Barnsley 1 Aston Villa 1: Quality shone through in the end - Heckingbottom

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Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom was happy with his team’s effort after they came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Aston Villa at Oakwell.

Jordan Ayew opened the scoring for Villa in the 61st minute before second-half substitute Sam Winnall headed in a last-minute equaliser.

Sam Winnall scored a late equaliser for Barnsley

Sam Winnall scored a late equaliser for Barnsley

Heckingbottom said: “We’d have been upset if we didn’t get anything from that, the pleasing thing for us was the performance.

“The energy and the pace we played with made it a real good end-to-end game. I don’t think either team can be accused of playing with no desire or energy.

“They had a spell just before they scored where I thought we were a little bit open and they were breaking with their pace and power, causing us problems. But more often than not we were getting back in and dealing with that.

“We’ve not got the biggest of squads but what we have got is some good quality now, with good competition for places. What that allows us to do is change the team, without weakening it, freshening it up and giving us some real energy.

Paul Heckingbottom

Paul Heckingbottom

“I’m delighted for him (Winnall), I thought he came on and did great.”

Jonathan Kodjia was the first Villa player to get a shot on target, when his powerful drive from range was parried away by Barnsley keeper Adam Davies.

Villa stopper Pierluigi Gollini then had to be at full-stretch to stop Conor Hourihane’s free-kick, which was driven low and into the bottom corner.

Kodjia forced a good save from Davies but Ayew was alert to pick up the rebound and ran at the near post before smashing the ball in between the keeper and his left post.

Then, after Villa failed to clear a corner, Winnall leapt the highest to head home the equaliser in front of the home supporters.

Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo said: “It’s a big disappointment to us that we didn’t win the game because I thought we were the better team, especially in the second half.

“It’s difficult to understand why we don’t manage to kill the games off, despite the many opportunities we had. That obviously puts us under pressure until the last second of the game.

“We’ve thrown so many points away in the dying minutes of games because the scoreline is just one goal difference.

“The players fought hard, they battled for the entire game but at the end when we look at the scoreline, we’re licking our wounds.

“The only way to come through this is to win a game because we’ve done so many things right and not come away with all three points.

“We are all disappointed with this result, we’ve drawn too many games. Every game that you don’t win adds a little bit more pressure.”