profligacy in front of goal after Conor Hourihane’s searing opener in a first half they dominated.
But up popped centreback Long, firing home inside the area after home goalkeeper Joel Coleman had fumbled an initial effort from Simeon Jackson.
“I am delighted and emotional,” said Tykes boss Johnson, who swapped Oldham for Oakwell nine months ago. “It was important we got the win and we deserved it, overall.
“We could have been 3-0 up early in the game and I have to thank the owner for sticking with it, as it hasn’t been easy for him.
“I thank everyone for their continued support during a difficult situation, all the way from the board to the fans.
“There have been long and lonely nights thinking about how we swing the balance.
“I know it has been tough for people and they have been asking for my head.
“But today, the fans were singing my name and for the team and their support was fantastic.
“It is only one result but it’s an important one and we have to build on it.”
Hourihane’s left-footed opener from the edge of the box took a slight deflection on its way in, but the visitors were well worthy of their lead at half-time with Marley Watkins seeing an effort cleared off the line. Home boss David Dunn felt his side should have had a penalty in the first half when Yeates went down.The winger later scored through Adam Davies’ legs after cutting in from the left, but Dunn admitted his side came up short on the day. “Everyone in the ground knew that in the first half, we didn’t turn up and we gave ourselves a hell of a lot to do,” said Dunn.
“We were second to everything, giving the ball away. It looked like we were in our shells.
“But in the second half, if there was going to be one team to win it, it looked like it would be us. Sometimes this game kicks you where it hurts at times.
“Mark Yeates had a very good game and looked a threat all afternoon. But unfortunately for us, not enough of our players played well.”