Football; Ward has remedy

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The Independent Online
Barnsley 1

Ward 26

Crystal Palace 0

Attendance: 17,819

BEWARE Barnsley after a drubbing. Danny Wilson's battling side recovered from their 6-0 hammering at West Ham with a display which bristled with indignation.

On the previous three occasions on which Barnsley had conceded five or more goals in the Premiership, their following games produced two wins and a draw with Blackburn. It is evidence of their gritty determination to survive. Crystal Palace, denied their usual counter- attacking thrust, also know there is a tough struggle ahead.

"We will give it our best shot to stay in this division - we actually quite enjoy it. The spirit has never changed and is very good. One or two people will be thinking 'are they going to lie down?' We certainly will not. If we lose 6-0 and keep winning the next three I will be happy," Wilson, the Barnsley manager, said.

His counterpart, Steve Coppell, felt his side deserved a draw. "There were two teams fighting for their lives. We just needed a little bit more quality and a bit more ice blood in veins in the final third," he surmised.

First-half goal-mouth action was largely condensed into a brief flurry midway through the period. Barnsley had already served notice of their intentions when Clint Marcelle broke clear to test Kevin Miller. However, as Barnsley pressed, Palace were allowed to exploit the resulting gaps with Nicky Eaden heading a deflected Bruce Dyer cross off the line and Marcus Bent glancing a header just wide.

The goal changed all that. Neil Redfearn, the inspiration behind Barnsley's midfield promp-ting, drilled a low pass into the path of Ashley Ward. An immaculate first touch carried the striker past Andy Linighan to set up a lofted poke over Miller.

The home side then defended far deeper, inviting pressure but forcing Palace into an alien pressing game and few genuine chances were created. Sweden's Tomas Brolin was closest with a diving header which rattled the crossbar.

Barnsley had their own Scandinavian eager to impress in Jan Age Fjortoft. His debut was equally committed, the Norwegian's influence growing as the game developed and two glorious assists for Marcelle were squandered in the final stages.