Win at Fleetwood Town gives Barnsley boss Stendel many reasons to be cheerful
QUALITY counts at this level, believes Barnsley chief Daniel Stendel.
So when Fleetwood took the lead at Highbury Stadium the Barnsley head coach was unperturbed.
“They started well but we turned the match around,” said Stendel.
Harrison Biggins got the home side off to a great start, scoring his first goal for Fleetwood against his old club.
The Tykes released the midfielder when he was a teenager, Biggins then following a similar route to that of England striker Jamie Vardy from Stocksbridge Park Steels to Highbury.
He popped up with a poacher’s finish the forward would have been proud of, stroking home James Husband’s sublime cross from the left in the 19th minute.
Barnsley fought back, exploiting some poor defending. Ash Eastham was outmuscled by Jacob Brown in the 32nd minute as he pounced on a chip from Alex Mowatt.
Kieffer Moore completed the turnaround three minutes before the break as the forward out-foxed Cian Bolger and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
Fleetwood pressed in the second half but Barnsley held firm despite right-back Lewie Coyle going close.
But it was Barnsley who got the late goal, Mamadou Thiam catching Fleetwood on the counter and curling the ball past Alex Cairns in stoppage time.
“In the end, we knew that we had more quality and more power to win the game. When we scored to make it 1-1 we had a lot of chances,” continued Stendel.
“We played composed and had more control and when we scored it was the next step to winning the game.
“In the second half, it was difficult with the long balls from Fleetwood but then we worked hard to stay in front and in the end Mama closed the game for us and I’m very happy.”
Stendel was pleased that Brown repaid his faith to net his first career goal.
He said: “I’m very happy that he scored. He was very disappointed after the game at Coventry when he had three big chances to score.
“He is a young player and we gave him the trust and the chance to play in the first XI the next game and he repaid it.”
Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Coyle, Eastham, Spurr (Bolger 36), Husband, Taylor, Biggins (Dempsey 72), Holt (Long 67), Burns, Evans, Ross Wallace. Unused substitutes: Crellin, Clarke, Gethin Jones, Sheron.
Barnsley: Davies, Cavare, Pinnock, Jackson, Pinillos, Bahre (Adeboyejo 78), Dougall, Mowatt, Moncur (Thiam 68), Brown (McGeehan 87), Moore. Unused substitutes: Lindsay, Hedges, Walton, Potts.
Referee: M Coy (County Durham).