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Barnsley 0-0 West Bromwich Albion: Valerien Ismael denied victory on Tykes return

Val Ismael's return to a foggy Oakwell was his first meeting with Barnsley since leaving for West Bromwich at the end of last season
Valerien Ismael’s return to a foggy Oakwell was his first meeting with Barnsley since leaving for West Bromwich at the end of last season

Valerien Ismael’s West Bromwich Albion failed in their bid to draw level with second-placed Bournemouth as they were once again denied victory by Barnsley on a bogey ground where they have not won in 74 years.

On his first return to a foggy Oakwell since leaving to join Albion in May, Ismael’s men were the better side but were denied by a combination of the woodwork and some heroic defending.

Instead, while West Brom remain third in the Championship, it was Ismael’s former club who had more to celebrate as they eked out a third draw in four games.

Albion had the best two chances to score before the break, the first of them from Cedric Kipre in only the fifth minute.

Barnsley old boy Alex Mowatt – Ismael’s first Albion signing – curled in a left-foot free-kick from the right, from which the loosely marked Kipre powered a firm header against the right post.

Then Jordan Hugill should have done better from Conor Townsend’s pull-back, but Callum Brittain blocked his low side-foot finish.

Albion had not won in their previous 18 league visits to Barnsley since their last victory there back in August 1947
Albion had not won in their previous 18 league visits to Barnsley since their last victory there back in August 1947

The hosts did cause one moment of alarm when Josh Benson tried his luck from long range with a Cristiano Ronaldo-style right-foot free-kick, which would have dipped just under the bar had Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone not turned it over.

But Albion went close again after the break when Callum Robinson’s close-range deflected shot on the turn was shovelled wide by home keeper Brad Collins.

Then Albion top scorer Karlan Grant was somehow thwarted by home defender Michal Helik’s boot at the near post at full stretch from an angle, after he had circumvented Collins.

Grady Diangana and Darnell Furlong also opened up the Tykes as a low cross flew untouched across the face of goal, before Matt Clarke’s header was deflected onto the top of the net.

But, on such a grim, gloomy night in South Yorkshire, it needed something special to break down a well marshalled Barnsley rearguard – and Albion did not have it.

They may now fall further behind the top two if Bournemouth, two points better off than the Baggies overnight, can win at Middlesbrough on Saturday lunchtime – and leaders Fulham, a further two points ahead, win at home to Sheffield United on Monday.

Line-ups

Barnsley

Formation 3-4-3

  • 40Collins
  • 30HelikBooked at 90mins
  • 6Andersen
  • 5Kitching
  • 2Williams
  • 17Gomes
  • 10BensonSubstituted forColeat 64′minutes
  • 7Brittain
  • 4Styles
  • 11Leya IsekaSubstituted forOduorat 84′minutes
  • 14Morris

Substitutes

  • 1Walton
  • 15Moon
  • 22Oduor
  • 23Hondermarck
  • 26Vita
  • 29Adeboyejo
  • 44Cole

West Brom

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Johnstone
  • 21Kipré
  • 5Bartley
  • 16Clarke
  • 2Furlong
  • 8LivermoreBooked at 52minsSubstituted forMolumbyat 72′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 27Mowatt
  • 3TownsendBooked at 70mins
  • 7RobinsonSubstituted forDianganaat 72′minutes
  • 18Grant
  • 17HugillSubstituted forReachat 90+3′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Ajayi
  • 11Diangana
  • 14Molumby
  • 20Reach
  • 25Button
  • 29Gardner-Hickman
  • 41Fellows

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