Stalemate at Oakwell after hard-fought encounter between Barnsley and Reading

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Barnsley and Reading shared the spoils after an even encounter between the two play-off chasers in South Yorkshire on Saturday evening.

Barnsley made a bright start to the encounter at Oakwell but were nearly punished on the counter-attack, as Yakou Meite stole the ball off Mads Andersen before squandering his chance.

This was an early warning from the Royals who laid out their intentions for the game ahead of trying to punish Valerien Ismael’s Barnsley on the counter-attack. After this the hosts started to take control of the game with their signature high-intensity football as they started piling the pressure on Reading, this revealing their credentials.

Barnsley then had a chance to take the lead at the half-hour mark, a well-worked set-piece created a chance for Polish centre-back Michał Helik to give the Tykes the lead who saw his header saved. An incredible turnover for the Pole, who was lining up for his country when they faced England just two days earlier.

Against the run of play, the visitors then took the lead after weathering a Barnsley storm. A lovely ball over the top from Andy Rinomhata found Ovie Ejaria, who controlled the ball excellently, before firing past Brad Collins in the Barnsley goal.

Barnsley nearly levelled shortly after, when a cross from Callum Brittain caught ought Brazilian goalkeeper Rafael Cabral, who had his angles wrong. The woodwork sparing the blushes of the goalkeeper, as the ball cannoned off the crossbar. This the last significant piece of action in the first half.

After a quiet restart, the first key phase of action in the second half came at the hour mark when Barnsley were awarded a penalty after Andy Yiadom wrestled Callym Styles to the ground. Alex Mowatt stepped up to take the subsequent spot-kick cooly slotting his penalty down the middle of the goal to level proceedings at Oakwell.

Shortly after a horrible error from Callum Styles gifted a glorious opportunity to Reading striker Lucas Joao who squandered an open goal chance from close range. An appalling miss from one of the Championship’s best strikers and a significant let off for Barnsley after the game had just started to lose its intensity.

The crazy game continued to produce, and at the other end Danish centre-back Mads Andersen came close. The Dane hooking the ball onto the post, before Liam Moore cleared. This proved to be Reading’s turn to dodge a bullet.

After this Barnsley continued to pile the pressure on Reading and came close to taking the lead as an Aapo Halme header went narrowly over the goal.

Ultimately the game would finish level, perhaps a fair outcome after a relatively close encounter at Oakwell, with both sides fighting hard to gain an advantage over the other in the fight for the playoffs.

The result sees these sides remain fifth and sixth in the Championship table.

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