Barnsley supporters got the best of both worlds in an entertaining first Oakwell friendly of the 2009-2010 season. They got to show their appreciation for former favourite Istvan Ferenczi- now in the colours of Ferencvaros- and saw their side make it two wins from two in pre-season outings.
Reds boss Simon Davey made six changes from the side that defeated Buxton 3-0 on Thursday. Out went Luke Steele, Chris Ramsey, Maxime Chanot, Simon Heslop, Onome Sodje and Kayode Odejayi, and in came David Preece- for his debut-, Bobby Hassell, Darren Moore, Anderson De Silva, Mounir El Haimour and Jon Macken. Ferenczi captained the travelling Hungarians who admirably were backed by 70 loyal supporters who would probably have also seen their 0-0 draw at Lincoln earlier in the week- and "Stan" was given a rapturous welcome by the 5,000 Barnsley fans, as the famous "ISTVAN FERENCZI" ditty rang around the stadium.
Ferencvaros may be the biggest club in their native country, but the gulf in class between the two sides was evident as The Reds tore into the newly promoted side from the off. Martin Devaney saw plenty of the ball on the right hand side, and twice delivered tantalising crosses which Daniel Bogdanovic just failed to reach. The first half was simply one way traffic with the only action debutant Preece was called into, was when he made a flying catch to deny a 25 yard effort from Bence Toth. Many Reds fans would not have begrudged Ferenczi a goal in such meaningless conditions but he struggled to make any real impact in the 45 minutes he once again graced the Oakwell pitch.
Indeed it was Barnsley who should really have been out of sight. On 12 minutes, Macken forced a fine tip over save from goal-keeper Adam Holczer. It has to be said that even though Holczer looked a capable shot stopper- he tipped another Macken effort around the post- he looked incredibly nervy and twice nearly gifted Bogdanovic a goal by dithering in his attempts to collect the ball.
The chances kept coming and minutes after Holczer had thwarted Macken for a second time, Anderson sent a free header wide (he's still not improved on his finishing then).
The long awaited goal duly arrived a minute before half-time, with some deliberation about who actually scored it. El Haimour sent over a left wing cross which both Bogandovic and Ferencvaros' Balog went for. The ball flicked off one, or both of them and looped over Holczer into the back of the net. Usually when an own-goal is scored at Oakwell, the announcer just credits it to the nearest player of the scoring team, on this occasion it was credited to Balog!
Whilst Ferencvaros made nine changes at half-time (including Ferenczi who promptly swapped shirts with Darren Moore), The Reds were unchanged apart from the one enforced substitution after 12 minutes when Rob Kozluk limped off to be replaced by the impressive Luke Potter.
The second half Ferencvaros team certainly looked a more competent outfit and were particularly impressive in midfield, but they still failed to create any chances of note and El Haimour spurned a glorious opportunity when he blazed over an open goal after replacement keeper Balasz Megyeri punched a clearance straight to him.
The Hungarians made the Reds pay when they equalised with their first chance on 56 minutes. David Kulcsar was given far too much time and space and he rifled an effort past Preece.
You then felt like you had been propelled into a parallel universe as the match turned into the Odejayi- Sodje- Noble Lazarus show, to swing the game back in Barnsley's favour. Odejayi and Sodje had come on seconds before Ferencvaros' equaliser, with 15 year old Noble-Lazarus joining them six minutes later and all three played key roles in getting The Reds back in front. On 65 minutes, Noble Lazarus sent over a great left-wing cross which Sodje headed wide from a great position, but it was the game's third goal on 72 minutes that may prove the highlight of the game, and possibly pre-season.
Sodje used his lightening pace to burst forward before slipping the ball through for Odejayi. The giant Nigerian did brilliantly to skip past two defenders and he found himself, one on one with Megyeri, but from an acute angle. We've all been here before but this time the finish was sumptuous as the striker curled the ball around Megyeri and into the far corner. It was a goal that had Oakwell on its feet! It also made it more of a pity then that in injury time, Odejayi broke clean through from the half-way line, and was dead centre to goal but blasted his effort against Megyeri- it was like nothing had changed…
Before that though there was two more goals to fit in. With eight minutes to go, Sodje got himself off the mark. Again he met a great cross from Noble Lazarus but this time aimed it deftly into the corner of the net, before saluting what appeared to be his fellow footballing relatives in the Disabled Stand.
There was still time for a nervy finish (the Barnsley way) when Moore allowedIgor Pisanjuk to get goal side of him, and the Canadian squared the ball to give one of four Englishmen in the Ferencvaros squad- former Sheffield United and Rotherham man- Paul Shaw a simple tap-in.
So far so good, but sterner tests await.
David Preece: Had very little to do. Made one flying catch, but Ferencvaros' other two efforts ended up as goals. Neither were his fault. 7
Rob Kozluk: Saw his game end through injury after just 12 minutes. Subbed. N/A
Stephen Foster: Solid afternoon from the skipper, who dealt well with threats in the air. 7
Darren Moore: Beaten too easily by Pianjuk for the second goal, but otherwise solid. 7
Bobby Hassell: Proved very effective going forward in the first half, but stayed more defensive after the break. Was hauled off after 83 minutes after a spat with a Ferencvaros player. Subbed. 7
Anderson De Silva: His finishing has still not improved but he had far too much skill and craft for his opponents. Subbed. 7.5
Hugo Colace: A player you can often forget is there until he's taken off and you realise you miss him. Broke up the play superbly, and Ferencvaros' midfield certainly benefited when he was withdrawn after 71 minutes. Subbed. 7.5
Martin Devaney: Saw a lot of the ball in the first half and delivered some decent crosses. Was hardly involved after the break as Noble-Lazarus took centre stage on the opposite wing. Subbed. 6
Mounir El Haimour: Its clear he was only in the side due to Adam Hammill still being at Liverpool and Jamal Campbell-Ryce being with Jamaica. Will only be a back-up player at best this season and summed up his afternoon by blazing over an open goal. Subbed. 5
Jon Macken: Seemed to be playing more as a link-up man than a striker but denied two goals thanks to fine saves from Holczer. Subbed. 7
Daniel Bogdanovic: Two in two if he gets credited with the first goal. Worked hard. Subbed. 6
Luke Potter (for Rob Kozluk 12) Last time I saw Potter was his calamitous debut in the 7-0 thumping at West Brom back on the final day of the 2006-2007 season, but he seems to have improved tenfold. Looked a marauding full-back today and continuously beat his man. 8
Onome Sodje (for Macken 55) It is early days, and it was only Ferencvaros but the signs are promising. Has blistering pace should frighten any defence and had a hand in two of the goals. 8
Kayode Odejayi (for Bogdanovic 55) Blotted his copybook slightly with the miss at the end, but scored one of the best goals seen at Oakwell for skill, in recent times. If he can show that sort of composure more often, there's goals in that man! 7.9
Reuben Noble-Lazarus (for El Haimour 61) Showed massive promise today! Maybe the hype should be believed. Produced some excellent left wing crosses, one of which enabled Sodje to score. Ferencvaros struggled to handle him. 8
Jacob Butterfield (for Colace 71) Has an intelligent footballing brain and never looks rushed on the ball. Didn't see enough of it to make an impact though. 6
Jamil Adam (for Devaney 78) Another with pace to burn. Knows how to beat his man too. 7
Maxime Chanot (for Hassell 83) Slotted neatly into defence. 6
Simon Heslop, Rusling??
BarnsleyBoy's Man of the Match: The front three of Kayode Odejayi, Onome Sodje and Reuben Noble-Lazarus who tormented Ferencvaros upon their arrival.
FERENCVAROS: Holczer (Megyeri 45), Martinez (Kamante 45), Lowton (Lipscei 45), Dragoner (Csuszar 45), Balog, Antantara (Fitos 45 (Kovacs 80)), Toth (Wedgbury 45), Ashmore (Kulscar 45), Adnan, Ferenczi (Pinanjuk 45), Poloskei (Shaw 45).
Pre-season Friendly Results Saturday 11th July 2009:AFC Wimbledon 0-1 Wycombe Aldershot 0-4 QPR
BARNSLEY 3-2 Ferencvaros
Biddulph Victoria 1-0 Port Vale
Boreham Wood 1-4Watford
Bottesford Town 1-2Scunthorpe Bournemouth 2-1 Southampton
Burscough 0-4Blackpool Burton Albion 0-1 Derby
Forres Mechanics 3-2Forfar Gateshead 2-2 Huddersfield
Gretna 0-0Queen of South Histon 1-0 West Brom
Leicester XI 3-1 Loughborough Dynamo
Melbourne Victory 0-3Fulham
Staines Town 1-0Brentford Stirling 1-1 Partick Tamworth 1-1 Leicester
Wakefield FC 2-2 Huddersfield Tn XI
Weston-S-Mare 1-2Cheltenham Wrexham 1-1 Coventry
On The Road:
Pre-Season Friendly: Gainsborough Trinity v Barnsley Tuesday 21st July 2009 Kick-Off 7:30pm
Pre-Season Friendly: Frickley v Barnsley Tuesday 21st July 2009 Kick-Off 7:30pm
Pre-Season Friendly: Bradford City v Barnsley Saturday 25th July 2009 Kick-Off 3pm
Pre-Season Friendly: Barnsley v Manchester City Saturday 1st August 2009 Kick-Off 3pm