The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

HAD Sam Win­nall’s op­por­tunis­tic strike proved de­ci­sive, the pill would have been bit­ter in­deed for Barns­ley and their sup­port­ers.

Not just be­cause the 26-year-old once wore a red shirt but be­cause his pres­ence in one would surely have re­sulted in a home vic­tory. The Tykes – so in­ven­tive and slick – cre­ated a host of chances and only prof­li­gate fin­ish­ing cost them.

Wed­nes­day, by con­trast, look a shell of the side so fast and dev­as­tat­ing on the counter last sea­son. Those strug­gles can be partly ex­plained by the ab­sence of the in­jured Fer­nando Forestieri but, truth be told, the Owls have never hit the heights of last sea­son de­spite a heavy fi­nan­cial out­lay.

This was a typ­i­cal per­for­mance – stodgy, unin­spired, slow to find the for­wards. Once again, Jor­dan Rhodes was badly iso­lated and Barry Ban­nan never found his range. For the first time in his reign, Car­los Car­val­hal is feel­ing real pres­sure. Mak­ing the play-offs looks a big task.

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