Barnsley 2-3 Bolton Wanderers

  • March 02, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton won on the road for only the fourth time this season, as they beat Barnsley 3-2 at Oakwell on Saturday.

First half goals from David Ngog and Jay Spearing saw Wanderers cruise into the interval with a two-goal advantage, but Barnsley got themselves back on level terms with two strikes inside the opening eight minutes of the second half from Tomasz Cywka and Chris O'Grady.

Dougie Freedman's side soon found themselves back in front, though, as Craig Dawson poked the ball home from close range to score his fourth goal in just six appearances for the club and seal the three points for the visitors.

After naming an unchanged side for Tuesday's victory over Peterborough United, Wanderers made two changes ahead of their game in Yorkshire - with Chris Eagles and Craig Davies recalled to the side at the expense of Marvin Sordell and the injured Mark Davies. Davies' appearance marked his first return to Barnsley since leaving the club for Bolton in the January transfer window.

Around 2,000 Trotters supporters had made the trip to Oakwell and they were nearly greeted with an early goal as Dawson looked to get on the end of a Spearing corner, only to pick up a knock in the process.

The on-loan West Bromwich Albion defender returned to the play and was at the heart of a defence put under a good amount of early pressure. Zat Knight did well to block a strike from Jim O'Brien, before Dawson denied the same man just before the quarter-hour mark.

Those blocks proved to be crucial, as Bolton broke up to the other end of the field and opened the scoring just 60 seconds later. Eagles played a superb ball into the path of Ngog, who saw his first shot saved by Luke Steele before slotting home the rebound from close range.

Craig Davies - whose every touch was jeered by the home support - had the chance to double the lead at the midway point of the half but he miss-hit a volley from the left-hand side of the penalty area, much to the delight of the Tykes fans behind the goal.

The visitors were denied a second goal on the half-hour as Steele threw himself across his line to deny Eagles, while Craig Davies shot over the bar shortly afterwards.

A goal did arrive seven minutes before the break, though, as Bolton gave themselves a comfortable two-goal cushion. The Barnsley defence failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to Spearing on the edge of the box, who hit a half-volley into the bottom corner of Steele's net.

Chris Dagnall had a shot deflected over the Wanderers crossbar shortly afterwards, before Cywka sent a volley into the stands - as Freedman's side took their 2-0 lead into the break.

There were no changes for either side at the interval, but Wanderers' were given an early reality check as Barnsley pulled one back within two minutes of the restart.

Cywka picked up the ball on the edge of the Wanderers box and with little pressure from the Wanderers defence, he hit a low strike into the bottom corner of Adam Bogdan's goal.

Bogdan hadn't been tested prior to that goal and he was picking the ball out of his net once again on seven minutes later. The Wanderers goalkeeper was badly at fault on this occasion, as he parried a long-range strike straight at the feet of O'Grady. The former Rochdale forward had the simple task of tapping the ball into the net, which brought the scores level.

Bolton's supporters were stunned by their team's start to the second half but they were celebrating just before the hour, as Dawson restored their lead.

A free-kick from Marcos Alonso forced Steele into a superb save, but Dawson reacted quickest to put the loose ball into the empty net just in front of the travelling fans.

He may have been at fault for Barnsley's second goal, but Bogdan redeemed himself just moments after Wanderers had retaken the lead. O'Brien was played clean through on the Bolton goal, but the Trotters goalkeeper stood tall and pulled off a superb save to deny the former Celtic youngster.

The visitors should have scored a fourth goal moments later, but Eagles was denied on two occasions. His first shot was cleared off the line, before a follow-up struck the head of a Tykes defender and landed on the roof of the net. The former Burnley midfielder almost found the net with a free-kick on 66 minutes, before he was replaced by Medo Kamara.

Barnsley substitute Jacob Mellis brought a smart save out of Bogdan with 20 minutes to go, but a tactical switch from Freedman helped Bolton close out the latter stages of the game. David Wheater came on in the place of Craig Davies, with Wanderers lining up in a 5-4-1 formation.

Cywka hit a tame effort straight at Bogdan with five minutes to go, but that proved to be the only late action as Bolton played out the game to claim their third successive victory for the first time in 12 months.

After wins at Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn Rovers and a cup victory at Sunderland, success at Oakwell provides Freedman's side with only their fourth away win of the season. They move up to 9th in the Championship as a result, ahead of Tuesday evening's home game against Blackburn Rovers.

Barnsley: Steele, Wiseman, Cranie, Tunnicliffe (Scotland 67), Kennedy, O'Brien (Mellis 65), Etuhu, Perkins, Cywka, Dagnall, O'Grady (Harewood 60)
Subs Not Used: Lidakevicius, Hassell, Foster, Noble-Lazarus
Booked: Etuhu
Goals: Cywka 47, O'Grady 53

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Ricketts, Dawson, Knight, Alonso, Eagles (Medo 65), Spearing, Pratley, Chung-Yong, Ngog, C Davies (Wheater 79)
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, K Davies, Sordell, De Ridder, Holden
Booked: Pratley
Goals: Ngog 15, Spearing 38, Dawson 59

Referee: Lee Collins
Attendance: 10,862

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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