Barnsley edge their way into the fourth round of the FA Cup with win over League Two Tranmere


Championship high-flyers Barnsley confirmed their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup as they overcame League Two outfit Tranmere Rovers 2-0 on Sunday thanks to second-half goals from Michal Helik and Cauley Woodrow.

Barnsley manager Valérien Ismaël named a strong starting lineup for the tie, making just three changes from the Tykes’ 1-0 defeat at Norwich in the league a week prior. Top-scorer Woodrow played the entire game.

As for their opponents from two tiers below, five changes were made from the 1-1 draw at Barrow just before the turn of the year.

In what was an open first half, the visitors certainly made a decent account of themselves against one of the Championship’s in-form teams. 

Tranmere midfielder Otis Khan pulled the was one of the Merseyside club’s brightest sparks throughout the game, with the 25-year-old producing a handful of decent deliveries from set-pieces.

The free-kick of note came in the 16th minute as his excellent delivery into the Barnsley 18-yard box was met by the head of Kaiyne Woolery, who also impressed for Keith Hill’s side on the day. The 25-year-old’s header was well-saved by the hosts’ deputy goalkeeper Bradley Collins, who made just his fourth appearance of the season on Sunday.

The South Yorkshire side showed their surplus quality as they passed the ball around their League Two opponents, with Conor Chaplin looking the brightest spark for the Tykes.

The 23-year-old was at the end of some exquisite build-up play from the hosts, however, his effort went just wide. The forward was also victim to some excellent last-ditch defending from Tranmere; on another day he may have scored a couple.

Going into halftime, it was arguably surprising that the tie was goalless, although there wouldn’t have been any complaints from either side that the affair was level. 

Despite a spirited start to the second period from the visitors, the Championship side took the lead just shy of the hour mark. Having seen a corner half-cleared by Tranmere, Barnsley attempted a couple of crosses into the box, with the League Two side failing to clear their lines. Eventually, a flat cross from Herbie Kane found the head of Helik who headed the ball past Rovers ‘keeper Scott Davies.

However, Hill’s men didn’t give up and the combination of Khan and Woolery almost paid dividends again as the latter produced an excellent volley at the back-post from the former’s delivery. The 25-year-old’s effort sailed just wide of Collins’ goal.

Having beaten League One Accrington Stanley and National League North Brackley Town in the previous rounds, the Merseyside club were determined to find a leveller, and they almost did through substitute Kieron Morris.

The 26-year-old was set up with a perfectly weighted ball across goal deep into added time, only for the midfielder to be subject to a goal-denying challenge from Mads Juel Andersen. 

In the final minute of added time, Barnsley substitute Luke Thomas broke free into the box, only to be tackled by Jay Spearing in the area. The referee had no doubt that it was a penalty.

Up stepped Woodrow who calmly slotted in his tenth goal of the season to see his side through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Ismaël’s team will be in Monday night’s draw for both the fourth and fifth rounds of the competition. Having been one of the success stories of the season in the second tier, the Frenchman may be keen to see his side tested against one of English football’s elite sides.

Follow us on Twitter @ProstInt



About Author

Comments are closed.