Owls off the top as unbeaten run ends in defeat at Barnsley

Wednesday were knocked off the top of the division one table after failing to take our chances in a rollercoaster 4-2 defeat at Barnsley.

It also ended our unbeaten league run of 23 matches and, with Plymouth winning 2-0 at Accrington, the West Country side leapfrogged us into first place on 80 points, two ahead of the Owls but with ourselves still having two games in hand.

Ipswich remain in third place, trailing us by three points and having played one more match, while fourth-placed Barnsley moved to within three points of the Tractor Boys and with a game in hand on them.

We got off to just the start we didn’t want at Oakwell when we failed to track Devante Cole’s run into the box on 10 minutes and he slotted the ball home from a tight angle, through the legs of Cameron Dawson.

Worse followed a minute later, Will Vaulks being dispossessed in midfield and James Norwood shooting low past Dawson from just outside the penalty area.

Wednesday gradually got a foothold in the game and Dominic Iorfa missed a great chance to pull a goal back on the half-hour but headed over from Barry Bannan’s free kick.

However, we were back in the game three minutes later, Vaulks finding Michael Smith down the right-hand side with a super 40-yard pass and the striker crossed perfectly for Lee Gregory to ne0t from close range.

Dawson kept the scoreline at 2-1 when he pushed away a Norwood header but W0ednesday were left rueing another opportunity on 39 minutes, Aden Flint nodding over the bar from Marvin John0son’s cross when he should have hit the target.

The home side then survived again in a remarkable sequence of penalty area action just before the break. Gregory and Dennis Adeniran saw shots blocked, home keeper Harry Isted produced a full-length save to keep out a Smith header and Gregory saw another effort blocked from the rebound.

Wednesday continued to dominate after the interval, Smith soon testing Isted with an angled snapshot. There were Wednesday appeals for a penalty on 68 minutes, TV replays confirming that Bobby Thomas handled in the box but the on-the-field claims were waved away by the referee.

Akin Famewo was next to go close with a header saved by Isted before Wednesday finally got a deserved equaliser on 73 minutes. Bannan found Johnson in space on the left and his cracking low cross was smashed home by Gregory.

At this stage, if there was to be a winner then it looked sure to be Wednesday and Liam Palmer was close to giving us the lead soon afterwards when his angled hooked volley beat Isted but was just wide of the far post.

Another great chance went begging on 81 minutes when Bannan’s free kick found Flint but he volleyed over from eight yards.

And two minutes later we paid the price for all the missed opportunities when Barnsley regained the lead against the run of play, Famewo’s attempted low headed clearance hitting Flint and dropping for Max Watters to shoot home.

We still had chances to make it 3-3, sub Fisayo Dele-Bashiru’s sidefooted effort from inside the box lacking the pace and conviction to beat Isted and Smith heading wide in added time from another teasing Bannan free kick.

Then, with Wednesday continuing to push for an equaliser, Barnsley broke clear just before the end to make it 4-2 through Liam Kitching.

Dawson, Palmer, Iorfa, Flint, Famewo, Johnson, Vaulks, Bannan, Adeniran (Dele-Bashiru 66), Smith, Gregory. Unused subs: Stockdale, Hunt, Bakinson, James. Brown, Shipston.






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