Ten-man Sheffield Wednesday sent Yorkshire rivals Barnsley into
the Championship relegation places after a crucial 2-1 victory at
Hillsborough on Saturday.
It had been a poor encounter which Barnsley had dominated until
Gary Madine ended a four-month wait for a goal when he finished
from close range in the 65th minute.
That goal inspired Wednesday and Reda Johnson made it two with a
header 12 minutes later and Madine should have put the gloss on it
but he missed from the spot before Lewis Buxton saw red following
two yellow cards.
However, with results elsewhere going against them, the Owls
were unable to put further distance between themselves and the
bottom three, meaning their quest for survival looks like going
down to the wire.
Barnsley’s fate will also not be decided for a few weeks as this
defeat, which rarely looked on the cards until the Owls’ opener,
ends a sequence of back-to-back wins and sees them drop back into
the bottom three, despite Jacob Mellis’ late consolation.
The opening exchanges lacked the intensity you would expect from
a South Yorkshire derby that had huge importance at the bottom of
the league, though Barnsley had the better of the first 15 minutes,
with Jim O’Brien dragging an effort wide and Chris Dagnall seeing
his shot spilled by Chris Kirkland.
After a lengthy period of poor quality play there was finally
some goalmouth action to savour shortly before the break as
Dagnall’s shot was well blocked by Miguel Llera and then Marlon
Harewood hooked wide from a good position at the far post following
a good cross from Tom Kennedy.
Having had no shots on target in the first half, Wednesday could
not be any worse after the break and they did force Steele into
some work, first from Leroy Lita’s tame header and then from a Reda
Johnson header, which the defender should have done better
Those two efforts did little to spark the Owls into life,
though, as the Reds continued to be the better side and they almost
broke the deadlock on the hour. David Perkins found Reuben
Noble-Lazarus and the substitute unleashed a vicious effort that
Kirkland superbly turned over the bar.
David Flitcroft’s men continued to push and Kirkland was again
called into action when he got down well to keep out Jason
Scotland’s effort after the impressive Mellis burst into the
Just as it looked like Barnsley were edging ahead, Wednesday
took the lead out of nowhere and against the run of play. Lewis
Buxton broke down the right after Jermaine Johnson’s pass and slid
a superb ball across the face of goal which Madine turned in at the
far post. Madine had been a virtual spectator until his timely
contribution and it was his first goal since early December, a run
of 13 games.
The deserved second eventually came in the 77th minute when Reda
Johnson had acres of space to head home Llera’s free-kick. It was
all Wednesday at this point and it should have been three but
Madine blazed his spot-kick wide after Bobby Hassell’s
However, Barnsley made a game of it in six minutes of added time
when Mellis smashed home from 16 yards as a previously drab game
ended in a flourish.
On-loan Crystal Palace forward Jason Banton’s goal wrapped up a
third straight win for the hosts and put a dent in the Grecians’
automatic promotion hopes.
Tisdale said: “My first thought is that it is disappointing of
course and my second thought is moving on to the next game, which
we have to do.
“It’s the business end of the season. It’s good for me to note
this game, and have opinions and an objective view and bank it for
the future but what we need to do is move to the next game.
“We have got six games to go, 18 points at stake and as much as
I feel miserable now, it’s good for me to acknowledge that –
understand why and how – and move to the next, which we have
“I didn’t think we played well enough to win the game. Our game
wasn’t cohesive enough.
“We started the game well in the first 15 minutes and didn’t
really find that form at all for the remaining part of the
“So a game of little or few chances and once the first goal goes
in you know it’s always going to be a tough ask to come back,
whichever side scored it.”