Barnsley 2 Shrewsbury 1 - Reds do their talking on the pitch at Oakwell

Barnsley's Alex Mowatt celebrates after scoring the opening goal (Picture: Dean Atkins)
Barnsley's Alex Mowatt celebrates after scoring the opening goal (Picture: Dean Atkins)
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Forget Good Friday, this was a Great Friday for Barnsley.

It had been a week of hush-hush off the field with regards to the tunnel incident in the immediate aftermath of the Reds’ win over Fleetwood last weekend.

Barnsleys Cameron McGeehan  tangles with Tyrese Campbell of shrewsbury (Picture: Dean Atkins)

Barnsleys Cameron McGeehan tangles with Tyrese Campbell of shrewsbury (Picture: Dean Atkins)

The talking was done on the pitch here, with the promotion-chasing Reds sealing another vital victory as they bid for an immediate return to the Championship.

The sight of talismanic striker Kieffer Moore’s name in the matchday squad for the first time in 12 matches provided them with another fillip.

And against a plucky Shrewsbury side they certainly had to dig in to ensure the three points.

It smacked of a team willing to go the distance for their manager Daniel Stendel.

It was a tough game and very physical for us. We had problems when they had three or four big chances to score.

Daniel Stendel

Stendel was particularly indebted to the performance of goalkeeper Adam Davies.

The stopper, who recently made his international debut for Wales, has been in stellar form this season and even earned an inclusion in the EFL League One Team of the Year.

Plenty of clubs will doubtless be casting an eye over his situation, given his contract expires this summer.

“We have the best goalkeeper in the league,” said Stendel, after watching Davies pull off a handful of top saves to deny the Shrews.

“It was a tough game and very physical for us.

“We had problems when they had three or four big chances to score.

“But Adam was amazing.

“The club wants him to stay here.

“Not only is he a very good player, he’s a good skipper for us.

“I hope he stays here.”

Although Shrewsbury have been a shadow of the side which reached last season’s League One play-off final, here they showed plenty of bite and heart.

They almost led inside two minutes when Shaun Whalley’s effort was initially kept out by the alert Davies only for Whalley to scoop the rebound towards goal.

Thankfully, Adam Jackson was alive to the danger and hooked the ball away to safety.

Minutes later the visitors again showed their intentions when Tyrese Campbell planted a header just wide of goal.

Barnsley had been slow to get out of the traps, and indeed it took them until the 22nd minute to have their first crack at the visitors’ goal.

Mike Bahre ran onto an Alex Mowatt through ball but couldn’t direct his thumping effort on target.

Never mind, as barely a minute later the Reds were toasting the opener.

Mowatt tried his luck from outside the box and curled a sumptuous effort beyond goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell.

The goal gave some much-needed impetus to the Reds and some of their football was pleasing on the eye, albeit without producing a final product.

Typically though, when you don’t take your chances you get punished.

And so it was, completely against the run of play, that the visitors levelled up just before the break.

Campbell hammered home a left-footed volley which gave Davies no chance.

Campbell looked destined to score his and Shrewsbury’s second in the final action of the half only for the onrushing Davies to make another crucial save.

The Shrews came out after the restart bristling with confidence and only their centre-half Luke Waterfall will know how he didn’t find the back of the net with a stooping header from barely five yards out.

Moments later the ever-dangerous Campbell volleyed just wide before the Reds came close to a second of their own.

Cameron McGeehan’s side-footed effort rattled the crossbar but it wasn’t long before those housed in the Ponte End were celebrating.

A pull-back fell the way of winger Jacob Brown and he emphatically lashed it beyond Mitchell.

The home crowd were in full voice now and Cauley Woodrow blasted a shot just wide before ballooning one over a minute later.

Moore’s introduction just after the hour ramped up the volume inside Oakwell.

Moore was not expected to feature again this season following a nasty concussion injury sustained back in February at Gillingham.

Medics had advised that the striker would not able, or ready, to play again this campaign so his inclusion in the Reds’ matchday squad for the first time in 12 matches was a huge boost.

The volume threatened to go up another decibel when Moore almost squeezed a shot into the corner only for Mitchell’s legs to keep it out.

Scott Golbourne then drew a fine fingertip save from Davies after it fell kindly to the former Reds’ man from a corner.

Tension was building and the hosts were again indebted to Davies who pulled off another excellent reaction save as he dashed off his line and saved with his feet to keep out sub Fejiri Okenabirhie.

With the Fleetwood incident now subject to a formal police investigation, Stendel was understandably keeping tight-lipped.

When quizzed over his feelings following the episode, he simply reverted talk back to on-the-pitch matters.

The German added: “I’m very happy with the reception of the supporters in the past week.”

Barnsley: Davies, Williams, Pinnock, Jackson, Pinillos, Brown, Bahre (Moore 64), McGeehan, Mowatt, Thiam (Hedges 80), Woodrow (Styles 89), Unused substitutes: Walton, Fryers, Cavare, Green

Shrewsbury: Mitchell, Williams, Beckles, Wahlley, Docherty (Smith 86), Campbell (Okenabirhie 75), Waterfall, Golbourne, Sears, Norburn, Grant (Laurent 80). Unused substitutes: Charles-Cook, Sadler, Bolton, Gilliead

Referee: S Oldham (Lancs).