Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Sat 31 Mar 12 at 14:16 PM


Town completed a league double over Barnsley, after Daryl Murphy's second-half goal ensured a 1-0 victory at Portman Road.

The Celtic loanee struck four minutes after the restart to earn Town all three points in a game that Blues dominated.

Paul Jewell made two changes to the side that drew with Middlesbrough in midweek with Andy Drury replacing Lee Bowyer in midfield, while Arran Lee-Barrett started the game in goal after Alex McCarthy's return to Reading.

Town made a bright start to the game and forced Barnsley 'keeper into a save as early as the third minute, with the stopper diving low to tip way a Jay Emmanuel-Thomas free-kick.

Three minutes later and Blues had shouts for a penalty waved away, after Michael Chopra went down under Stephen Foster's challenge in front of the recently named Sir Alf Ramsey stand.

Emmanuel-Thomas was looking a threat on the right-hand side and he went close again a minute later, drilling a shot into the side netting from a difficult angle.

Despite Town's dominance, it was the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock after 12 minutes. David Cotterill broke down the right and crossed in dangerously, but the combination of Carlos Edwards and Lee-Barrett were somehow able to gather the ball on the line.

Former Arsenal man Emmanuel-Thomas tried his luck from range after 19 minutes, but on-loan Spurs 'keeper did well to keep his effort out.

Two minutes later and Town created another chance. Persistent work from Murphy saw him work the ball onto Drury 25 yards from goal, but the midfielder's effort flew just over the bar.

The duo combined again five minutes later, this time Murphy meeting a Drury corner, but the Celtic loanee's effort was kept out by teammate Michael Chopra on the line who could do little about it.

A minute later and Button made another fine save from the impressive Emmanuel-Thomas, tipping away his effort after initialling outpacing full-back Scott Golbourne.

Town went close again, this time on the half hour mark, with Murphy seeing n acrobatic overhead kick sail over the top of Button's bar.

Despite being the dominant side, Town almost went behind five minutes before the break. Korey Smith tried his luck from fully 30 yards with a speculative effort that went under the body of Lee-Barrett, but the Town stopper recovered to pounce on the ball before it trickled over the line.

That was the way it stayed as referee Philip Gibbs blew his whistle to signal the end of an entertaining first-half.

Town started the second-half brightly and opened the scoring just four minutes after the restart. Chopra did well to play in Murphy, and the striker showed his strength and composure by holding off a defender before calmly slotting into the bottom corner.

Barnsley were looking for an immediate response and Craig Davies volleyed wide of Lee-Barrett's goal two minutes after conceding, to issue a warning shot to Blues.

But Town were looking dangerous every time they attacked and Emmanuel-Thomas was unlucky to see an effort from just outside the area crash back off the crossbar after 55 minutes.

A minute later and Drury released Murphy with a fine ball over the top, but the striker failed to add to his earlier strike after firing just wide of Button's goal.

Jason Scotland was introduced after 71 minutes, in place of Chopra, and the substitute made an instant impact as he released Martin with a clever through ball, but the winger dragged his shot wide of Button's goal from eight yards out.

Town were indebted to Lee-Barrett though 14 minutes from time, as the 'keeper made a fine double save to deny Davies and then Frank Nouble to ensure Blues stayed in front.

The visitors pressed for an equaliser but Town held firm to ensure the win and claim a well earned three points.

Town: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Emmanuel-Thomas (Stevenson 83), Drury, Leadbitter, Martin, Murphy, Chopra (Scotland 71). Subs not used: Wright, Sonko, Bowyer.

Booked: Martin, Delaney

Barnsley: Button, Foster, Wiseman, Golbourne, McNulty, Dawson, Smith (O'Brien 78), Cotterill, Done (Higginbotham 37), Davies, Gray (Nouble 67). Subs not used: Lidakevicius. Collins.

Att: 20, 053 (198 visiting fans)

    Latest Match Reports