After two defeats seeing out 2010, Barnsley fans were hoping that 2011 would start on a positive note beginning with a visit to Nottingham Forest, who were unbeaten at the City Ground this season and fresh from a 5-2 demolishing of Midland rivals Derby County.
The Tykes comprehensively beat Forest at Oakwell 3-1 in October and looked to be ending Forest’s 30 game unbeaten run at the City Ground on New Year’s Day when they went 2-0 up.
Matthew Hill had given the Tykes the half-time lead and on 50 minutes Andy Gray’s header doubled the Barnsley advantage. On 68 minutes, Lewis McGugan's penalty after a foul on Chris Gunter pulled one back for the home side and Nathan Tyson fired in a loose ball to complete the come-back with 10 minutes remaining. A definite case of two points lost rather than a point gained for Mark Robins team.
Finally the Festive programme was completed by the visit of Coventry City to Oakwell. Barnsley were quickly in front with Nathan Doyle giving the Tykes a fourth-minute lead when he beat Keiren Westwood with a 30-yard strike.
However, the Sky Blues levelled through Freddy Eastwood to take the sides in level at half-time. The Reds were the better team in the second half and Goran Lovre deservedly wrapped up the points on 57 minutes for the Tykes.
So four games and a return of four points from a possible 12. Hardly what everyone at the club would have wanted – Barnsley continue to frustrate with a two steps forward, one step back season. Therefore it will be a welcome distraction this weekend when Barnsley travel to Upton Park for their FA Cup 3rd round fixture.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association