Barnsley 2 (Mellis 5, O’Grady 57)
Wolves 2 (Ismail 2, Batth 25)
Wolves held Championship Barnsley to a draw at Oakwell in another entertaining pre-season work out. Whilst the visitors enjoyed the best of the opening 45 minutes, Barnsley hit back after the break but there was no denying Wanderers a share of the spoils after an encouraging performance that offers much hope for the season that lies ahead.
It took Wolves just two minutes to open the scoring. Jake Cassidy chased the ball to the by-line and he hit a perfect low cross into the path of Zeli Ismail who smashed the ball home from the edge of the six-yard box.
But within three minutes Barnsley were on level terms as Jacob Mellis drove home after he had run onto Chris O’Grady’s backheel.
The game continued to be played at a lively pace with both sides pushing forward at any given opportunity.
For the home side, O’Grady scooped a shot straight into the arms of Wayne Hennessey and, for Wolves, Cassidy went close with a snapshot that was just too high.
On 20 minutes, Kenny Jackett’s men regained the advantage after Stephen Dawson had fouled Tongo Doumbia some 25-yards out. Sam Ricketts curled the free-kick into the box and Danny Batth ran in and stooped low to glance a header past home keeper Luke Steele.
George Elokobi then left his defensive duties and ran into the Barnsley box beating off two challenges before hitting a low ball right through the heart of the goalmouth with no-one able to get a touch.
In the 27th minute Doumbia fouled Mellis just a yard outside Hennessey’s area. Mellis took the free-kick himself but his effort sailed over the bar.
Only the woodwork prevented Wolves from stretching their lead two minutes later. Dave Edwards fired over a great cross and Cassidy’s powerful header hit the inside of the post and bounced across the line to Steele who managed to clear with his foot.
Play continued to swing from end to end but there was a brief hold up when Doumbia volleyed out of play. Unfortunately, the ball hit the head of a Barnsley staff member sat at the side. He appeared to have been knocked out and the concerned Doumbia immediately apologised for the accident. After lengthy treatment the unfortunate victim was carried off on a stretcher.
When play resumed Hennessey needed two attempts to claim a low drive from Chris Dagnall and then, just before the break, the keeper made a tremendous reflex save to block a piledriver from O’Grady after Scott Wiseman had turn the ball back.
Half-Time: Barnsley 1 Wolves 2
The only change at the start of the new half saw Carl Ikeme taking the place of Hennessey.
Barnsley were pressing hard and after David Perkins had shot high over the bar, home boss David Flitcroft made four changes in the 55th minute.
Two minutes later his side were level again as O’Grady beat Ikeme with a shot on the turn that flew into the bottom corner.
The keeper then had to save a stinging drive from Scot Golbourne at his near post before two Wolves changes saw Matt Doherty and Leigh Griffiths replacing Elokobi and Ismail respectively.
Twenty minutes from the end, Doumbia was fouled on the edge of the ‘D’. With Griffiths and Edwards standing over the ball, the home defence was caught off guard as David Davis ran in from the side and hit a low shot through the wall that Steele saved diving full length on his line.
The substitutions for both sides continued and whilst Barnsley enjoyed the majority of possession, there was little to concern Ikeme.
Wolves came back into things once more as the game approached its conclusion and in the one minute of stoppage time Edwards almost won it as he ran in on a short cross from Griffiths. But the midfielder’s effort was deflected inches wide for a corner that led to nothing.
Barnsley: Steele (capt), Wiseman (Cywka72), Cranie, McNulty (Nyatanga 55), Kennedy (O’Bren 55), Golbourne, Dawson (Etuhu 55), Perkins (Digby 64), Mellis (Jennings 62), Dagnall (Scotland 75), O’Grady (Lopez 75).
Unused sub: Dibble.
Wolves: Hennessey (Ikeme 45), Stearman, Ricketts (capt), Batth, Elokobi (Doherty 64), Ismail (Griffiths 64), Doumbia (Evans 82), Davis, Edwards, Sigurdarson (McAlinden 72), Cassidy.
Unused subs: Reckord, Forde, Price.
Referee: M. Hayward.
Attendance: 2,501 (293 away supporters).