PROUD MORAIS EYES A MIR­A­CLE

Tykes out of bot­tom three with one to go

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John Brind­ley

CHARIS­MATIC Barns­ley boss Jose Morais con­fessed he ‘be­lieves in mir­a­cles’ af­ter his side pro­duced a spell­bind­ing dis­play to end Brent­ford’s play-off hopes.

A for­tu­nate opener by Ki­ef­fer Moore and Oliver McBurnie’s sec­ond-half header lifted the Tykes out of the bot­tom three go­ing into next week­end’s fi­nal game at Derby.

And Morais was de­ter­mined to milk the mo­ment just five days af­ter their dispir­it­ing 3-0 ca­pit­u­la­tion at For­est.

“I be­lieve in mir­a­cles but some­times they do not hap­pen,” he said. “I am very proud of my play­ers. We de­served more than the two home wins since I’ve been here but this is a spe­cial mo­ment.

“Be­fore we think about our game plan for Derby, I con­grat­u­late the boys and will en­joy a drink with friends tonight.

“The seeds are there and one day they will come out. To­day was one of those days.”

The man­ager’s en­ter­tain­ing phi­los­o­phy, which con­trasted starkly with Dean Smith’s dark mood, was summed up by his view on Moore’s all-im­por­tant 11th-minute opener.

Af­ter the Bees had buzzed around the home goal for a full 10 min­utes carv­ing out three half-chances, Barns­ley scored from their first foray up­field.

Gary Gard­ner strode for­ward with style and con­fi­dence be­fore Moore’s over­hit cross con­founded Daniel Bent­ley af­ter hit­ting the bar.

“Per­haps Ki­ef­fer meant to score a goal, but not in the way that he did,” said Morais.

Smith’s as­sess­ment that it was a ‘spawny goal’ was probade­but, bly more ac­cu­rate, but it was hard to knock Morais’ spirit.

His side re­fused to sit back on their lead and sim­ply bat­tered Brent­ford into sub­mis­sion af­ter the break.

Tykes he­roes old and new com­bined for the killer sec­ond in the 51st minute. Adam Ham­mill, who put in an ath­letic and skil­ful ef­fort, curled over a cor­ner for McBurnie to head down and just over the line to send Oak­well into rap­tures.

Moore spurned two out­stand­ing chances to dou­ble Barns­ley’s lead as they stormed for­ward.

It was a full 77 min­utes be­fore Jack Wal­ton, on his home fielded a shot in anger by Chris Mepham.

Sev­eral Tykes play­ers could have been man of the match as they pro­duced a bril­liant, some­times thrilling, team ef­fort against qual­ity op­po­nents.

Con­nor Ma­honey and Brad Potts joined Gary Gard­ner in dom­i­nat­ing mid­field with McBurnie com­bin­ing well with Ham­mill.

Morais high­lighted Barns­ley’s in­ven­tion and game man­age­ment as they com­fort­ably saw the game out.

Whether they can turn on the same style un­der enor­mous last-day pres­sure at Derby re­mains to be seen, but they merit Cham­pi­onship foot­ball on this ev­i­dence.

Brent­ford will surely con­tinue to charm with their pass­ing foot­ball, although Smith was in no mood to see the bright side.

“We were in con­trol for 15 min­utes, then they went up­field and got a spawny goal,” he said.

“We took the game back over again and I told the lads to keep do­ing the same things at half­time and we’d get chances.

“But we didn’t do our jobs from the cor­ner and then lost our dis­ci­pline.

“Barns­ley de­served it in the sec­ond half but I’m dis­ap­pointed be­cause that’s as poor as we have played.”

PIC­TURES: WhiteRosePho­tos

UP AND IN: Brent­ford keeper Daniel Bent­ley is help­less as Ki­ef­fer Moore scores In­set: Barns­ley cel­e­brates their sec­ond

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