Barnsley 2-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 14, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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The battle for Championship survival goes on, after Oliver McBurnie scored deep into stoppage time to salvage a 2-2 draw for Barnsley against Bolton at Oakwell.

The Tykes had led for a large portion of the game, having taken a 22nd-minute lead through Gary Gardner, but two goals in the space of three minutes - the first a penalty from Adam Le Fondre on 82 minutes, followed by Craig Noone's first for Wanderers moments later - had turned the game on it's head.

The Trotters, who had won just once in their last 46 away games at this level, had looked set to pick up maximum points. But it was McBurnie who was to have the final word, rising highest in the third of five added minutes at the end of the game to head home a corner an ensure both teams left with a point apiece.

Going into the game on the back of four consecutive defeats, Bolton boss Phil Parkinson made four changes to the side that started against Millwall, as Antonee Robinson, Reece Burke, Mark Little and Filipe Morais came in at the expense of Andrew Taylor, Jon Flanagan, Derik Osede and Craig Noone.

Wanderers began brightly at Oakwell, with Mark Beevers flicking a long-throw into dangerous territory inside two minutes, but Le Fondre couldn't quite grow enough to poke the ball home from close range.

Barnsley created their first opportunity on the quarter-hour mark, but Ben Alnwick was alert to the danger by making a comfortable save from Brad Potts after David Wheater could only half-clear a cross from Zeki Fryers.

The visitors then saw appeals for a penalty turned down when a cross from Sammy Ameobi appeared to strike an arm on 20 minutes, moments before they fell behind as the Tykes went ahead at the third time of asking.

After McBurnie had twice seen efforts cleared off the line, the ball fell kindly for Gardner who slammed a shot into the top corner past a helpless Alnwick for 1-0.

Frustrated by their team's efforts, the visiting fans began to voice their concern as the half entered the final 10 minutes. It wasn't long until they registered attempts on goal, however, as Le Fondre saw an ambitious overhead-kick blocked, moments before a long-range drive from Ameobi was tipped away by goalkeeper Adam Davies.

Barnsley continued to look a threat though and came within inches of doubling their advantage with six minutes of the half to play, with McBurnie cutting in from the left-hand side before bending a shot agonisingly wide of the far post.

A half-volley from Karl Henry was then deflected behind, while David Wheater couldn't connect with a cross from Morais as the half drew to a close with the home side leading.

Unimpressed with what he had seen in the opening period, Bolton boss Parkinson made a tactical change at the start of the second half, as Will Buckley came on in place of Burke.

That change saw Ameobi move into a central position alongside Le Fondre, with Morais shifting over to the right-hand side and the newly-introduced Buckley on the left.

Within two minutes of the restart, Wanderers came close to an equalising goal as Robinson burst forward before lashing a left-footed effort into the side netting.

Then, having seen a penalty appeal turned down earlier in the game, the visitors saw an even stronger claim rejected by referee Michael Jones when a header from Ameobi appeared to strike an arm inside the Barnsley box.

Wheater saw a header cleared off the line from the corner that followed, moments before the home side had penalty appeals of their own turned down as Kieffer Moore went to ground under a challenge from Beevers.

Bolton's search for an equaliser continued as the clock ticked beyond the hour, with Wheater getting on the end of a knockdown from Beevers before seeing a volley deflect behind, moments before Henry had an effort charged down as he latched on to a cutback from Robinson.

Barnsley remained a threat at the other end, however, and came close to doubling their advantage when Moore headed over from close range with 20 minutes to play, before Parkinson made a second substitution by bringing Noone on in place of Little.

Alnwick was at full stretch to deny George Moncur, while Le Fondre twice came close at the other end - the second of which appeared to be heading for the top corner but for a deflection.

The Tykes were struggling to deal with a bombardment of set-pieces into their box with 10 minutes to go and conceded a penalty as Buckley tumbled under pressure from Gardner.

After a brief stoppage which resulted in McBurnie and Darren Pratley receiving yellow cards, Le Fondre took responsibility for the spot-kick that followed and made no mistake by slamming straight down the middle to level things up at 1-1.

Then, just three minutes later, Wanderers stunned Oakwell by taking a lead which had looked beyond them for the majority of the afternoon.

Having received possession just inside his own half, Ameobi raced towards the Barnsley penalty area. After seeing a deflected cross cleared off the line, the loose ball fell straight to Noone who volleyed in from close range to make it 2-1 to the visitors.

Dorian Dervite was brought on for the closing stages as Bolton looked to shore up their defence for five minutes of stoppage time, but they were breached three minutes into that as McBurnie pounced to head in from close range as the Trotters failed to deal with a routine corner - with the final score being level at 2-2.

The draw leaves the Championship table unchanged, with Barnsley still occupying the final relegation place - two points shy of Wanderers but with a game in hand.

Safety is now firmly in the hands of the Tykes, with Parkinson's side next in action when they host Champions-elect Wolverhampton Wanderers at Macron Stadium next Saturday.

Barnsley: Davies, Yiadom, Jackson (Pinnock 46), Lindsay, Fryers (Mahoney 86), Potts (Bradshaw 71), Gardner, Moncur, Hammill, Moore, McBurnie
Subs Not Used: Walton, Isgrove, Cavare, Hedges
Booked: Moore, Gardner, McBurnie, Moore, Lindsay
Goals: Gardner 22, McBurnie 90+3

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Wheater, Burke (Buckley 46), Little (Noone 71), Pratley, Henry, Morais (Dervite 90+2), Ameobi, Le Fondre
Subs Not Used: Howard, A Taylor, Vela, Wilbraham
Booked: Henry, Ameobi, Beevers, Pratley
Goals: Le Fondre 82(pen), Noone 85

Referee: Michael Jones
Attendance: 14,138

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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