ON-LOAN TRIO FIRE TYKES TO TOP SIX

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Michael Beard­more

BARNS­LEY’S ‘loan rangers’ fired the resur­gent Tykes into the top six for the first time but care­taker boss Paul Heck­ing­bot­tom warned: ‘Don’t be­lieve the hype’.

Goals from on-loan trio Josh Brown­hill of Pre­ston, Manch­ester United’s Ash Fletcher and Mid­dles­brough whizz-kid Harry Chapman made it 12 wins in 15 league games for the in-form Tykes.

And while pro­mo­tion ri­vals Wal­sall’s wob­bles con­tin­ued, Barns­ley’s re­mark­able rise from rel­e­ga­tion fod­der to top-six can­di­dates shows no signs of stop­ping.

Heck­ing­bot­tom said: “I’m de­lighted for the three loan lads – Fletch has done well since he’s come back into the team, Brown­hill did re­ally well all game and so did Harry Chapman.

“Harry’s un­der­stand­ing of the game is very good, he’s got an old head on young shoul­ders. His po­si­tion and his an­tic­i­pa­tion meant he was able to counter quickly and get a ter­rific goal.

“It was a fan­tas­tic vic­tory, away from home against some­one above us in the league.

“We know what we are chas­ing and we know what we’ve got to do but we’ve just said to the play­ers it can be­come a dis­trac­tion if you start be­liev­ing the hype.

“We don’t want to get car­ried away with things peo­ple are say­ing be­cause those same peo­ple will be say­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent when we lose a game.”

Barns­ley went ahead on 17 min­utes as Fletcher latched onto Chapman’s flick and ac­cel­er­ated past two Wal­sall de­fend­ers be­fore bury­ing a fine fin­ish into the bot­tom cor­ner.

It was harsh on Wal­sall who had ear­lier seen An­thony Forde’s 25-yard free-kick smack the post and, later, Adam Davies’ fine re­ac­tion save keep out Tom Brad­shaw’s close-range shot. But they de­servedly lev­elled from the re­sult­ing cor­ner as Brad­shaw tucked home his 16th goal of the sea­son from a tight an­gle af­ter Davies had foiled Andy Tay­lor.

Barns­ley flew out of the blocks in the se­cond half as Fletcher missed a sit­ter from six yards but made up for it as his run set up Brown­hill’s crack­ing 25-yard strike. And when Chapman ran half the length of the pitch to squeeze a near-post fin­ish past Neil Etheridge six min­utes later, it was game over.

Mi­lan Lalkovic could have got Wal­sall back in it but fired straight at Davies from 15 yards.

The Sad­dlers are still in the play-offs but have not won at home in 2016, leav­ing boss Sean O’Driscoll fac­ing the wrath of the fans.

He said: “It was a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult but the worst part about it was the at­mos­phere in the crowd.You can un­der­stand peo­ple’s frus­tra­tions but those are the times you need them with you.

“They are an hon­est bunch of play­ers here and no­body means to mis­place a pass, make a mis­take, give the ball away or not score.We need to stick to­gether.

“At half-time we had been the bet­ter team. Then by 56 min­utes we were 3-1 down and I think it showed the fragility of the team – as soon as you gam­ble and change the shape of the team, all the things we do well be­come re­ally dif­fi­cult.”

PIC­TURES: Will Kil­patrick

OFF THE MARK: Josh Brown­hill cel­e­brates scor­ing his first goal for Barns­ley

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