Mathie's strike stuns Barnsley

Ipswich Town 1 Barnsley 1
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The Independent Online
Barnsley came to Ipswich in search of three points which would have taken them back to the top of the First Division, but left grateful for a draw after the home side followed a pallid first half with a potent attacking display in the second period.

The Yorkshire team will feel aggrieved, though, that their opponents were allowed to keep 11 men on the pitch for the whole game, after yet another example of blatant inconsistency from a referee.

Barnsley had arrived in Suffolk with an enviable 100 per cent League away record, but a history which showed no wins at Portman Road in nine attempts. Last season's 2-2 draw had earned them their first point at this venue. Something had to give and, after a slow opening, it was Barnsley who claimed the advantage.

In the 26th minute a quick through ball from Andy Liddell found Carel van der Velden in the clear, 40 yards out with only Craig Forrest between him and goal. The Dutchman raced into the area and, as he rounded the Canadian international, was brought down by a trailing arm.

A red card seemed a formality but, astonishingly, Andy d'Urso only brandished a yellow one at a lucky Forrest. He was comprehensively beaten by Neil Redfearn's penalty, however, which gave the visitors the lead.

"Once again, we've suffered from inconsistency," Danny Wilson, the Barnsley manager, complained. "The ref said our lad was going away from goal and wouldn't have got the ball. Well, he couldn't get the ball when he was on his arse, could he?''

Redfearn could have had a hat-trick before half-time as home heads dropped. Neil Thompson, returning to the club who gave him a free transfer in the summer, set up his captain for a fierce drive which came back off a post in the 34th minute. Then, three minutes before the break, Redfearn's close- range shot was stopped by a splendid one-handed save from Forrest. Ipswich left the pitch at half-time to a chorus of boos.

George Burley, the home manager, brought on a striker, Richard Naylor, in place of one of his three central defenders, Chris Swailes, for the second half. The 19 year-old soon worried the Barnsley defence: David Watson had to rush out to save at his feet, then the goalkeeper was relieved to see Naylor's deflected shot pass just wide.

Alex Mathie sprung the offside trap but saw his drive crash against the bar, then Naylor steered a low shot a foot wide. In an isolated break, Redfearn wastefully blazed a Van der Velden cross over the bar, but the home offensive soon resumed and the equaliser arrived in the 63rd minute. A long ball from Steve Sedgley was missed by the experienced Peter Shirtliff, and Mathie had time and space to place his shot past an exposed Watson.

Ipswich kept up the pressure to the end, but it was that man Redfearn who came closest to the deciding goal, bouncing a 20-yard free-kick off the bar five minutes from the end.

Ipswich Town (3-5-2): Forrest; Swailes (Naylor, h-t), Sedgley, Thomsen; Stockwell, Sonner, Mason (Milton, 81), Williams, Vaughan; Mathie, Scowcroft. Substitute not used: Uhlenbeek.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Watson; Davis, Shirtliff (Ten Heuvel, 86), De Zeeuw; Eaden, Appleby, Van der Velden (Bullock, 65), Redfearn, Thompson (Hurst, h-t); Wilkinson, Liddell.

Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay).