Town humbled at Oakwell -full report

SHAMBOLIC Ipswich crumbled at cup heroes Barnsley to seriously dent their own play-off hopes.Although they went ahead Town folded against the Tykes with poor defending more to blame than the officials who awarded a penalty against them, while denying a couple of flimsy Town claims.

Derek Davis

SHAMBOLIC Ipswich crumbled at cup heroes Barnsley to seriously dent their own play-off hopes.

Although they went ahead Town folded against the Tykes with poor defending more to blame than the officials who awarded a penalty against them, while denying a couple of flimsy Town claims.

Manager Jim Magilton has been urging Blues supporters to keep believing but it will be hard after the third poor showing against teams five or sixth from bottom.

Barnsley showed against Chelsea how they could defend a lead but needed to fight from a goal down after Ipswich went ahead through Pablo Counago scoring his 11th goal of the season, his first since last December.

Barnsley's inspirational skipper Brian Howard equalised before Jon Macken, yes that Jon Macken the one who struggled to do anything for Ipswich, nodded in to put Barnsley ahead.

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Howard claimed a hat-trick after slamming in a penalty and then his corner went in off David Wright.

After the excitement of some 48 hours earlier when Barnsley knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup, the atmosphere at Oakwell was a bit flat with the 606 travelling Town fans easily heard above the home crowd who are collecting ticket stubs for their cup seats.

Barnsley have been drawn against Cardiff in the FA Cup semi-final to be played at Wembley and will be hoping for more success than the last time they played there.

Town fans won't need reminding that it was in May 2000 and the Blues beat the Tykes that glorious day to win the play-off final and reach the Premiership.

Jordan Rhodes was in the crowd that day as a ten-year-old supporting Barnsley.

With Jon Walters failing to make it after struggling with a knee injury for a few weeks now, teenage striker Jordan Rhodes was on the bench last night.

Rhodes was a £5,000 buy from Barnsley's academy after his dad Andy was brought in by former manager Joe Royle as goalkeeping coach.

Alan Quinn's ankle was strong enough for him to start on the left of midfield while David Norris went back to the right and Owen Garvan went in the middle alongside Velice Sumulikoski.

The Oakwell pitch passed a 6pm inspection and with the rain holding off it was just about playable although straight from kick off it was obvious the swirling wind could be a problem.

That was no excuse for the amount of loose balls played though.

Howard shot blocked after a chest down from Jon Macken who controlled a Jamal Campbell-Ryce cross.

Macken had been a loanee at Town, not a particularly successful one, from Crystal Palace who later sold him to Derby.

A mistake by Richard Naylor allowed Sunday's winning goal hero against Chelsea, Kayode Odejayi a clear look at goal but De Vos got back to help out and the shot went wide.

The Nigerian-born striker gave Town another scare when he got past de Vos but fired over the bar and ruled offside anyway.

But it was a warning that Town's defence didn't heed and would eventually prove costly.

A poor 30-yard free kick from Alan Quinn went wide but he was a bit closer with a shot on the run from 20-yards as Ipswich countered quickly.

Another swift break bore fruit after just 20 minutes with Lee and Quinn involved in getting the ball to Sumulikoski on the edge of the area.

The Macedonian curled in a shot which was beaten away by Luke Steele but only as far as Pablo Counago who finished with a low drive.

It was a role reversal moments later with Counago turning provider for Sumulikoski but his low shot went wide.

The Tykes equalised on 27 minutes when Town's back line were caught square and Bobby Hassell's low though ball found his skipper Brian Howard whose finish was clinical.

Stephen Bywater stood tall to save from Diego Leon who twisted and turned inside Bruce at right back.

The action swung from end to end with both teams finding space in midfield to move the ball around freely but too often the ball was given away cheaply.

Quinn played a tantalising low ball across the six-yard box but no Blue shirt got near.

Barnsley finished the half the stronger with Bruce and De Vos needing to put the ball away to safety.

Bywater didn't help matters with a poor throw out when was returned and cleared for a corner.

The on-loan keeper from Derby was not at all convincing all night and was beaten by Macken, still technically a Derby County team-mate.

Counago had an early chance after the break but headed a Garvan free kick wide while claiming he had been tugged back.

Macken made no such excuses when he nodded in from a yard out as Howard's in-swinging caught out Town's totally inadequate defending.

Lee curled a shot wide and rapped another against the angle of bar and post.

Counago hit exactly the same bit of the woodwork after turning sharply in the area to get his shot away.

Lee also had a shout for penalty but the referee gave a free kick outside the box and immediately blew for a foul against Ipswich when Garvan's kick came in.

Norris was next to claim a spot kick but got a corner instead.

Then Darren Drysdale incensed Town by giving Campbell-Ryce a penalty after he cut inside Bruce and ran into Sumulikoski.

Howard made no mistake and rubbed Town's noses in it by curling in another in-swinging corner that Wright put into his own net.