Dunn settles old boys' reunion

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The Independent Online

Blackburn came from behind to lift themselves in the Natiowide First Division play-off zone with second-half goals from Matt Jansen and David Dunn.

Blackburn came from behind to lift themselves in the Natiowide First Division play-off zone with second-half goals from Matt Jansen and David Dunn.

One or two of the participants may have had to remind themselves which side they were playing for, with the former Barnsley favourites Craig Hignett and John Curtis wearing Blackburn shirts, and Stuart Ripley, on loan from Southampton, making his Barnsley debut against his old club.

But there was no doubt which side Ripley was on in the 17th minute when, in Barnsley's first cohesive attack, Robbie Van Der Laan backheeled the ball into his pass on the angle of the penalty area and the left winger curled a shot over John Filan and into the far top corner.

And he almost doubled the discomfort of his former team-mates when his floated cross fell perfectly for his fellow loan player Neil Maddison, from Middlesbrough, who headed wide with only Filan to beat.

Yet Blackburn started the brighter and created more opportunities, and would have been at last on terms if their own new boy, Mark Hughes, had been sharper in front of goal. His glancing header from Stig Bjornebye's cross was touched over by the Barnsley goalkeeper Kevin Miller, a volley from the edge of the box skimmed the crossbar and he headed a simple chance at the far post into the side netting.

It was the midfielder Dunn who came closest to restoring parity, but Miller blocked his 25-yard drive and the loose ball was scrambled away for a corner. Efforts from Chris Morgan and Maddison kept Filan on his toes but Barnsley's mistake was to pull men back in defence of their slender lead after the break and Dunn and Craig Short would have made them pay for their conservatism but for the alertness of Miller.

Miller finally made an error with 17 minutes remaining, spilling Bjornebye's cross and the substitute Jansen picked up the loose ball to score in an empty net. And with just eight minutes remaining Dunn scored the goal he had threatened all evening with a 30-yard chip that left Miller stranded.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Miller; Morgan, Chettle, Barker; Sheron, O'Callaghan, Maddison, Ward, Ripley (Corbo, 70); Jones (Dyer, 60), Van der Laan (Neil, 32). Substitutes: Moses, Thomas.

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Filan; Curtis, Berg, Short, Bjornebye; Johnson (Dailly, 76), Flitcroft, Dunn, Hignett; Hughes, Ostenstad (Jansen, 64). Substitutes: McAteer, Carsley, Friedel (gk).

Referee: F Mathieson (Stockport).

* Southampton's French striker Patrice Tano has left the club and returned to France after having his contract cancelled just four months after arriving at The Dell. Tano has made just two starts for Saints' reserves and has now been released by manager Glenn Hoddle amid passport difficulties.

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