Barnsley moved to within ONE point of the Championship play-offs after securing a fourth successive second tier victory for the first time in eight years.
The Reds have won four Championship matches in a row for the first time since another run of four in February 2013 under David Flitcroft (2-0 v Millwall, 2-1 v Blackpool, 3-2 v Middlesbrough, 2-1 v Wolves)
It also extended their unbeaten run to six matches which is their best unbeaten Championship run since that February 2013 period (also 6 – W5 D1)
This run of four wins has seen them concede only one goal and that came after 94 minutes against Blackburn.
Callum Styles got the ball rolling with a superb strike after nine minutes, their earliest goal of 2021 and earliest at Oakwell since Alex Mowatt’s sixth minute winner against Watford in October.
It was Styles’ fifth goal of the campaign with Barnsley winning all five games in which he has scored. Styles has actually scored in six games in his Reds career and they have won all six!
Barnsley led at half time for the 11th time in the Championship this season and have gone on to win eight, only failing to do so at home to Bristol City, at Stoke and at home to Cardiff, all draws.
This was Barnsley’s ninth Championship clean sheet of the season and fourth in the last five – prior to this they had failed to keep a shutout in 15 games.
It is their 13th shut-out in all competitions, their most in a season in which they have been competing in the second tier since 2016-2017 (15)
This was Barnsley’s eighth home league win of the season – one more than they managed in 2019-2020 and their most at this level since 2012-2013 (9)
There has been successive Barnsley home matches that has seen a goal scored in the 90th minute or later, the second time this has occurred this season (v Huddersfield and then Tranmere) but the first time in successive Oakwell league games since December 2019 (v QPR and then West Brom)
It’s Barnsley’s sixth 90+ minute goal in 2020-2021 (all comps)
Daryl Dike scored his first goal in English football with that 90th minute strike, it means a substitute has scored in three successive games (Carlton Morris v Bristol City and Blackburn), the first time this has occurred since the final game of 2017-2018 (George Moncur at Derby) and the first two of 2018-2019 (Victor Adeboyejo v Oxford and Bradford)
Styles goal was Barnsley’s 12th this season NOT directly assisted by a team-mate.
Dike’s sealer was set up by Conor Chaplin, the 24 year old’s third assist of the season, level with Callum Brittain whilst only Cauley Woodrow and Alex Mowatt (both 4) have set up more goals for the Reds in 2020-2021.
Dike’s goal pushed Barnsley’s goal difference into positive numbers (36-35) for the first time since a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on the 21st November 2020 saw them on 14-13.
It is the first time Barnsley have had a positive second tier goal-difference after 31 matches since 2016-2017 (+4)
In comparison it was -20 after 31 games last season despite the fact they had scored one more goal than they have currently.
This is shaping up to be the Reds best Championship season since 2016-2017 when they finished in 14th position – the highest league finish for 17 years since fourth in 2000. They now have a better record after 31 games that they did in that campaign four season ago – W14 D6 L11 compared to W13 D7 L11 and are two places higher in the table.
Brad Collins has now made eight successive starts for Barnsley, his best run since a run of 11 starts between 31st August 2019 and 9th November 2019.
He has kept seven clean sheets in the 12 games he has played in 2020-2021.
This was the 25th league match this season in which Barnsley have either scored two goals or none at all (from 31 played), the 14th of which they have scored twice.
Barnsley are now unbeaten in their last 30 games (all comps) when opening the scoring (W26 D4) last losing when breaking the deadlock at Cardiff in December 2019.
In all competitions Stoke are the fourth side in the last six matches who Barnsley have restricted to just one shot on target.
This was Barnsley’s first victory against Stoke in six meetings since a 1-0 win at the Britannia Stadium in February 2007 (D3 L2)
It is their first Oakwell victory against the men from the Potteries in four, but the previous victory came back in September 1996.
However Barnsley have now won nine of the last 12 Oakwell clashes.
This was Barnsley’s first clean sheet in five meetings overall – the four games in between had seen the Reds ship 13 goals.
Stoke won eight corners, the most by an opponent at Oakwell since Brentford in November (12)
40. Brad Collins
20. Toby Sibbick
30. Michal Helik
6. Mads Andersen
7. Callum Brittain
21. Romal Palmer
27. Alex Mowatt
4. Callum Styles
28. Dominik Frieser
9. Cauley Woodrow
14. Carlton Morris
29. Victor Adeboyejo (for Frieser 62)
10. Daryl Dike (for Morris 62)
24. Aapo Halme (for Palmer 69)
11. Conor Chaplin (for Woodrow 85)
26. Michael Sollbauer (for Sibbick 85)
1. Jack Walton, 2 Jordan Williams, 8. Herbie Kane, 22. Clarke Oduor.
1. Angus Gunn
14. Tom Smith
36. Harry Souttar
6. Danny Batth
46. Rhys Norrington-Davies
13. Jon Obi Mikel
34. Jordan Thompson
18. Jacob Brown
25. Nick Powell
35. Josh Tymon
21. Steven Fletcher
4. Joe Allen (for Thompson 50)
9. Sam Vokes (for Fletcher 50)
47. Jack Clarke (for Tymon 74)
24. Jordan Cousins (for Smith 75)
20. Tashan Oakley-Boothe (for Brown 83)
12. James Chester, 16. Adam Davies, 39. William Forrester, 44. Christian Norton.
Stoke manager Michael O’Neill said:
“It’s a disappointing result.
“We made it difficult for ourselves losing an early goal. It was a great strike but I think we could have done a little bit more to disrupt the shot.
“I thought first half we were good, we competed very well and possibly should have done a little bit better with the opportunities that we had.
“But tonight was a game of basics and Barnsley did the basics better than us. At times it was just about getting to the ball first, playing the ball forward, competing, and they did it better than us.
“We didn’t create enough in the second half and then we ultimately lose the second goal right at the death having pushed forward and left ourselves short at the back.
“Overall, we can have no complaints about the result."
Sky Bet Championship results
TUESDAY 23RD FEBRUARY 2021
Birmingham City (21st) 1-3 Norwich City (1st)
Derby County (18th) 2-0 Huddersfield Town (19th)
Middlesbrough (9th) 1-3 Bristol City (12th)
Luton Town (17th) 1-1 Millwall (11th)
Rotherham United (22nd) 0-1 Nottingham Forest (16th)
Wycombe Wanderers (24th) 1-0 Reading (5th)
WEDNESDAY 24TH FEBRUARY 2021
BARNSLEY (8th) 2-0 Stoke City (10th)
Brentford (2nd) 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday (23rd)
Bech Sorensen 83
Swansea City (4th) 1-0 Coventry City (20th)
Blackburn Rovers (15th) 2-3 Watford (3rd)
Joao Pedro 25
AFC Bournemouth (7th) 1-2 Cardiff City (6th)
Moore pen 37
Preston North End (14th) 0-0 Queens Park Rangers (13th)
Barnsley lie in 8th place in the Sky Bet Championship with 48 points from 31 games. We are 1 point off the Play-Offs, 12 points off the Automatic Promotion Places, 19 points off First Place and 19 points above the Relegation Zone.
Up to 25/2/21
Sky Bet Championship Matchday Thirty Two: Barnsley v Millwall, Saturday 27th February 2021. Kick-Off: 3pm
On The Road:
Sky Bet Championship Matchday Thirty Three: Queens Park Rangers v Barnsley, Wednesday 3rd March 2021. Kick-Off: 7pm