Barnsley 2-2 Middlesbrough - 14-Oct-2017 : Match Report
Britt Assombalonga rescued a point for Middlesbrough with his sixth goal of the season in a 2-2 draw against Barnsley at Oakwell.
Three goals in a frantic opening nine minutes saw Barnsley lead 2-1, and Assombalonga hauled the visitors level on the hour mark.
Both sides had chances to win in after that but could not force a fifth goal in the contest.
Middlesbrough's Ashley Fletcher, starting against the club for whom he scored four times in the league in 2016, gave the hosts a flying start with a third-minute own goal. He was unfortunate to turn Zeki Fryers' in-swinging near-post cross into his own net.
But Middlesbrough were level just four minutes later as Barnsley failed to clear a corner which fell to Martin Braithwaite who fired home from 10 yards.
Barnsley regained the lead almost immediately. Brad Potts' deflected cross was met in the middle by Cameron McGeehan who headed low past Darren Randolph.
After a frenetic start, the game calmed down with Barnsley happy to sit back and the visitors looking to press high up the field. Fletcher looked lively and willing to shoot from distance, but two long-range shots either side of the half-hour mark failed to trouble Adam Davies in the Tykes' goal.
Soon afterwards a loose throw from the Barnsley goalkeeper found Fletcher who unselfishly passed through to Braithwaite, but Fryers chasing back denied him the chance to double his tally.
Nearing half-time, space opened up for Grant Leadbitter to strike from 25 yards out, but his shot flew narrowly past the post and Barnsley held onto their lead going into the break.
At the centre of the action, Fletcher should have levelled the game three minutes into the second half. The ball fell to the former Manchester United youngster six yards out, but his side-footed shot was blocked by the sprawling Davies who was quick to rush from his line.
It was Assombalonga, who had been quiet for much of the game, who drew the sides level on the hour mark, placing a low shot to Davies' left after Stewart Downing had sent him through on goal.
Pushing for the winner, Downing forced a good save from Davies who palmed his left-footed shot from the edge of the area to safety.
In response, Harvey Barnes could have won it for Barnsley but his left-footed effort rebounded off the post after good build-up play saw the ball fall to him on the left side of the area.
Middlesbrough manager Gary Monk brought on Patrick Bamford with 10 minutes to play, but the fast-paced game began to slow and the remaining stages were played out in the midfield, both teams forced to settle for a point.