FULL-TIME: Barnsley 1 Ipswich Town 1
Barnsley v Ipswich: Aaron Cresswell’s sixth-minute goal – the Blues first league strike in the first 45 minutes this season – gave Town the lead but their winless run stretched to seven games after a 1-1 draw at Oakwell.
Cresswell drove home a well-worked free kick, involving Lee Martin and Andy Drury, to give Paul Jewell a massive early boost.
But his side had to survive a second half onslaught as the Tykes threw everything at their opponents but only having Stephen Dawson’s fantastic volley on 74 minutes to show for it.
After Town’s flying start, Barnsley looked to respond but their possession football did not lead to any meaningful chances.
Daryl Murphy and Martin both had shots at goal without really testing Ben Alnwick, who allowed Cresswell’s opener to go under his body.
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In the 38th minute, the home side had the ball in the net but it was rightly disallowed after Stephen Foster bundled Scott Loach into the goal as he headed home.
Barnsley fans made their feelings at referee Trevor Kettle known at half-time with Tykes striker Craig Davies also getting involved in a heated exchange with Jason Scotland and Guirane N’Daw.
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The second half was a completely different Story as Keith Hill’s men, buoyed still by that 5-0 win at Birmingham last Saturday, added penetration to their confidence on the ball.
As the minutes ticked by, there was a sense of when rather than if as Town grew a little ragged – N’Daw, Cresswell and Martin all picking up early bookings.
N’Daw was quickly withdrawn, following Luke Hyam who was taken off at half-time with a back injury.
But it was Ipswich who had the first good opportunity of an exciting second half when Luke Chambers’ header was parried by Alnwick and full debutant Danny Higginbotham could only slide the rebound into the side-netting.
Martin’s spectacular attempt at a scissor-kick saw him slice his effort just wide minutes later.
But that was almost the last good moment for Town as Barnsley proceeded to batter Scott Loach’s goal in the final 30 minutes.
Just after the hour mark, Barnsley went agonisingly close to equalising when Chris Dagnall burst into the area but hit the inside of Loach’s far post.
The pressure kept building with Jacob Mellis’ low cross missing everyone and Craig Davies’ volley hitting the chest of sub Jack Ainsley, deployed in an unfamiliar defensive midfield role.
In the 74th minute, Barnsley finally grabbed a deserved equaliser – and it was a cracker.
The impressive Mellis was again the architect as his delicate chip evaded the Town defence, allowing Dawson to control the ball and volley past Loach.
The predicted barrage on the visitors’ goal ensued with Chambers blocking Danny Rose’ shot before the same player just missed Davies’ pull-back across goal.
Davies found Loach’s body with a smart shot on 84 minutes while Loach made a smart save to deny Dawson from the edge of the area.
In the third minute of four nervy injury-time minutes, Tomasz Cywka was unmarked but headed over Mellis’ free-kick.
Ipswich: Loach, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, N’Daw (Ainsley 53), Hyam (Luongo 46), Drury, Martin, Murphy, Scotland (Ellington 63). Subs – Lee-Barrett, Smith, Emmanuel-Thomas, Murray
Barnsley: Alnwick, Kennedy (Stones 56), Foster, Wiseman, Golbourne, Cranie, Cywka, Dawson, Mellis, Davies, Dagnall (Rose 67). Subs – Steele, Perkins, Etuhu, Harewood, Done