Barnsley 1 QPR 1: Heckingbottom struggles to hide his disappointment at stalemate

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom
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BARNSLEY head coach Paul Heckingbottom was disappointed with his side’s performance in their raw at home to QPR.

Another late strike caused agony for Barnsley as Luke Freeman pounced to salvage a point for QPR at Oakwell.

A brilliant Harvey Barnes strike in the first half was matched by Freeman's effort with just a few minutes remaining.

“Performance-wise it was disappointing from my point of view and obviously the result as well,” said Heckingbottom afterwards.

“I would have been delighted if we had played poorly and won 1-0 but I don’t think we’re there yet.

“I still thought we were the better team in the first half, but we’re nowhere near the levels we have been throughout the game. That was disappointing because we can control that.

“It was the simple things, like the 10-yard passes, the organisation and set plays and you end up working harder when you get those things wrong.

“It’s a product of the youth in the squad. We did very well against Forest, but we’re still bombing forward when we’re winning when we could just slow the game down.

“Obviously it’s not what we’re after, but upon reflection to play that poorly and be disappointed not to come away with three points shows we’ve come a long way.”
The game took some time to get going, with Rangers intent on pressing Barnsley high, and the Tykes struggling to find a way through a stubborn defence.

As a result, it was QPR who produced the first effort on target in the 13th minute when Bright Osayi-Samuel crossed from the left to find Jamie Mackie, whose headed effort lacked any power and was easily held by keeper Adam Davies.

The wait for the opening goal was ended in the 20th minute by Barnes. Reacting first to a loose ball on the edge of the box, he beautifully curled the ball into the far top corner to give the home side the lead.

Barnsley remained in control throughout the first half and came close to doubling their lead with an incisive counter attack. George Moncur crossed from the right to find Barnes at the back post, but his effort was mistimed and easy for the QPR defence to hack clear.

Liam Lindsay had another chance for Barnsley in the 36th minute when his towering header from Adam Hammill's free-kick had Alex Smithies scrambling in the QPR net.

The home side went into the break deservedly leading. QPR worked hard but showed little quality and Barnsley were more than comfortable as a result.

Barnsley went in search of the second after the break, with half-time substitute Tom Bradshaw inches away from heading home a Brad Potts cross in the 57th minute as the home side looked to put the game to bed.

For all of Barnsley's good work, they were only narrowly in front and survived a penalty scare in the 65th minute with Alex Baptiste going down in the box under a challenge from Lindsay.

Hammill almost bettered Barnes' opener in the 67th minute with a superb volley from wide on the left which dipped over Smithies but the keeper was able to recover well and tip the ball around for a corner.

The visitors missed a golden chance to equalise in the 68th minute with Pawel Wszolek blazing high and wide of the target when faced one-on-one with keeper Davies.

QPR continued to grow in the game with the Oakwell crowd becoming increasingly restless. That tension resulted in a superb 87th-minute equaliser from Freeman, who cut inside onto his left foot and lashed the ball in from 25 yards.

Barnsley: Davies, McCarthy, Jackson, Lindsay, Fryers, Joe Williams, Hammill, Moncur (McGeehan 71), Potts (Hedges 80), Barnes (Bradshaw 46), Ugbo. Subs Not Used: MacDonald, Townsend, Thiam, Pearson.

QPR: Smithies, Baptiste, Caulker (Smith 74), Robinson, Bidwell, Luongo, Scowen, Freeman, Wszolek, Mackie (LuaLua 76), Samuel (Washington 46). Subs Not Used: Lynch,Manning,Lumley,Wheeler.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear).