Neill Collins on a historic penalty for Barnsley FC, Devante Cole and why Callum Styles came off against Shrewsbury Town

BARNSLEY head coach Neill Collins expressed his satisfaction at coming out on the right side of a penalty call for once on a milestone night in the 3-0 League One victory over Shrewsbury Town at Oakwell.

The Reds were awarded a spot-kick on home soil in the league for the first time in 591 days since Carlton Morris netted against Fulham in March 2022. The run had lasted 34 league games.

There was a touch of karma with Barnsley being on the receiving end of a tough penalty call at the weekend which saw Leyton Orient convert in a 1-1 draw.

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Herbie Kane slotted home the penalty on 19 minutes after Carl Winchester was penalised after Barry Cotter’s ferocious shot caught his arm to put Barnsley 1-0 up.

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

At the other end, salt was soon added to Shrews’ wounds, with the visitors furious after referee Simon Mather failed to point to the spot following a tussle between Mael de Devigney and Malvind Benning, with the Reds defender appearing to grab hold of his opponents’ shirt.

Moments later, Barnsley added a second courtesy of Callum Styles and a classy third from Devante Cole - who had splendidly set up Styles's strike - made the game safe 15 minutes from time as Collins’s side made light of some early-season issues at home.

Collins said: "We said that the law of averages meant it was so strange that a team who over the last seven or eight games have been at the top end of the league - which means you have a lot of attacking situations - haven't had a penalty and have given up four.

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"We got the type of penalty that we have been getting against us and Herbie stepped up and put it in the net. It was good for the fans to see that.

"Herbie dispatched it well. He has been excellent and I am glad he's got a couple of good goals to go with his great performances."

Gloss was provided by way of Cole's tenth goal of the campaign to sum up a fine personal performance.

Collins, whose side welcome Fleetwood on Saturday, continued: "It was an excellent goal from Devante and just typical Devante. And then there was the selflessness to set up Callum Styles, which was great (for the second goal).

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"Getting the second goal put us in a really good position at home.

"Of course, we wanted the three points. But we are still at the stage where the performance is really important as well. I thought we got both.

"Credit to the players. We asked them to do both sides of the game as we knew Shrewsbury were a real threat after beating Derby at the weekend.

"We could have scored more goals and it was a good win against a difficult win and we balanced it with some great football."

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The win moved Barnsley to within two points of the automatic promotion positions after second-placed Oxford United took a tumble in a 2-0 reverse at Wigan Athletic.

Leaders Portsmouth were pegged back in a draw at Cambridge United.

Meanwhile, Collins said that the interval substitution of Styles was nothing to do with a knock he picked up just before the break, with the decision made due to the fact that he had received an early booking and was walking a potential tightrope.

On Styles, who was restored to the starting line-up after missing the weekend draw at Leyton Orient, Collins continued: "It was a yellow card situation where one missed tackle would have put us down to ten men.

"I just felt that, 2-0 up at home and as well as he was playing, I'd like to take him off and it gave us the best chance of winning the game. It was just for the team."