Barnsley 0-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 26, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Neil Danns signed off his time at Bolton in the best possible way, by scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory at Barnsley on Boxing Day.

Danns, who will now return to Leicester City following the expiry of his loan deal, scored a superb 64th minute goal at Oakwell to give Wanderers their fourth away league win of the season - matching their total from the whole of last season.

Andy Lonergan and Luke Steele were in fine form in both goals, but the Barnsley stopper had no chance with Danns' stunning goal as they remain routed to the bottom of the Championship table. Bolton, meanwhile, move eight points clear of the bottom three and are also eight points off the top-six.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Charlton Athletic on Saturday, with Zat Knight, Darren Pratley and Mark Davies taking the places of Matt Mills, Lee Chung-Yong and Andre Moritz.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the hosts, as Chris O'Grady stepped away from Tim Ream and curled a shot inches wide of Lonergan's post.

Joe Mason almost capitalised on a poor back pass moments later, but Luke Steele raced out of his goal to clear the danger - keeping the game goalless.

A similar scenario then presented itself to the hosts at the other end, as Lonergan rushed out to clear the ball to safety from a poor Kevin McNaughton header.

Martin Cranie was denied a clear sight of goal by an offside flag, while Danns sent an overhead kick over the crossbar after Barnsley had failed to deal with a corner from Davies.

A 30-yard strike from Jim O'Brien brought a good save out of Lonergan on the quarter-hour, before Chris Eagles beat three men and clipped his cross just too high for the head of Mason.

Wanderers had the ball in the net on 28 minutes, but Pratley's effort was disallowed as he was standing in an offside position from an Eagles pass.

Bolton were on top at this stage, with Steele having to push away a long-range shot from Danns, before Barnsley came back into the game and going in search of a goal of their own.

After Stephen Dawson was denied by a superb sliding challenge from Ream, Lonergan pulled off a smart stop to prevent O'Brien's 25-yard shot from flying into the top corner.

Lonergan parried away another shot from O'Grady as the game entered stoppage time, while Pratley saw a shot cleared off the line at the other end after an unmarked Ream had headed the ball across the face of goal.

Amazingly, more goalline action was to follow - this time inside the Bolton box. Hesitant defending from Wanderers allowed Peter Ramage a clear sight of goal. Lonergan was beaten by the defender's shot, but Alex Baptiste did well to get into position and clear the ball off the line to ensure the first-half ended goalless.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, as Bolton came out looking like an entirely different side to the one that turned up before the break.

Danns and Pratley both flashed shots wide of the target in the early moments after the restart, although Barnsley also threatened when Lonergan did well to deny Dawson.

Pratley and Mason went close as the game approached the hour, before Steele pulled off a world class save to stop Knight from heading home from a corner.

Steele stopped another Mason header shortly afterwards, before denying Ream with a stop that perhaps eclipsed the one he made to deny Knight minutes earlier.

The Barnsley goalkeeper was easily his side's best performer at this stage, but he was beaten on 64 minutes by a shot that would have beaten even the best stoppers in the world.

Barnsley could only half-clear a corner and the ball fell to Danns just outside the box. He stepped inside his marker and sent an unstoppable curling strike into the top corner, leaving Steele with absolutely no chance.

With 15 minutes to go, Dawson went to ground under a challenge from Baptiste inside the Wanderers box. The home side appealed desperately for a penalty, but the calls were dismissed by referee Andy Haines.

O'Grady was denied a clear sight of goal by a fantastic McNaughton challenge with 10 minutes to go, while Knight was also at his best to head away from under his own crossbar when under pressure from the Tykes forward.

Bolton substitute Medo Kamara brought another fine save out of Steele with a long-range attempt as Wanderers, who saw out a late flurry of pressure, held on to claim their fourth away win in their last six attempts.

Freedman's side return to action on Sunday, when they make the trip to Leicester City's King Power Stadium. The Foxes were 1-0 winners over Reading on Boxing Day and, at the time of writing, top the Championship table. Bolton are up one, to 17th.

Barnsley: Steele, Wiseman, Ramage, Cranie, Kennedy, O'Brien, Hassell (McCourt 69), Dawson, Perkins, Scotland (Pedersen 86), O'Grady (Cywka 86)
Subs Not Used: Nyatanga, Mvoto, Dibble, Fox

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, McNaughton, Knight, Ream, Baptiste, Spearing, Pratley (Chung-Yong 72), Eagles (Kamara 81), M Davies, Danns (Mills 87), Mason
Subs Not Used: Beckford, Hall, Moritz, Lee-Barrett
Goals: Danns 64

Referee: Andy Haines
Attendance: 12,484

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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