Barns­ley resur­gence builds at Oak­well

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Si­mon Smedley

RE­JU­VE­NATED Barns­ley sur­vived a late bar­rage from Mill­wall to grab a hard-earned third vic­tory in four games at a bit­terly cold Oak­well.

Adam Ham­mill was the match-win­ner in the end, but the Tykes were in­debted to a couple of goal-line clear­ances, and the wood­work sec­onds from the end, as they hung on for a pre­cious three points.

Barns­ley boss Lee John­son saluted a backs-to-the-wall de­fen­sive ef­fort as his side ap­pear to be over the con­cerns of Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber, when they lost eight straight league games.

John­son said: “Our per­for­mances have really turned in the last few games and this was fur­ther ev­i­dence of that.

“We knew Mill­wall would be tough to break down, and then when we went 2-1 up I fig­ured they’d throw ev­ery­thing at us again. That’s ex­actly what they did, so I have to give credit to all our de­fend­ers for stand­ing up to Mill­wall’s threat in the man­ner that they did.

“This game had a bit of ev­ery­thing, so in that re­spect I’m de­lighted we’ve come through with an­other vic­tory.

“We showed real com­mit­ment to the cause and that bodes well for the com­ing games.”

Barns­ley were good value for their half-time lead, handed to them by in-form front-man Sam Win­nall af­ter just 12 min­utes.

Win­nall clin­i­cally headed home Ham­mill’s cross to reg­is­ter his tenth goal of the sea­son, and third in two games.

Ham­mill went close to dou­bling Barns­ley’s lead, while the Li­ons roared back with Shaun Wil­liams be­ing de­nied by a smart stop from Adam Davies.

Af­ter Steve Mori­son had been de­nied by the first goal-line clear­ance, Mill­wall evened it up just past the hour mark when Mori­son fol­lowed up to tap home af­ter Joe Martin’s ini­tial ef­fort had struck the post. How­ever, Ham­mill won the game six min­utes later when he took a neat pass from Win­nall be­fore beat­ing three de­fend­ers and smash­ing bril­liantly past David Forde.

The Li­ons came ag­o­nis­ingly close to grab­bing a share of the spoils in the clos­ing stages, but luck de­serted them.

Both Mori­son and Byron Web­ster were de­nied late on, while Mori­son held his head in his hands af­ter see­ing a header crash against the bar in the dy­ing sec­onds.

Mill­wall boss Neil Har­ris said: “Un­for­tu­nately it’s an­other day where we’ve been pun­ished for de­fen­sive er­rors, and I can’t keep say­ing that.

“We looked much more of a threat in the sec­ond half, but we con­ceded the sec­ond goal at to­tally the wrong time.

“We’ll hope­fully be able to make some changes in Jan­uary.”



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