Barnsley battled hard against a very efficient Forest side as well as a diabolical referee.
Under the lights at Oakwell Forest ran out 5-2 winners which wasn’t a fair reflection of the game.
Barnsley named one change to the side which drew 0-0 with Wigan with Hammill replacing Kent on the left hand side.
The game began in a complete contrast to the Wigan game last Saturday within the first 3 minutes of play young full back James Bree made a blistering run down the right hand side leaving Forest left back Danny Fox on his heels. Bree then put a superb delivery into the area which Sam Winnall could only oblige to head home past the Forest stopper.
Jackson almost doubled Barnsley’s advantage as Hammill whipped in a dangerous ball that was met by the head of Jackson who’s looping header could only find its way onto the roof of the net.
The lead only lasted a couple of minutes with Jackson giving away a free kick for a high foot which ex Arsenal man Henri Lansbury dispatched with a ferocious low drive that beat Davies at the side of the goal he was covering.
The game then turned on its head for a third time with Hourihane picking the ball up in space on the right hand side and floating a delightful ball into the path of Watkins who found himself with time and calmly dispatched his effort into the bottom corner.
Then it was the turn of Forest to turn the game around with some good play down the left hand side set Osborn free who struck straight at Davies. Moments later though the visitors were level as Danny Fox drove a cross in that appeared to be squirmed home by Vellios with the aid of the crossbar.
With the game set at 2-2 after 25 minutes Barnsley continued to push and try and take the lead back for the third time.
Hammill bent a lovely free kick in that found Adam Armstrong who turned and had his shot deflected found Winnall’s head who failed to test the Forest stopper Stojkovic.
Barnsley then attempted a training ground routine as Winnall set up at the back post for a corner and was given the signal by Hourihane which saw Winnall arch a run around to the penalty spot and fire just over. Although play was stopped for an apparent foul on Stojkovic by Armstrong.
With the first half coming to a close Roberts launched a throw into the area which resulted in it breaking to Hammill who couldn’t get his head over the ball and keep his strike down.
With two minutes added Forest somehow went into the lead for the first time. Scowen was caught napping on the ball and has it stolen from him by Vellios that hinted at a foul but Vellios released Osborn down the left and clipped a cross into a on running Lansbury who stretched and headed brilliantly out of the reach of Davies but posed the question to why Lansbury was virtually unchallenged for his header.
The reds came out in the second half with the same intensity and purpose that they started the first half with. Bree again used his raw speed to find room on the right hand side and play another lovely ball onto the head of Winnall but this time he wasn’t able to create any power to beat the Forest stopper who easily gathered the ball.
Barnsley’s closest effort to equalising came minutes later as again Barnsley terrorised the Forest left hand side this time Watkins delivering a perfect cross which Winnall glanced just centimetres wide of the mark.
Scowen then attempted to make up for his mistake that he made earlier in the game as he played a neat 1/2 with Hourihane which bypassed the Forest midfield and found him in between the defensive and midfield line but he could only drive his effort high over the bar.
Danny Fox then found himself in the book as he lunged in from behind on Watkins to earn a yellow card for a similar tackle and foul he gave away in the first half.
The Barnsley onslaught was brought to an abrupt halt as just past the hour mark ex Chelsea right back Michael Manchienne drove at Yiadom and swung a ball in to Osborn who glanced home from eight yards. Although this disgruntled Barnsley fans as centre back Jackson appeared to be fouled by Vellios as he went up to challenge for a header and landed heavily leaving a gap along the back four that Osborn exploited.
Watkins was then given his marching orders as he appeared to stamp on Forest player Lam which earnt Watkins a straight red and just about condemned Barnsley to another defeat, meaning they have only won one in their last eleven games.
Again the Barnsley faithful began to shine their lights around Oakwell to show support for Patrick Cryne who has been diagnosed with cancer and Paul Futcher who died earlier this week.
Heckingbottom introduced Bradshaw for Armstrong and Janko for Bree but for all Barnsley’s dominance and ascendancy in the game they were unable to get anything from the game.
Then the referee again wanted to be the centre of attention for the second time (due to the game being on Sky Sports) and awarded Forest a penalty after Cash and Scowen collided outside the area and Cash had popped the ball off to Lam which left just about the whole ground perplexed to his decision. Lansbury stepped up and drilled the penalty home to complete his hat trick and complete the goal scoring.
Barnsley still didn’t give up there though they continued to push and push and almost grabbed a consolation goal in stoppage time as Houriahne whipped in a corner that was lifted back into the area and Winnall headed on only for it to be stopped by the Forest keeper by complete fluke.
Again Barnsley tried to restore pride to proceedings as Hammill played yet another dangerous cross into the far post that somehow missed the out stretched foot of Roberts, which drew the game to a close.
Man of the match
Barnsley looked a threat going down both sides with Bree and Watkins combining and carving openings at will for Barnsley. Hammill appeared to have a point to prove delivering balls into the middle creating panic amongst the Forest back four and limiting the amount of times that Manchienne was able to go forward. Armstrong was a compete handful for the Forest back four pressuring them and ratting for the ball until he was substituted for Bradsahw.
Barnsley’s games aren’t getting any easier at the moment as they face Birmingham City next Saturday at ST Andrews. A loss for the reds and results this weekend going against them could see them slide ever closer to the drop zone. By 5 o’clock next weekend they could be within the bottom three.