Barnsley 0 Preston 0: Crucial point for Reds but winless streak continues

BARNSLEY moved three points clear of the Sky Bet Championship's bottom three with a goalless draw against Preston at Oakwell.

Barnsley's Harvey Barnes livened up proceedings after coming on as a second-half substitute.

The result extended the Tykes’ winless run to nine league matches, but moved them a point further away from the drop zone after the four teams below them all lost.

Ninth-placed Preston remained outside the top six by four points.

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Having collected two points from their last eight league matches, Barnsley started cautiously and the only real chance of the opening 15 minutes fell to the visitors. Jordan Hugill struck the foot of the post after Adam Davies had palmed Tom Barkhuizen’s header to the edge of the area.

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

The first half was a cagey affair, with both teams seemingly happy to sit back and hit on the break.

On one such occasion, as the visitors countered quickly, Daniel Johnson was denied a one-on-one opportunity by a sliding Andy Yiadom.

A late Preston corner, curled in from the right by Paul Gallagher, was easily dealt with by the Barnsley defence and the half-time whistle sounded soon after to mark a goalless first period.

Joe Williams went close to opening the scoring for the home side early in the second half, but his left-footed shot on the turn was blocked by Johnson.

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Preston midfielder Daryl Horgan, making his first Championship start of the season, then looked to create an opening for the Lilywhites, but he failed to find a white shirt after getting to the byline.

Josh Harrop was straight into the action after replacing Gallagher in the visitors’ midfield on the hour mark, breaking quickly from the centre circle but firing just wide of Davies’ post.

Barkhuizen, having had a quiet game, then carved out a good chance for himself, weaving into the box and forcing a good save from Davies with a shot to the near post.

Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom brought Harvey Barnes on to replace Lloyd Isgrove with 15 minutes left in the hope of adding fresh energy to the midfield.

The move almost paid off, as the tricky winger cut in from the left to force a good save from Chris Maxwell low to his right. This sparked a brief spell of dominance for the hosts and Stevie Mallan also saw a shot palmed away by Maxwell after driving inside from the right.

Injuries meant there were seven minutes of time added on and a resurgent Barnsley pushed for a late winner, seeing two crosses into the box headed clear before the full-time whistle meant the teams settled for a point apiece.

Barnsley: Davies, Yiadom, Pinnock, Lindsay, Fryers, Williams, Hammill, Mallan, Gardner, Isgrove (Barnes 75), Bradshaw. Subs Not Used: McCarthy, MacDonald,McGeehan, Townsend, Ugbo, Thiam.

Booked: Williams.

Preston North End: Maxwell, Woods (Browne 79), Huntington, Davies, O’Connor, Gallagher (Harrop 60), Pearson, Barkhuizen, Johnson, Horgan (Mavididi 69), Hugill. Subs Not Used: Rudd, Cunningham, Andrew Boyle, Welsh.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear).