He's back, oh he's most certainly back. After 7 months of carrying Daniel Nardiello through this rollercoaster Championship campaign, the hit-man has struck again.
Just like last season when he was anonymous throughout the campaign before notching the crucial goals that took The Reds to promotion, he has been hardly a flicker of excitement this season until we have got to the "nitty gritty" and he has now banged in 4 goals in his last 3 games.
If only he could perform like this for a whole season, he would be one of the most sought after players in the league!
Yesterday his two stunning goals following on from his great match-winner against Birmingham on Monday have given The Reds a fantastic chance of remaining in the Championship whilst Southend now have 1 foot in an immediate return to League One.
Despite the 3 and a half hour trek down to Southend, Barnsley were fantastically backed in a shed of a ground. The fans started singing long before kick-off and continued past the final whistle.
The players responded.
There was a shock in store for the Reds fans to start with though.
Prior to the game Brian Howard and Paul Reid had both been definitely RULED OUT of the game with Martin Devaney VERY DOUBTFUL. But all three started with Reid and Devaney playing the full 90minutes! Davey mind-games or unbelievable recoveries? Ill let you decide.
After a nervy start where Southend forced Nick Colgan into two good stops, The Reds forged ahead with 15minutes played through Nardiello with a strike that was almost identical to his strike against Birmingham.
Neat interplay between Devaney and Sam Togwell saw Nardiello receive the ball on the right hand edge of the area. Nads then twisted and turned before curling a delightful effort pastDarryl Flahavan in the Southend goal.
This effort winded Southend but The Reds second goal came in bizarre circumstances.
Kyel Reid's left footed corner swooped over everyone before ending up in the far corner of the goal. Not that it mattered, The Reds were 2 goals in front. Kyel Reid has now scored twice for Barnsley, both against Southend and both bizarrely!!
Tails up, the score could have been more. Nardiello somehow turned a Ferenczi cross over the bar and out of the ground from just 2yards.
Southend emerged after the break with a little more vigour but were rattled when The Reds added a third within 6 minutes of the restart!
Flahavan's poor punch fell at the feet of Togwell whose shot was blocked for a corner. Kyel Reid again went to take it accompanied by cries of SHOOT from the Barnsley faithful, but instead he planted it straight on the head of Nardiello who thumped it into the roof of the net. 4 goals in 3 games and up to second in the Scorers Ranks!!
Southend to their credit put up more of a fight and grabbed one goal back on 67 minutes after a real bout of ping-pong, the ball hitting the bar and being blocked before Mark Gower hit a rasping drive that shook the post before flying into the opposite corner. Colgan probably didn't even see it never mind had a chance of saving it!
From then on it was backs to the wall as The Reds retreated further and further back, Colgan made two crucial saves before Barnsley broke with substitute Grant McCann shuddering the Southend crossbar with one delightful effort.
Southend did very nearly have the last say when a Gower free kick rattled the post but Barnsley held on for what could turn out to be the most crucial 3 points of the season!
Nick Colgan: Two fine stops in both halves. Had no chance with the goal. Back to some sort of form. 7
Paul Heckingbottom: Tortured by Campbell-Ryce in the first half, continually drifted inside to leave yards of the space on the wing. Was mercifully saved in the second period when Campbell-Ryce switched wings. Booked. 5
Paul Reid ©: Shock inclusion after originally been ruled out but very steady and strong. Campbell-Ryce kept his hands full in the second half but he stuck manfully to his task. 8
Lewin Nyatanga: Solid as a rock. If he had been here since August, survival would have been a certainty and he would be running away with the Player of the Year award! Going to be sorely missed next season. 9
Antony Kay: Started out at right back and was his usual calm and assured self. Really proved his worth this campaign. 7
Martin Devaney: Made a few probing runs but often lost to the game as Reid flourished on the opposite wing. 6
Brian Howard: Supposedly injured but started and dictated the play. Was subbed due to him losing his temper a bit but his reaction to the third goal and at full time showed how much it meant to him. Booked. Subbed. 7
Sam Togwell: Everybody played well and so did he. Got stuck in and when he does this he becomes a much more valuable player. 7
Kyel Reid: We could finally have our corner taker… pity he'll be heading back to West Ham in the summer. Very creative and scored the 2nd while setting up the 3rd. 7
Istvan Ferenczi: His goal drought continues but he worked ever so hard, creating space for others. Great rapport with the fans. Even when he was at the other end of the pitch he still acknowledged the Red Army when they chanted his name! Top man! 7
Daniel Nardiello: Will the real Nardiello please stand up? Incredible game, 2 fantastic goals, it's just a pity he keeps waiting until the spring to produce. Booked. Subbed. 9
Grant McCann (for Howard 56) Saw one great strike rattle the bar but was constantly caught in possession in midfield which could have proved costly. 6
Peter Rajczi (for Nardiello 66) On to replace the tiring Nardiello, he produced some threatening runs but The Reds attacking instincts had died down by this point. 6
Ritchie Jones, David Lucas, Neil Austin
BarnsleyBoy's Man of the Match: Danny Nardiello and Lewin Nyatanga to share it this week for their efforts at the opposite ends of the pitch. Both were crucial to The Reds success.
Most Impressed by Southend's: JAMAL CAMPBELL-RYCE. Very tricky customer his pace cause endless problems.
Ref Watch: Kevin Stroud: The most clueless numpty we have had this season! And that's saying something! Gave Southend EVERYTHING in the second half.
Most bizarre incidents:
1. Southend player down, Devaney stops play and the ref instead of asking Southend to kick the ball back to Colgan, orders a bounce up!!
2. Ball sailing over Campbell-Ryce's head so he sticks his arm up, blatant hand ball and Stroud gives just a free kick, no booking! INCREDIBLE!!!
Coca-Cola Championship Results Saturday 14th April 2007
Birmingham 2-1 Southampton
Cardiff 1-1 Stoke
Coventry 0-4 Preston
Crystal Palace 2-2 Wolves
Hull 1-1 Colchester
Ipswich 2-1 Derby
Leeds 1-0 Burnley
Leicester 1-2 Norwich
Luton 1-2 Plymouth
Southend 1-3 Barnsley
Sunderland 2-1 QPR
Friday 13th April 2007
West Brom 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday
Barnsley lie in 20th place in the Coca Cola Championship with 47 points from 43 games. We are 23 points off the Play-Offs, 31 points off the Automatic Promotion Places, 35 points off First Place and 2 points above the Relegation Zone.
Coca-Cola Championship Matchday Forty Four Barnsley v Crystal Palace Saturday 21st April 2007 Kick-Off 3pm
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 0871 2266777. Alternatively call at the Box Office in person; contact the Box Office by fax on 01226 211444 or email@example.com. 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.
Coca-Cola Matchday Forty Five Barnsley v Leicester City Saturday 28th April 2007 Kick-Off 3pm
Barnsley Football Club are delighted to announce that ticket prices for this massive game have been slashed to just £10.00 for adults and £5.00 concessions!!!
Tickets are on sale now from the Oakwell Box Office as the Reds look to ram Oakwell to the rafters and cheer the boys to Championship safety.
Please note that these reduced ticket prices will apply to home areas of the stadium only. Supporters of Leicester City FC will be charged the normal full matchday admission prices.
Any supporter who has already purchased a match ticket in the home end at Oakwell at full price can get the difference back from the Box Office.
Reds supporters will be able to pay on the turnstiles at the reduced rate on the day of the game.
On The Road:
Coca-Cola Championship Matchday Forty Six West Bromwich Albion v Barnsley Sunday 6thMayl 2007 Kick-Off 1pm
Adults - £23.00
Senior Citizens (Over 60) - £14.00
Juveniles (Under 18) - £14.00
Juveniles (Under 16) - £11.00
Official Reds On The Road coaches will be making the trip to West Brom. Coaches will depart Oakwell at 9.00am on the day of the game and the fare is £11.00.