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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Barnsley Vs Saints - The Report

Saints fielded two changes to the side which drew with fellow Promotion contenders WBA last Saturday. Djamel Belmadi made way for Nathan Dyer after the Algerian winger was struck down with a calf strain. Andrew Surman also replaced new boy Rudi Skacel who had to settle for a place on the bench.

Saints started brightly and were perhaps the better side in the opening twenty minutes, however they did suffer a scare when danger man Michael McIndoe lofted the ball over the Saints backline for Marc Richards only for the young striker to see his effort well saved by Davis.

Inside the first ten minutes Nathan Dyer and Rasiak had combined, the tricky winger setting up Rasiak only for him to see his 20 yard drive whistle just past the post.

Later Bradley Wright-Phillips missed a guilt edged chance to give Saints the lead when he hit a volley from six yards over from a Nathan Dyer cross, Saints will need to put these kind of chances away if they are going to mount a serious promotion threat.

Defender Pele then had a header cleared off the line from a Surman corner. The home side were looking dangerous because they were able to break out fast following the break down of Saints attacks.

Brian Howard, the ex Saints academy player, lived up to the reputation that Vital Tyke gave him as a 25 yard shot missed the right hand post by inches.

In the final seconds the home side made the breakthrough much to the delight of the Oakwell faithful. Winger Martin Devaney crossed for Marc Richards to slide his shot past Davis.

Half Time: Barnsley 1-0 SAINTS

Saints ran out for the second half having made two changes, Dyer off for Skacel and Bale, who had to depart through injury, was replaced by new boy Makin.

Within just two minutes, a corner was flicked on by Rasiak, the ball was collected by Chris Baird, who then crossed for Rasiak to score.

Saints tried to take the lead through the promising Wright-Phillips but were rebuffed by a stubborn Barnsley defence, the home side constantly a threat on the break.

Wright-Phillips was a constant threat and was constantly fouled and flagged offside.

Just after the hour Saints conceded a dubious penalty after Ostlund supposedly handled in the box, Hayes then stepped up and confidently despatched the kick.

Saints then replied with a penalty of their own after Anthony Kay handled a Rudi Skacel shot. Rasiak then sent Colgan the wrong way to score.

Saints also had a late scare when Tommy Wright, a Barnsley sub, was hauled down by Davis only for the ref to wave play on.

FULL TIME: Barnsley 2-2 SAINTS

VERDICT: A good point considering Saints had to come from behind twice, but with all due respect to Barnsley, Saints need to beat these sides if they are to achieve Promotion.




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The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 19 2006

Time: 8:41PM

 

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