Barnsley FC boss Neill Collins on record-equalling win at Carlisle United plus updates on Liam Roberts and Donovan Pines

NEIL COLLINS expressed his delight after Barnsley equalled a club record of ten away games unbeaten in the same season as his side survived a scare at bottom club Carlisle United to triumph 3-2 and keep their top-two hopes alive.

Beaten 5-1 at the weekend by Lincoln City, Collins’ side had to show more character after going behind early on when Luke Armstrong netted the Cumbrians’ first home league goal in the first half at Brunton Park since the opening day of the campaign.

Barnsley, after a slow start, got their act together and a first goal of the campaign from captain Jordan Williams levelled the scores on 33 minutes with a cracking long-ranger.

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The Reds were dominant after that and an 11th goal of the season early in the second half from John McAtee put them in front.

Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Jon Russell, stepping in for the suspended Herbie Kane added a headed third to make it 3-1. Dan Butterworth set up an anxious finale with a late second for the hosts after a Williams error, but the visitors held out.

Collins, who dropped top-scorer Devante Cole to the bench and handed a start in goal to Ben Killip with number one Liam Roberts out injured, said: "That’s a huge win and in some respects, the biggest win of the season.

"We are on a great run, but despite all the positives, one performance gets asked questions and I thought the players answered them well.

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"One mistake and it was a goal and in the back of the net. But after that, we were very good, controlled and dominant and deservedly got a goal.

"We could have been ahead at half-time, but we came out and continued in that vein and really could have had more.

"Then, there was another mistake at the end which makes it a bit more interesting than I’d like.”

On Williams’ strike, he added: "It was fantastic. Jordan has been an excellent captain and got a great goal and for large parts, his performance was excellent.

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"He made a little mistake at the end. It might grab more attention than the rest of his performance, but we had to put him back in there as we couldn’t risk Jamie McCart based on the situation we are in with centre-backs as we didn’t want to leave ourselves short. It was too big a risk.”

On the injury situation with Roberts and Donovan Pines, who missed out for a second game, Collins continued: "It was just a small injury (with Roberts) and something we had to protect. He could be back available on Saturday.”

And on Pines, he added: “Donovan looks like it’s not going to be short short-term. I wouldn’t expect you will see him on Saturday. We will have to take it more at a week at a time than day at a time and see where we’re at.”