Barnsley boss Stendel happy to see Reds pass ‘big test’ at AFC Wimbledon

Barnsley head coach Daniel Stendel.
Barnsley head coach Daniel Stendel.
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BARNSLEY head coach Daniel Stendel believes his side passed an important test of character in their 4-1 win at AFC Wimbledon.

After Joe Pigott had cancelled out Cauley Woodrow’s opener, goals after half-time from Kieffer Moore, Mamadou Thiam and Cameron McGeehan sealed another away-day victory for the Reds.

“I said to the squad at half-time that this was a test for us,” Stendel said. “You have to work hard to get what you want. But when we went 1-0 in front we were a little bit lazy and we gave away the ball too easily. Wimbledon were better than us at that point, they made it 1-1 and had a chance to take the lead so we had a bit of luck there.

“We needed a reaction in the second half, that’s what we told the players, and we scored early and then we had more control and played more like a team at the top of the table.”

Barnsley took the lead when a corner found Woodrow, who finished with aplomb on the turn with a first-time strike. Wimbledon entered the game with the division’s worst attack but breached the league’s meanest defence as Pigott flicked home Andy Barcham’s free-kick.

The hosts should have led at the break but Jake Jervis missed a tap-in at the back post, while Dons keeper Aaron Ramsdale denied Kenneth Dougall and Alex Mowatt.

Barnsley's Kieffer Moore.

Barnsley's Kieffer Moore.

Jervis’s miss proved costly when Moore restored the visitors’ lead with a towering header from Mowatt’s cross.

Thiam then made it 3-1 with a rocket into the top corner after Moore had beaten two Wimbledon defenders to set him up before McGeehan compounded the Dons’ misery late on.

AFC Wimbledon: Ramsdale, Watson, Nightingale, Oshilaja, Thomas, Pinnock, Kalambayi, Seddon, Barcham (Connolly 59), Pigott (Wordsworth 69), Jervis. Subs not used: Wagstaff, Hartigan, Garratt, Wood, McDonnell.

Barnsley: Davies, Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay, Ben Williams (Pinillos 67), McGeehan, Thiam, Mowatt, Moore (Adeboyejo 80), Brown, Woodrow (Dougall 42).

We needed a reaction in the second half, that’s what we told the players, and we scored early and then we had more control and played more like a team at the top of the table.

Daniel Stendel

Referee: Neil Hair (Cambridgeshire).