TYKES GOBBLE UP COD ARMY
BARNSLEY climbed into the League One play-off places as an own goal from defender Joe Davis and a late Josh Scowen header sealed victory at struggling Fleetwood Town.
After an evenly contested first half, the match turned Barnsley’s way in the second half, leading caretaker-manager Paul Heckingbottom to praise his side’s determination to collect a vital three points in their quest for promotion to the Championship.
“To record a clean sheet away from home is massive and that is what we have built a lot of our recent success upon,” he said.
“Our goalkeeper made two important saves at the start of the game but we finished the first half stronger.
“We scored the first goal by putting their defence under pressure, so we got the rewards for our hard work.
“Josh Scowen made a huge impact when he came on. He was our best player at the start of the season but he was really unfortunate to get an injury when he did. I am delighted he came off the bench to score the final goal.
“Adam Davies didn’t have a save to make in the second half and we did more than enough to win the game.”
Fleetwood started brightly as Thomas Grant had two golden chances to break the deadlock, but Davies was equal to them.
The Cod Army edged the first half in terms of possession and chances; however, two minutes after the restart, Barnsley went ahead with a moment to forget for Fleetwood centre-half Davis.
A hopeful punt into the Fleetwood half wasn’t dealt with and under severe pressure from Sam Winnall, Davis miscommunicated with Chris Maxwell and headed over the goalkeeper and into an empty goal.
The Tykes rounded the game off with six minutes remaining, as substitute Scowen headed Adam Hamill’s corner home.
Fleetwood manager Steven Pressley admitted that his team must put an end to their losing streak next time out at Chesterfield, in what will be a scrap at the bottom of League One.
The Fylde Coast side have now suffered three defeats in a week, with just three points separating them from a spot in the bottom four.
Pressley said:“We’ve talked as a group and the biggest disappointment was that when we lost the goal early in the second half, we let it impact our performance.
“We have to show a greater deal of courage than that and have to show a better mentality to get out of this situation that we find ourselves in.
“We have to react to setbacks much better, because between now and the end of the season there’s going to be questions asked of us.
“A little less than two weeks ago we were on a positive run and there was a real feel-good factor around the place.
“Football can change very quickly though and three straight defeats isn’t great reading. “We must put an end to that by winning at Chesterfield next week.“
MIX-UP: Fleetwood Town’s Joe Davis’s header beats Chris Maxwell for an own goal PAIN: Joe Davis is consoled after netting his own goal STAR MAN CONOR HOURIH