Lee rev­els in per­fect day for the Tykes

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Steven Chicken

IT WAS not dif­fi­cult to de­tect Lee John­son’s mood af­ter red-hot Sam Winnnall scored a hat-trick in a breath­tak­ing de­mo­li­tion of Rochdale.

Barns­ley were in the rel­e­ga­tion zone at Christ­mas but have won all four league games since, with Win­nall scor­ing eight of their 15 goals on that re­mark­able run.

So there was un­der­stand­ably a bit of a spring in John­son’s step fol­low­ing what he de­scribed as “a per­fect day”.

He said:“It’s pure ela­tion. I’m de­lighted for ev­ery­body.

“Peo­ple have scored goals and Sam’s got his hat-trick, and ev­ery­body’s in form.

“I’m de­lighted for the fans be­cause we’ve put on a good show at home, and de­lighted for the staff and ev­ery­one in­volved.

“It was al­ways go­ing to be a tough game and it was up to a cer­tain point, but then once we’ve scored the third we’ve gone on to pro­duce a rout re­ally.

“We’ve given the fans some­thing that they can go home and buzz about for the next few days.

“I know that fans come to see their team win, and the spark at the end was prob­a­bly the last two or three goals. It was an out­stand­ing day to be a Barns­ley fan.”

Adam Ham­mill set up Barns­ley’s first two goals, cross­ing for both Al­fie Maw­son’s eighth minute header and Win­nall’s first goal af­ter the break.

Rochdale still looked in with a shout as late as the 65th minute, when Nathaniel Men­dez-Laing halved the deficit.

But Keith Hill de­scribed what fol­lowed as be­ing like a cricket bat­ting col­lapse, start­ing with Win­nall strik­ing his se­cond on the break four min­utes later, pro­vided by sub Ash­ley Fletcher sec­onds af­ter his in­tro­duc­tion from the bench.

From there Barns­ley scored ev­ery time they went for­wards, with Mar­ley Watkins hit­ting a de­served 84th-minute goal af­ter the Rochdale de­fence was again caught dither­ing.

Win­nall sealed his hat­trick, beat­ing goal­keeper Josh Lil­lis to Fletcher’s headed flick on to nod into the open net.

Kevin Long then make it 6-1 in the last minute of in­jury time with a header from Con­nor Houri­hane’s cross.

Man­ager Hill said: “We’ve got to take the rough with the smooth and the highs with the lows, but this is prob­a­bly my all-time low with Rochdale Foot­ball Club.

“It wasn’t nice and the chal­lenge is there for me and the play­ers to roll up our sleeves even more.

“I don’t think the play­ers gave up or stopped try­ing. There were far too many in­di­vid­ual and col­lec­tive mis­takes, but some­times when you’re on an off day you can try too hard and it has an ad­verse ef­fect. But I’m not mak­ing any ex­cuses.We were poor.”

STAR MAN SAM WINNA

LL Barnsle

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