Tykes tamed after Baker’s strike
Barnsley were dealt a hammer blow in a bid to preserve their Championship status, as Lewis Baker’s stoppage-time equaliser earned the ‘Potters’ a 1-1 draw at Oakwell and ended their run of four consecutive defeats in all competitions.
The visitors headed into the game eight places higher up the table than the hosts, and it was Michael O’Neill’s side that gradually asserted their dominance in the contest. Baker’s searching strike cannoned off the post after beating the outstretched Brad Collins in the Barnsley goal. The former Chelsea man was at heart of everything going forward in the first half for the visitors, and he teed up Josh Tymon, who hit the side netting with his effort. It looked like a matter of time before the Staffordshire side broke the deadlock, and Taylor Harwood-Bellis should have done better after heading wide from an unmarked position in the box. In contrast, the ‘Tykes’ were struggling to gain a foothold in the game, but Stoke keeper Jack Bonham was called into action to keep out Callum Brittain’s effort at his near post.
Stoke continued to knock on the Barnsley door after the restart, and Collins did well to tip Jordan Thompson’s cross away from Jacob Brown’s path. But football paled into insignificance as play was halted for a medical emergency in the stands, and the action resumed once the Barnsley supporter was taken away to receive treatment. The majority of the crowd inside Oakwell were left overjoyed by a moment of magic in the 70th minute, when Watford loanee Domingos Quina gave Barnsley the lead with a superb left-footed strike. Maja came within inches of restoring parity to the scoreline and saw his shot clip off the outside of the box, summing up the visitors’ profligacy in front of goal.
But just as Barnsley were about to hold on for a memorable win, it was Baker who unleashed an unstoppable strike past Bonham to give Stoke a deserved share of the spoils in the fifth minute of stoppage time.