A first half in which Barnsley never really turned up and but for the heroics of Luke Steele would have been more than 1-0 down at half time. The Reds rallied in the second half and were probably unlucky not to get a penalty decision when only a goal behind to the Hammers. As hard as they pressed The Tykes couldn’t find an equaliser and their Cup exit was confirmed with a second goal deep into time added on from Frederic Piquionne.
Barnsley have 22 games left and have four games remaining in January, three of which are away (Hull City, Doncaster Rovers and Millwall) and a solitary game at Oakwell against Swansea City. The ‘C’ word (consistency) has been the issue at Barnsley and also around the Championship as the Tykes (in 16th place) are just six points from sixth place Watford, so illustrating how many clubs are still in the promotion mix.
Mark Robins will emphasise again to his team how a decent run could put the Reds amongst the promotion places.
Tomorrow Barnsley make the journey to Hull City. Earlier in the season the Tykes dropped two points at home to the Tigers. Adam Hammill gave the home side a first half lead, but were unable to kill off the game and Kevin Kilbane’s equaliser gave Hull a share of the spoils that they really didn’t deserve.
Going into this game, rumours abound about Adam Hammill leaving the club. Worrying not only for the unsettling nature of such talk, but the loss of the teams leading goal scorer and creative pivot this campaign.
Robins said: "The situation with Adam Hammill is out of my control and we don't know when or whether he will go. That doesn't help because we would have to look to replace him and where do you get another Adam Hammill?
"We're trying to do that and maybe it might change the dynamic of the team, but that all depends on the cost and package. Nobody has bid an amount that's acceptable to the club. The figure is there and it's out of our control really."
Last season Hull completed a League double over the Reds. However Mark Robins should take comfort from the fact that in the last 11 visits to Hull by Barnsley, the Reds have won eight and drawn one. Four of those wins being by a 2-1 scoreline. That score tomorrow would be a good start to a difficult run of games to see out the first month of the New Year.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.