Barnsley 2 Bolton Wanderers 3: You’ve got to be throwing punches instead of taking them – Flitcroft

Barnsley manager David Flitcroft felt his side’s poor first-half performance cost his side as the struggling Tykes slipped to a second successive defeat.

David Flitcroft
David Flitcroft

“I don’t really do interesting games, I do wins,” he said. “We’ve got to win football matches and we didn’t do enough first half to win that football match.

“We waited, we delayed, we were on our back foot and to win a football match, to win a fight, you’ve got to be on your front foot.

“You’ve got to be throwing the punches instead of taking them and in the first half we took too many punches. Second half: front foot, fighting, we showed guile, we showed bravery and we took a Bolton team on that couldn’t cope with that dominance and we’ve only dominated them for 45 minutes. We haven’t dominated them for the first half, which is disappointing.”

Bolton manager Dougie Freedman praised his side’s team spirit after Craig Dawson’s fourth goal in three games gave the Trotters victory and a third consecutive success.

On-loan West Bromwich defender Dawson struck from close range with around half-an-hour remaining after Tykes goalkeeper Luke Steele fumbled Marcos Alonso’s free-kick.

Wanderers had been in control at half-time thanks to David Ngog’s finish at the second attempt and a deflected drive from Jay Spearing, but Tomasz Cywka and Chris O’Grady brought the hosts level within eight minutes of the restart in an entertaining game at Oakwell.

Freedman said: “I felt we went into a deserved lead, played some fantastic football, created more than a few opportunities and had a deserved 2-0 lead. But credit Barnsley; they came out, they changed their shape, we didn’t react quick enough, they got a couple of goals back and it was credit to Barnsley that they did that.

“But I just felt that gave us a little bit more determination to go and get another goal at the other end, and we did that.

“Towards the end, we dug in there, we hung in and defended very well. If you’re going to maintain any sort of interest in this season then you’ve got to defend well. I felt towards the end we coped very well.”

He added: “Maybe this team of old might’ve panicked (after surrendering a two-goal lead), but I’m certainly seeing the improvement in our defending and towards the end we weren’t really troubled at all.”

Barnsley: Steele, Wiseman, Cranie, Tunnicliffe (Scotland 67), Kennedy, O’Brien (Mellis 65), Etuhu, Perkins, Cywka, Dagnall, O’Grady (Harewood 60). Unused substitutes: Lidakevicius, Hassell, Foster, Noble-Lazarus.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Dawson, Ricketts, Knight, Alonso, Eagles (Medo 65), Spearing, Pratley, Lee, Ngog, C Davies (Wheater 79). Unused substitutes: Lonergan, K Davies, Sordell, De Ridder, Holden.

Referee: L Collins (Surrey).

Man of the match: Craig Dawson.