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Match Reports

BARNSLEY 1 LUTON TOWN 3

First-half goals from Butterfield, Collins and Cornick seal first win

24 August 2019

The Hatters recorded their first Sky Bet Championship win of the season in style this afternoon as first-half goals from Jacob Butterfield, James Collins and Harry Cornick proved more than enough to see off fellow newly-promoted club Barnsley.

A week after seeing their own 28-game unbeaten home league run brought to an end by West Brom, the Town set about ending Barnsley sequence of 29 league matches at Oakwell without being beaten, with former Tykes academy graduate and captain Butterfield opening the scoring with little more than a minute on the clock.

Collins added his second of the season inside the opening four minutes, before Cornick did likewise just after the half-hour as Graeme Jones' side looked set for the victory their early performances against Middlesbrough, Cardiff, Albion and Sheffield Wednesday had merited.

A second-half strike from home winger Mallik Wilks reduced the arrears and denied goalkeeper Simon Sluga and his defence the clean sheet they craved, but nothing could take the gloss off Jones' first league win as a manager to send more than 1,100 travelling Hatters on their way home in great voice.

Jones made one enforced change to his starting line-up, with Luke Bolton coming into the team at right-back in place of Martin Cranie, who was carried off on a stretcher at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

The on-loan Manchester City teenager was making his first EFL start for the club having appeared as a substitute at Hillsborough following his 45-minute appearance from the kick-off in the Carabao Cup win over Ipswich Town.

That meant the Town lined up with Simon Sluga in goal behind a back four of Bolton, Matty Pearson, captain Sonny  Bradley and James Bree. Butterfield was anchoring the midfield, with Andrew Shinnie and Ryan Tunnicliffe behind a front three of Kazenga LuaLua, Collins and Cornick

Town made a dream start, with former Barnsley captain Butterfield firing home from the edge  of the area with just 82 seconds on the clock.

The ball was worked from a throw in the left-back position, with Shinnie helping it out to Pearson, who fed Bolton on the right touchline. The full-back's first touch took two Barnsley players out of the game, and after Collins and Cornick linked well to get to the byline, Shinnie - who had made his way into the area - saw his shot deflected into the path of Butterfield, who cracked a left-footed shot low past Sami Radlinger in the home goal.

Within two minutes the lead had been doubled, Shinnie's right-wing corner travelling all the way through to LuaLua on the far side of the area. The forward created space for himself and delivered another cross that Radlinger failed to deal with, allowing Bree to drive the ball across the six-yard box for Collins to turn in from close range.

The Hatters were playing some brilliant football, and after Bradley had sent two headers at goal in quick succession from Shinnie set-pieces, Radlinger produced an unbelievable 18th-minute save with his foot to deby Collins a second, after Shinnie - who had already played LuaLua in on the right - received a return ball from the Town forward and hammered it goalward.

Collins was lurking in the six-yard box and changed the ball's direction with a deft touch, only for the German keeper to turn it behind with an outstretched left boot.

LuaLua was next to have a go, sending a shot whistling just past the post before Alex Mowatt had Barnsley's first attempt on goal - a 25-yard shot that flew high over the bar - midway through the half.

With 25 minutes gone another chance presented itself for Cornick, after Tunnicliffe had burst to the left byline, but Radlinger was right behind this snap-shot, then Mallik Wilks looked to respond for Barnsley, but Sluga was off his line quickly to gather as the ex-Leeds winger appeared to have got in behind Pearson.

The former Barnsley centre-half was next to come within a whisker of extending the advantage, hitting a low shot from the edge of the area that Radlinger couldn't hold, but the keeper did well to hook the ball away from Collins, who was prowling in the six-yard box.

It was three just after the half-hour, and again it was Shinnie at the heart of the goal, whipping in a free-kick from wide on the left that Barnsley again failed to deal with and Cornick was there to profit, hammering the loose ball past Radlinger and a host of defenders on the line from 12 yards.

Sluga did brilliantly to claw a Wilks header away from his goal-line, injuring his knee in the process and receiving lengthy treatment, and the Hatters were soon back on the attack, with LuaLua and Cornick causing all sorts of problems with their pace and trickery, Butterfield and Shinnie running the midfield.

Barnsley had the last chance of the half, Mowatt shifting the ball wide to Luke Thomas on the right edge of the area, but the former Coventry winger's shot flew safely over Sluga's goal into the ecstatic travelling Town fans in the North Stand. 

The hosts came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and Mowatt raced clear as his side broke from a Town corner, but Tunnicliffe read the danger and swept up, before Mamadou Thiam headed wide from a corner.

The same Barnsley forward looked to punish Bolton after an attempted clearance was charged down inside the opposition half, but Sluga flew across his line to push his 20-yard shot away.

Collins had the ball in the Tykes' net again in the 56th minute, but his hooked volley from Bradley's knock-down was ruled out for offside, then Sluga was off his line rapidly again on the hour to deny Thiam once more.

Barnsley were having the better of the second period and had a goal back with just under 20 minutes to go when Mowatt cut the ball back from the left byline for Wilks to sweep it home from eight yards.

Sluga was at his best to turn a Mowatt shot behind, just before Jones replaced LuaLua with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu on 81 minutes. From the resulting corner, Wilks met a right-wing corner with a glancing header, but the Town could breathe easy as the ball drifted wide of the far post.

 

TOWN: Sluga, Bolton, Pearson, Bradley ©, Bree, Butterfield, Shinnie, Tunnicliffe, LuaLua (Mpanzu 81), Cornick (Lee 85), Collins. Subs: Moncur, Galloway, Brown, Jones, Shea.

Goals: Butterfield 2, Collins 4, Cornick 31

Yellows: LuaLua

TYKES: Radlinger, Diaby (Halme 67), Andersen (Green 46), McGeehan, Bahre ©, Thomas, Sibbick, Pinillos (Williams 46), Thiam, Mowatt, Wilks. Subs: Collins, Chaplin, Schmidt, Oduor.

Goals: Wilks 72

Yellows: Diaby, Bahre, Wilks

REFEREE: Stephen Martin

ATT: 13,250 (1,175 Hatters)


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