TYKES HIT BACK TO STEND AND DELIVER
DANIEL Stendel said he was pleased to see his Barnsley side can “win ugly” after they bounced back from consecutive defeats to beat Bristol Rovers at Oakwell.
After a slow start to the match, Alex Mowatt got the breakthrough for the Tykes in the 11th minute. They were patient in their build-up play before Mowatt curled a shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.
The visitors were on top for the final 15 minutes of the first half and could have equalised on the half-hour mark. However, Reds goalkeeper Adam Davies was on hand to deny Stefan Payne from close range before Chris Lines’s goalbound shot was blocked.
Barnsley came out the stronger of the two teams after the break and nearly doubled their advantage as George Moncur saw a close-range effort blocked.
The home side came closest to a second goal with 10 minutes left as substitute Mamadou Thiam hit the bar from a free-kick before firing over from inside the box.
Similar to the first half, the Rovers were on top towards the end of the half, but ultimately they couldn’t find an equaliser late on.
Stendel said: “I think it is a very important win for us because you can see that [after two losses] we lost our confidence and self-belief.
“It wasn’t an easy game to win for us and it wasn’t our best performance but I think it’s good because we won 1-0 at home and we’ve stopped our negative run.
“We played okay against Charlton, but they were better on the day and on Tuesday it was a bad performance from us. Today the players showed that they can improve their performance, which is important for me and good for the players.”
Stendel also heaped praise on match-winner Mowatt, saying: “I think if you have watched our games, you will know that he is an important player for us. I don’t think he ever has a bad performance, most of the time he has a good performance. He won his duels, he played very well with the ball and I’m happy that he scored as well.”
Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke said: “I don’t want to say we were unfortunate because it’s the story of our season; not being ruthless in the final third.
“I thought in the first 45 minutes we were on the front foot, but you’ve got to take your opportunities in key moments of the game and we’re not doing that throughout the course of the season so that’s why we’re struggling.
“I can’t say we deserved more because it’s about putting the ball in the back of the net, and if we’re not punishing the opposition. We’ve got to take our opportunities.”
STAR MAN ALEX MOWATT Barnsley PAIN GAME: James Clarke, of Bristol Rovers, challenges Barnsley’s Kieffer Moore and, inset, Alex Mowatt celebrates after scoring for the hosts