An utter shambles. I'd laugh if it wasn't so blatantly bad.
With extremely tough and probably fruitless away games at promotion chasing Southampton and Stoke to come this month the home games with Colchester United and relegation rivals Hull City were really must-win.
Well Part One went totally down the swanny today, and how.
Today's performance must rank as one of if not the worst performance of what could ultimately end as a sorry season.
This was even worse than the 3-0 home defeat to the Deedaars from down the road back in December, at least we created chances in that game!
This one was over by the 10 minute mark as the country's surprise package raced into a 2-0 lead.
The first goal which arrived little over 3 minutes into the game was the result of the sort of comical defending attributed to a Sunday park game, not between 2 players who, one plays for Manchester United and the other a Republic of Ireland international.
Firstly Dwayne Mattis - surely a contender for worst ever Barnsley signing- slipped to allow Kem Izzet to cross deep in the Reds area. Young centre back Rob Atkinson missed his header but the ball fell nicely to Adam Eckersley. What followed was one of those “got to be there to believe it scenarios”.
Eckersley bizarrely attempted to pass the ball back to Colgan from barely 6yards away. The ball ricocheted off Colgan's legs and U's skipper Karl Duguid could barely believe his luck as he rammed the loose ball home.
The game was effectively up 7minutes later.
Kevin Watson lofted a ball forward from midfield which former Reds target Chris Iwelumo controlled before flicking the ball through to Jamie Cureton who glided through a static home “defence” and rifled his shot past Colgan.
2-0, 10 minutes gone, freezing cold, rainy. The life of a football fan hey.
For the remaining 80 minutes of the game Colchester proceeded to show us why they are on the brink of an unlikely play-off place.
The Reds simply failed to deal with the height and strength of giant Iwelumo and he won everything that was going in the air.
The best Barnsley could muster was a marauding run down the left from Eckersley which saw Richards head his cross over the bar.
Iwelumo was withdrawn at half-time after appearing to suffer a cut lip during the first half but Colchester continued to probe, press and play with a real confidence that Barnsley just distinctly lacked.
New recruit Peter Rajczi who made his full debut showed some good touches in the second period after appearing to look lost amongst the mayhem in the opening 45 minutes and could, once up to full fitness, be a decent acquisition. Same too could be said about his compatriot Istvan Ferenczi who added some much needed height when he arrived on the scene in the 70th minute.
Colchester though sparked the mass exodus of Reds fans with the 3rd in the 83rd minute, again thanks to comical defending.
Substitute Hogan Ephraim, who like Reds midfielder Kyel Reid is on loan from West Ham, was given a free passage to the Barnsley goal as Paul Reid and Atkinson fell to the floor “attempting” to stop him and he just slotted the ball past a static Colgan.
The boos that rang around Oakwell from the fans still in the ground at full-time sent a clear message to Davey and indeed to Patrick Cryne and Gordon Shepherd in the directors box.
2 wins against a side who cant buy a win and a team that got pummelled 5-0 by Southend last night proves nothing Simon. Your days as well as Barnsley's as a Championship team could well be numbered.
Nick Colgan: Left woefully exposed by his defence for all 3 goals. Got lost amid the mess. 6
Adam Eckersley: What the lad was thinking attempting to pass back to Colgan for the 1st goal is beyond me. Like at Cardiff last weekend he looked incredibly shaky. 5
Paul Reid ©: Did little to ease his defensive colleagues and almost let Garcia in for a 4th at the end. Hasn't made the grade up to Championship level sufficiently for me. 5
Robert Atkinson: Not the best game to come back into and even though he wasn't sparkling was better than his defensive mates. 6
Bobby Hassell: The case has been proven that Hassell is a better centre half than right back. He simply hasn't got the pace to contend with fast wingers such as Johnnie Jackson. Until he's restored to the centre his impact will be stifled. 6
Brian Howard: Thrust out on the wing again and although he made some promising runs he wasn't at his best. 6
Grant McCann: Out-played in the centre by the more robust Kevin Watson. Rattled the crossbar for Northern Ireland in midweek, barely got near the ball today. 5
Dwayne Mattis: Was garbage on his debut against Preston in January and hadn't played since, yet thrust straight back in today, where, yep you guessed it he was garbage. I know I wanted Togwell dropping but this is ridiculous. The lad was playing in League Two for a reason. Subbed. 5
Martin Devaney: Like at Cardiff last Friday was Barnsley's best attacking outlet but continued to run into brick walls in the shape of Ex Red Chris Barker. Tailed off dramatically second half. 6
Marc Richards: Had no support whatsoever from his midfield colleagues and Wayne Brown had his number in the air. Booked. Subbed. 5
Peter Rajczi: One shining light especially in the second half. Seems to have something about him if given the correct support. 6
Kyel Reid (for Mattis 57) A welcome introduction except for the fact his team-mates decided to hardly bring him into the game! 6
Istvan Ferenczi (for Richards 70) Harsh mock cheers at Richards departure but Ferenczi brought some height to the Reds front-line. I hope its not too long before he and Rajczi start together. 6
David Lucas, Sam Togwell, Neil Austin.
Sponsor's Man of the Match: Martin Devaney
BarnsleyBoy's Man of the Match: It was really quite difficult to pick a Man of the Match amid that dung heap and I suppose Devaney was just about average compared to the others being below average but I was more impressed by Rajczi's work-rate.
Most Impressed by Colchester United‘s: A lot of U's players impressed, Mills, Brown, Watson, Duguid and Cureton. In fact it would be harder to find one that didn't have the edge on our players but the one I'll pick out of them all is Chris Iwelumo as even though he only lasted 45minutes he destroyed our defence.
Ref Watch: Colin Webster: Missed a couple of handballs but the team let us down today not the ref. 6
P.S: Also I've been asked to give a special mention to one of the Barnsley mascots today, Joshua Morris. Sorry the team couldn't win for you mate. Keep the faith!
Coca-Cola Championship Results: Saturday 10th February 2007:
Barnsley 0-3 Colchester
Burnley 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday
Coventry 2-2 Cardiff
Derby 2-2 Hull
Ipswich 0-2 Leicester
Leeds 2-1 Crystal Palace
Plymouth 0-2 Sunderland
Preston 0-1 Wolves
West Brom 1-1 Southampton
Friday 9th February 2007:
Southend 5-0 QPR
Barnsley lie in 22nd place in the Coca Cola Championship with 32 points from 32 games. We are 21
points off the Play-Offs, 24 points off the Automatic Promotion Places, 31 points off First Place and in the Relegation Zone on goal difference.
On The Road:
Southampton v Barnsley Saturday 17th February 2007 Kick-Off 3pm
Adults - £22.00
Senior Citizens - £17.00
Under 20s - £17.00
Juveniles (Under 12) - £1.00
Official Reds On The Road coaches will be making the trip to St Mary's Stadium
Coaches will depart Oakwell at 8am on the day of the game.
Barnsley v Hull City Tuesday 20th February 2007 Kick-Off 7:45pm
Tickets for the big game are priced at:
East Stand and West Stand Upper Tiers
Juveniles (U11) £7.00
Barnsley Chronicle Family Area
Juveniles (U11) £7.00
East Stand Lower and West Stand Lower
Juveniles (U11) £6.00
Enterprise PLC Stand (Pontefract Road End)
Juveniles (U11) £6.00
All Disabled Areas £20.00
Helpers FREE OF CHARGE
To book tickets for forthcoming matches simply phone the Oakwell Box Office on 01226 211200. Alternatively call at the Box Office in person; contact the Box Office by fax on 01226 211444 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that Juvenile U11 tickets must be purchased in advance from the Oakwell Box Office and this price will not be on sale on the turnstiles under any circumstances.
Picture courtesy of www.barnsleyfc.co.uk