Roy Keane still cannot record a victory this season. He will be reflecting on how cruel football can be when things are not going your way.
The Ipswich Town manager looked to have collected at least a point when, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, the Barnsley forward Jon Macken capitalised on the visitors' inability to clear a free-kick and drove in the winning goal.
The frustration built up in Keane and boiled over into the post-match press conference, when he quizzed reporters on whether they thought a second-half foul by Tommy Smith on Iain Hume was a penalty or not. The penalty was missed by Hume so who knows how Keane would have reacted had the spot-kick been crucial?
Hume had given Barnsley an early lead, but when Liam Rosenior equalised before the break it seemed like Ipswich were capable of pulling off a win. But it was not to be.
"It sums up the way things are going, there was five minutes of stoppage time from somewhere, but there you go, it's hard to take," said Keane. "We recovered from an early goal and we deserved more from it than we got. We knew it would be difficult.
"Their keeper made a good save late on but it was a double whammy when they scored. It could have been different. I didn't think it was a free-kick for their goal but this is the way things are going at the moment."
Fortunes had contrasted greatly for the former Manchester United players in charge of the two teams. Mark Robins already had three wins to his name since taking over from Simon Davey last month, including the midweek triumph over West Bromwich Albion, a team with aspirations of returning to the Premier League.
Keane had won this match when it was the final game of last season, but he came to Oakwell as manager of a club that has made the worst start to a season in their history. Yet the club had issued their support for the Irishman, saying he was under "no immediate pressure".
However, Keane is realistic enough to realise that such a statement could have only a finite shelf life. After seeing his side squander a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 at Sheffield United in midweek, Keane kept faith with his players and named an unchanged side. Ipswich started brightly enough, only to concede yet again after just seven minutes.
Hume, a Canada international, continued his own personal recovery from the horrific injury which he suffered last November, when he sustained a fractured skull after being elbowed by Chris Morgan of Sheffield United. It was a collision which put Hume out of action for the remainder of the season. But he scored in the win against Albion on Tuesday and he recorded his second goal of the season here, when he curled a fine shot past Richard Wright.
Barnsley could have extended their lead when their captain, Stephen Foster, headed for goal only to see Wright tip the ball on to the bar.
Ipswich's determination was not in question and Tamas Priskin was booked for an over-zealous challenge on Bartosz Bialkowski, the hosts' goalkeeper. Ipswich were rewarded for their endeavour when Grant Leadbitter's 25-yard free-kick was beaten out by Bialkowski but his defenders did not react and Rosenior, who is on loan from Reading, headed his first goal of the season.
Barnsley should have sealed the points with 17 minutes left, when Smith appeared to trip Hume. But when Hume took the penalty, he hesitated and fired it against the upright.
Ipswich then had their own chances to win the match, with Liam Trotter and Gareth McAuley going close before Macken struck.
"It was a great time to score," said Robins. "There's no chance of a reply. But the conditions were atrocious and we didn't get a great game of football. I'd have taken this start but I'm greedy and I want more of this."Reuse content