Match Report: Barnsley 0 Preston North End 3
Simon Davey switched the attacking line for the third time in as many Championship games, starting with Kayode Odejayi and Iain Hume up front against the Lilywhites. Jon Macken and Daniel Bogdanovic had seemed ineffective against Coventry City on Saturday so the Welshman rang the changes to bring in a different pairing of a target man and a finisher.
It proved equally as ineffective as far as goals are concerned. The pair did manage to drag the teams stats up to 14 shots at goal with 7 on target but the end result was the same: a clean sheet for the visitors.
Luke Potter deputised at left back for the suspended Rob Kozluk and the midfield remained unchanged.
To all intents and purposes, Barnsley were the better side in the opening exchanges but were a goal down in the first ten minutes for the third time in as many championship games. This time, against the run of play, Neil Mellor played in Paul Parry down Preston's right and neither Luke Potter nor Darren Moore could catch the new signing before he belted an unstoppable shot into the top corner in front of the 900 away supporters.
Barnsley continued to press and Odejayi went extremely close with a powerful header from 16 yards after Bobby Hassell crossed, but Lonergan got across his goal well to tip it away for a corner.
For the second successive time, the referee was vastly unpopular at Oakwell, giving too many soft free kicks to Preston and ignoring equal challenges on Barnsley players. Preston made the Reds pay dearly for some bad defending on 32 minutes when Neil Mellor, creator of the first goal, latched on to a header over the Barnsley defence to volley home past Luke Steele from 8 yards.
Half Time: Barnsley 0 Preston North End 2
Once again Barnsley had given themselves a mountain to climb and it proved too high as continued pressure on the Lilywhites went unrewarded and misfiring strikers failed to hit the net.
Not even the introduction of Daniel Bogdanovic for Adam Hammill could break the back line of Preston. Jon Macken also entered the field of play to replace the tiring Iain Hume but seconds later it was all over.
Former Barnsley striker Jon Parkin chested down a cross from Billy Jones and fired a deflected shot into Luke Steele's near post top corner to seal a 3-0 victory.
Cue the mass exodus and chants of 'we want Davey out' from the mindless impatient minority.
When all said and done, Barnsley played poorly. But with 7 shots on target to Preston's 3, questions have to be asked of the strikers and the goalkeeper.
Perhaps being away on Saturday might help reduce the pressure on the team to get a result, then again, I hear the sharpening of knives...
Full Time: Barnsley 0 Preston North End 3