The past week has shown what a crazy game football is. Last Saturday as the Barnsley faithful left Oakwell after a home defeat to Leicester, the Tykes seemed to in real trouble. With the home form seemingly now matching the Reds’ dreadful record on the road, and two away games to come, there was a pessimistic mood around the this part of South Yorkshire.
But Christmas has come early for Mark Robins. A bit of luck at Deepdale on Tuesday for the Tykes’ winner and suddenly the away hoodoo was broken. Even after the win at Preston, Barnsley fans would have been forgiven that things would be a lot different at Portman Road.
Luke Steele was again in good form for the Tykes as the home side started brightly. However, Barnsley responded on 21 minutes when a knock-back from Jim O’Brien was swept in by Goran Lovre. The Tykes had the momentum and had a bit of luck, when on 27 minutes Adam Hammill’s powerful shot from 25 yards struck the foot of the post and rebounded off Marton Fulop's back before nestling in the Ipswich net.
The Reds went at half time well worth their 2-0 lead. The second half backlash from Ipswich never materialised and within five minutes of the restart Barnsley went three up, as Gary O’Connor steered in Goran Lovre’s near post cross. The Tykes saw out the game comfortably although they did concede late on when Smith headed in for the home team.
Mark Robins post match said that the game was ‘without a doubt the best performance since I have been here’. He added: “I thought our passing and movement at times were excellent and our finishing was a lot better. We will not get carried away, but hopefully we can build on this and get a few more into Oakwell next weekend.”
The reality is that the Championship is a curious mix this season. Barnsley now have 22 points, five points more would put you as high as fourth place – five points less and you’d be next to bottom.
Barnsley have now had two good results on the road, it is now time to get back to winning ways at Oakwell, starting with the visit of Portsmouth this Saturday.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.