Stocksbridge Park Steels’ pre-season preparations had a setback following a 3-0 loss to Barnsley.
Barnsley took the lead in the first half when good play from them allowed Fabio Jalo to equalise at the far post. They doubled it when Jalo struck after the Steels failed to clear in the second half. Dan Benson also punished Stocksbridge by scoring after failing to clear in the second half.
Stocksbridge had the better of the early parts of the game but they didn’t really make the clear cut chances that could have got them the lead. It was their pressing which almost got them their goals as Barnsley’s defenders struggled to deal with the initial pressure from the likes of Tomas Poole, Kenan McKenzie-Grey and Gareth Curtis. Even Barnsley goalkeeper Searle almost fell foul to it as he almost had egg on his face following pressure on him. However, none of it resulted in a goal.
This meant that against the run of play, Barnsley got the opening goal. Good play allowed Joe Ackroyd to get to the byline to ping the ball across goal for Jalo to be there at the far post to tap in and give the Tykes the lead.
After Barnsley got the lead, they were able to take control of the game and looked more likely to get the next goal. And unsurprisingly they did, though Stocksbridge would have been frustrated in the manner it was conceded. It was Hartley’s long range effort which looked destined for the top corner but Davison-Hale pulled off a stunning save to palm it onto the bar. The ball rebounded back to Barnsley and the initial shot was blocked by Charlie Oglesby. However Jalo would get the ball the next time and fire it home. This gave Barnsley a two goal advantage going into the second half.
Just like in the first half, Stocksbridge were the better side to begin with and they were looking more dangerous as well. Luke Rawson played his first minutes in a Stocksbridge shirt and looked impressive. He came close to causing a big problem as he was inches away from tackling Searle in the Barnsley net but unfortunately for the home side, the keeper was able to clear it. Good play got Curtis into some space but his curled shot went into the arms of Searle.
Barnsley grew back into the game and they punished Stocksbridge for being unable to score themselves. It was another low ball in from the wing and initial shot was saved by Davison-Hale. Stocksbridge were unable to get the ball away though and Benson was able to tap it in to give Barnsley what would be an unassailable lead.
After that the game would end up going very quiet. Stocksbridge did try to break through Barnsley’s defence but were unable to hold onto possession for too long with the Tykes looking very comfortable on the ball for lengthy periods of the game. This meant the game fizzled out with the Steels losing out to Barnsley in their penultimate friendly.