Southend United 2, Barnsley 4
(Emirates FA Cup, second round)
Barnsley produced an FA Cup performance at Roots Hall which bodes well for success in their primary aim of securing promotion from League One at the first attempt
The played some admirable football,with good movement, slick passing and neat link-up play, and there were further encouraging signs that they have a blossoming strike-force partnership capable of providing the necessary firepower to shoot them back into the Championship.
However, the defence still looks far from watertight and Daniel Stendel’s team almost tossed away a two-goal advantage after dominating most of the game, and that is a failing the head coach needs to address if that target is to be achieved.
Focusing on one of the pleasing positives, Kieffer Moore and Cauley Woodrow continued to suggest that they can provide the successful twin spearhead that the club has been searching for. And their goals record is beginning to stack up.
Moore – the first Barnsley player to reach double figures in league goals by the end of November since Ashley Ward in 1998 – was on target again to take his tally in all matches to 13, while Woodrow’s brace means that he has has scored five times in seven appearances, two of which have been from the bench.
Further to that, 23-years-old German attacking midfielder Mike Bahre, struggling initially to come to terms with English football and without a goal in 15 appearances – four of them as substitute – added his name to the scoresheet for the first time.
There had been talk of changes in the starting line-up after the defeat in the demanding league fixture against second-from-top Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in midweek, and Stendel decided on three, with Bahre, George Moncur and Jacob Brown stepping up from the substitute’s bench.
It in no way diminished the Reds’ performance and is evidence of the strength in depth that is now available.
Some of Barnsley’s slick football, was a delight to watch, particularly in the early stages, when they dictated both the tempo and pattern pf play, and Southend’s only threat came from dead ball situations.
Indeed, there were 19 corners – and five of the six goals came from flag-kicks!
Despite their control of the game the opening goal eluded the Reds until four minutes before half-time – although Moore did have an effort cleared off the line after being put through by Moncur – and it was the big striker who scored it.
Woodrow had a shot turned away for a corner by Mark Oxley in the Southend goal and from Alex Mowatt’s inswinging flag-kick Moore pounced to head home.
However, the home team equalised in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time, Sam Manton’s cross appearing to deflect into the net off the unfortunate Moore at the near post.
It took the Reds only 11 minutes of the second half to regain the lead – and it was no surprise that it came from another flag-kick. Mowatt took it, Oxley fumbled, and there was Woodrow demonstrating his knack of being in the right place at the right time to tuck the ball home.
After testing Oxley further, Woodrow added his second goal in the 70th minute. Southend failed to clear another corner, this time from Bahre, and when the German whipped the ball back into the box the former Shrimpers’ loanee swooped to make it 3-1. Shortly afterwards a goalline clearance robbed him of his hat-trick.
Barnsley looked to have the tie in the bag, but, with six minutes of normal time remaining, Timothee Dieng headed home from yet another corner, taken on the left by Stephen McLaughlin, and the Reds were then lucky to escape when Michael Turner had an equaliser ruled out, ostensibly for offside, although there was a suspicion it might have been hand ball.
But it was the Reds who had the last, and decisive, word, when Bahre netted from a tight angle in the fifth minute of stoppage time to put his side safely in the keenly-awaited third round draw.
Southend United: Oxley; Bwomono, White, Turner, Hendrie, McLaughlin, Mantom, Yearwood (McCoulsky, 76 mins), Kightly (Bunn, 76 mins), Dieng, Cox (Robinson, 76 mins).
Barnsley (4-4-2): Davies; Brown, Lindsay, Pinnock, Fryers (Pinillos, 68 mins); Bahre, McGeehan, Mowatt, Moncur; Moore (Potts, 81 mins), Woodrow (Adeboyejo, 90+1 mins).
Booking: Fryers (Barnsley).
Referee: Paul Marsden.
Attendance: 3,616 (343 Reds).