Survival game sees sibling rivalry intensify for one day only

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WHEN the Dawson family get together tomorrow evening, there will be one notable absentee.

That person being Barnsley captain Stephen, who will be somewhere on a coach back from deepest Somerset to South Yorkshire while the family catch up with his kid brother Kevin.

Barnsley's Stephen Dawson.

Barnsley's Stephen Dawson.

If they are commiserating with the Yeovil midfielder, so be it...

Sibling rivalry will be on the line for 90 minutes when Barnsley visit Huish Park in a second seasonal instalment of the ‘Dawson Derby’ – which this time is likely to pit brother against brother for the first time in their careers.

Not that brotherly oneupmanship really comes into the equation, with the stakes much higher for both their respective sides in a monumental survival clash at the foot of the Championship.

The older Dawson brother was left on the bench for the reverse fixture at Oakwell in December, which ended 1-1 in a result which probably suited the family. But he will get his chance tomorrow.

Dawson is more after suiting himself and while he would like nothing more than both Yeovil and Barnsley staying up, Saturday is strictly business. Reds business.

The Oakwell captain, who cheered on Yeovil to play-off victory at Wembley last season, with Kevin also the first to relay his congratulations when Barnsley stayed up last May, said: “It will be a proud moment coming up against my brother. The family knows how important it has for both teams.

“There’s about 20 of them coming over from Ireland and it will be nice to see them.

“All the family will be staying with my brother.

“I’m not worried about what they do after. Once we get the three points, that’s all I care about. Family goes out of the window when three points are at stake.

“Me and Kevin speak to each other a lot since he’s come here (to England).

“But there will be no team talks or tactics because of the importance of the game. It’s such a big game, both teams desperately need the points. A draw might not be enough for either one of us.

“I probably know too much about Yeovil from watching them. Any time I get a chance to go and watch him, as any brother would do, I go and support them.

“Hopefully, they can stay up. But come Saturday, we need the points.”

Dawson, who netted in the Reds’ tremendous midweek win at Reading, is enjoying a renaissance under manager Danny Wilson stepping up to take the captain’s armband with Martin Cranie out injured.

It’s a source of great pride to the Dubliner, who has showed real character to turn his season around, especially after being fined by the club less than a month ago after he confronted fans following the 5-0 derby loss at Huddersfield.

Dawson regrets his actions, although some may see it more as a crime of passion from someone who cares about his club.

“It was hard to take that week,” he said. “Some of the stuff that was said hurt. You are a human being and probably I overreacted.

“After losing, you are hurting and there was a lot of frustration.

“A lot of emotion came out when I scored (at Reading) as we need to stay up. A lot of players are out of contract and we are fighting for our careers as well.

“At the start of the year, it was an up and down period for me with the previous manager. But this one has shown a lot of faith in giving me the captaincy and it’s meant the world to me.”

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