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Match Reports

Preview: Barnsley (A)

10 February 2015

Barnsley 1-2 Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town came from behind at Oakwell to beat Barnsley on a cold Tuesday evening thanks to goals from Conor McLaughlin and Liam McAlinden.

The Tykes got off to the perfect start when Peter Ramage fired home from close range after keeper Chris Maxwell could only parry Conor Hourihane’s drilled free kick.

Town were level on 15 minutes though, when McLaughlin struck into the top corner from the edge of box for his first Football League goal.

McAlinden turned the game on its head after half an hour when he volleyed home at the back post for his first strike since re-joining Town on-loan from Wolves.

Graham Alexander made one change to the team that drew at home to Peterborough United on Saturday, with McAlinden replacing the injured Jamie Proctor.

There was a place amongst the substitutes for Antoni Sarcevic however, after he missed Town’s previous couple of fixtures.

It took the home side only four minutes to score the opening goal when Hourihane’s set-piece wasn’t held by Maxwell, and Ramage fired home from close range.

Fleetwood struggled to get a hold of the game during the early exchanges, and the home side, buoyed by their early goal, were on top.

However, the Cod Army were level on the quarter hour mark when Haughton’s free kick fell to McLaughlin on the edge of the box, who fired a thunderous strike into the top corner.

Alexander’s side grew in confidence, with Nick Haughton looking a threat as he had penalty appeals waved away by referee David Coote.

For the home side, Hourihane tried his luck from distance on 25 minutes, but Maxwell was alert to his stinging drive.

Hourihane attempted another long range strike soon after, but this time sent an effort well wide of the post.

Fleetwood went ahead just after the half hour mark when McAlinden was unmarked at the back post from a corner, and volleyed home beyond Ross Turnbull.

Barnsley responded well to going a goal down, with Milan Lalkovic seeing a goal bound effort well blocked by Mark Roberts.

Chances were at a premium at the beginning of the second half however Stephen Jordan very nearly put the ball into his own net when a low cross fizzed off his boot and over.

Kane Hemmings should have done better when put through on goal, while Josh Scowen fired over as the Tykes looked for a way back into the contest.

In response, a teasing cross into the right from Haughton found David Ball who laid it off for Josh Morris, but he struck off target from the edge of the area.

Ball went close to extending the Cod Army’s lead when he spun his defender on the edge of the box before curling an effort just over Turnbull’s goal.

Alexander introduced Sarcevic to the fray just after the hour mark, as he replaced youngster Haughton who had caught the eye in previous games.

Stephen Crainey later broke forward and fired at goal, but his left footed effort was well blocked by the home backline.

As the Tykes pressured for an equaliser, Fleetwood were let off the hook when Hemmings missed with a left footed volley from close range.

The boss made his two final changes. Young striker Ashley Hunter replaced second goal scorer McAlinden while Stewart Murdoch came on for Ball, his first appearance since his loan spell at Northampton.

Fleetwood played out the final stages of the game with a 4-5-1 formation, Hunter up front alone.

The Tykes, once of the Premier League, threw bodies forward with Hemmings having another great chance in the final stages, but McLaughlin took the sting off the shot for Maxwell to make the save.

Town held on to a deserved three points with next on the agenda, a Valentines Day trip to Crewe Alexandra, the team Town faced on the opening day of the season back in August.

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