Winnall condemns Shrews to drop zone
BARNSLEY’S League One revival continued as top scorer Sam Winnall’s firsthalf double strike paved the way for victory over Shrewsbury and head coach Lee Johnson was impressed with his leading man.
Winnall briefly spent time at Shrewsbury on loan earlier in his career and he enjoyed his return to Greenhous Meadow by inspiring the Oakwell men to a third successive League One victory.
Shrewsbury now find themselves in the bottom four in League One and have conceded ten goals in their last two league games either side of an FA Cup third round victory at Championship side Cardiff.
Johnson was pleased with his side’s display and saluted the quality of Winnall’s finishing.
“I think that he’s been very good in the last six or seven weeks,” said Johnson.“He’s grown in confidence and I think we’ve helped him a little bit outside the box and he’s always had the confidence inside the box.
“He’s a goalscorer, he scores many different types of goals and you can see how much it means to him when he scores.
“He wants to be up there in the top of the charts and he’s probably pretty close now.
“We’ve tried to stay really consistent, apologise for our bad form earlier on in the season and rectify it,” he added.
“It looks like we’ve got 13, 14 players now that we can go and have a decent game in any League One game at the moment and a couple to come off the bench.”
Barnsley were rewarded for a bright start when Winnall latched onto a long clearance from goalkeeper Adam Davies to fire them into a 15thminute lead.
It quickly got better for the visitors when Winnall ran at the Shrewsbury defence and arrowed a low shot from the edge of the box to the bottom corner of the net. Shrewsbury rallied as the interval approached but Andy Mangan, having had his shirt pulled by James Bree, saw the resulting penalty impressively saved by Davies. The Barnsley keeper then shone again to tip a header from Nat Knight-Percival just over the bar.
Shrewsbury boss Micky Mellon responded by making a triple change at the interval but chances were hard to come by before Barnsley moved further clear in the 72nd minute when defender Alfie Mawson followed up to score from close range.
“Pretty much everything that we did at Cardiff, the shape, the organisation, the pressing, we didn’t do from the front right through to the back,” said Mellon.
“The goals that we gave away are appalling – I’ve got to be honest and say that.”
IF A SIGN of a promotion-winning team is how they respond to setbacks then Gary Caldwell reckons Wigan delivered in spades after putting their stunning midweek collapse to one side.
Sheffield United scored three goals in 20 minutes to clinch a draw against the Latics on Tuesday – but there was no sign of such complacency here.
Max Power, Reece James and Michael Jacobs all struck in the first half and despite a late Ollie Banks consolation, Chesterfield were never in the race.
Wigan are well and truly on the march towards promotion, having lost just twice in their last 20 league games.
And Caldwell said:“I thought the performance was very similar for the first 66 minutes against Sheffield United. We showed real hunger from the first minute.
“We got a reaction to the final 24 minutes on Tuesday night as we were all hurting after that game.They responded in the right way with a really positive performance
“I think whilst football is a physical game, a lot of it is mental. I said it was a certainty that we would go three up in this game and it’s not easy after what happened in midweek.
“We need to focus on our job but I am sure that if we perform like that then we will be there or thereabouts come the end.”
The home side took the early initiative on six minutes, when midfielder Power gave Spireites keeper Tommy Lee no chance with a thunderbolt of a free-kick from 25 yards. Chesterfield should have equalised when Lee Novak was put clean through but Wigan keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen raced out of his goal to clear.
And they were left to rue the chance as Wigan scored two goals in two minutes and seemingly put the game to bed before half time. First left-back James curled in a shot after being left in too much space outside the penalty area by the Chesterfield defence.
And they made it three almost immediately when Jacobs raced forward and placed his effort past Lee.
Wigan picked up where they left off early in the second half and nearly scored when the increasingly influential Jacobs shot just wide of the target.
Soon after Power shot straight at the keeper after a neat lay off by Haris Vuckic as the visitors continued to struggle in possession.
The Spireites did grow into the game and pull one back on 79 minutes when Banks poked the ball home from close range, but it was too little too late.
“Obviously it’s difficult when your 3-0 down to come back against anyone, irrespective of if it’s Wigan,” said Chesterfield boss Danny Wilson.
“After the disappointment of the first half of course we rallied in the second.
“If we had taken more care in certain positions the scoreline could have been a lot different.
“At the end of the day you can’t allow teams to be going two or three goals up before you start performing.
“It’s important from now that we take the lesson of the first 45 minutes.”
CRACKER: Wigan's Michael Jacobs celebrates scoring their third goal STAR MAN MICHAEL JACOBS
STAR MAN SAM WINNALL