Vaz Te makes swift work of Palace
Barnsley 2 Crystal Palace 1
Wednesday 07 December 2011
Six days after winning at Old Trafford in the Carling Cup, Crystal Palace found Oakwell a tougher nut to crack on a night when Ricardo Vaz Te made a small piece of local history.
The Portuguese winger's two goals earned Keith Hill's Barnsley a fourth successive Championship victory and his first strike after just nine seconds had home officials searching in vain for a quicker goal here by the south Yorkshire side.
The second came with 13 minutes remaining to annul Jermaine Easter's first-half equaliser and lift Barnsley five places to eighth in the Championship table. Palace, by contrast, are 13th and without a victory in seven league games.
There were fans still settling into their seats at Oakwell when Vaz Te struck in spectacular fashion. The one-time Bolton and Portugal Under-21 winger collected a pass from Jacob Butterfield, and, 20 yards from goal on the left, arrowed a shot high inside Julian Speroni's near post. Now 25, Vaz Te made only 10 starts from a total of 58 Premier League appearances in seven years at Bolton and after leaving the Reebok last year had spells with Greece's Panionios and Hibernian in Scotland.
Yet life at Oakwell seems to be suiting him: he has six league goals since joining last summer and this early strike underlined his raw ability. "It was a great goal, wasn't it?" said Hill. "He has probably got a little bit of scar tissue from his previous experience in England but I think he understands me, and I understand him. He knows what we want from a team aspect but he has got the individual ability to win football matches."
After Nile Ranger, Barnsley's Newcastle United loanee, shot wide when clean through, Palace woke up. Glenn Murray had a header nodded off the line by Danny Drinkwater before Easter equalised after 33 minutes. Profiting from Stephen Foster's failure to deal with a high ball, he nipped in behind the centre-back and lobbed Luke Steele.
The Carling Cup semi-finalists had held Derby 48 hours after beating Manchester United but they flagged in the second half. "It's caught up on us in terms of three games in six days," said manager Dougie Freedman. Fittingly, it was Vaz Te who secured Barnsley's win, tucking the loose ball past Speroni after the goalkeeper had blocked Butterfield's low drive.
Barnsley (3-4-3): Steele; Foster, McNulty, Perkins; O'Brien, Butterfield (Addison, 82), Drinkwater (Wiseman, 46), Vaz Te; Davies, Ranger (Haynes, 58). Substitutes not used Preece (gk), Done.
Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1) Speroni; Ramage, Gardner, Keinen (McCarthy, 46), Clyne; Wright, Dikgacoi; Zaha, Easter (Martin, 59), Ambrose; Murray (Iversen, 78). Substitutes not used Price (gk), Jedinak.
Referee T Bates (Staffordshire).
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