Date:Saturday March 22 2008
Barnsley failed to convert their chances yet again and allowed Sheff Utd to steal all three points after Billy Sharp finished coolly late in the second half.
The blades were looking to add a fourth win to their three on the bounce when they arrived at Oakwell, although it was Barnsley who took the game to the away side in the opening period.
However it was the blades who had the first real chance on 8 minutes when Dave Cotterill fired in a 20 yard effort but Luke Steele got down well to save.
After 12 minutes of neither side really keeping possession, Odejayi could have put away Devaney`s cross but the big Nigerian lost his footing at the back post.
Morgan was caught out by a through ball on 18 minutes as Odejayi pounced and crossed for Macken but he scuffed his effort straight at Paddy Kenny.
Devaney swung in another cross a couple of minutes later but was too high for the head of Howard who was lurking at the back post.
Brian Howard showed great technique to volley a 20 yard effort at goal, but the skipper`s shot was comfortable enough for Kenny.
Rob Hulse then had a golden opportunity to open the scoring on 25 minutes as headed wide from 8 yards after Cotterill had delivered a splendid cross.
Diego León then produced a wonderful save from Paddy Kenny after firing a 25 yard effort towards the top left-hand corner.
Lee Probert somehow managed to miss a clear foul on Stephen Foster in the box as Gary Speed hauled the defender to the ground when he was looking to head home a cross.
Dennis Souza was replaced by Van Homoet on 35 minutes when the Brazilian took a blow to the eye after clashing with Rob Hulse.
The visitors were also forced into an early change as Geary appeared to have pulled a muscle and so was replaced by debutant John Halls.
The last chance of the half saw a great counter attack from the home side. Devaney broke with the ball on the right wing and then found Hassell who fed Macken. The striker found Devaney who had continued his run into the box, but he winger fired well over Kenny`s goal.
Half Time 0-0
Chris Morgan denied his hometown club the opening goal as he cleared off the line after Odejayi had out jumped Paddy Kenny in the opening few minutes of the second half.
Kenny was busy again on 49 minutes as Martin Devaney shot from 20 yards after a neat one-two with Macken.
Havoc was caused yet again in the Blade`s box when Hassell found Odejayi on the wing whose cross was half heartedly cleared by a panic-stricken United.
Hassell then had a goal bound effort blocked after the blades had failed to clear a Howard corner on 55 minutes.
The referee refused to point to the spot yet again when Odejayi was wrestled to the ground in the box when the big Nigerian was about to nod home from 3 yards.
Kevin Blackwell decided to shake things up in attack just after the hour mark; Hulse was replaced by Beattie who returned from a groin injury.
As snow began to beat down on Oakwell the away side never seemed committed to send men forward.
Brian Howard then took the game by the scruff of the neck on 70 minutes; the midfielder took two united players on but then fired straight at Kenny from 20 yards.
Both managers changed things around with less than 20 minutes to go, Gillespie replaced Carnie for the blades and Nardiello came on for Odejayi for Barnsley.
Gary Speed then rattled the inside of the post on 75 minutes but the deadlock was broken by Billy Sharp two minutes later. Sharp battled his way through on goal and finished coolly just inside the box, the striker`s third in three games.
The blades were finally alive towards the end of the game and Luke Steele was forced into an incredible point blank save from James Beattie after Sharp drove in a low cross from the right.
István Ferenczi replaced Diego León with ten minutes remaining as the Red`s gaffer threw three men into attack.
Billy Sharp was the first and last player of the derby into Lee Probert`s notebook after a late tackle on Foster. Sharp then forced another neat save from Luke Steele who tipped the young striker`s 20 yard curler around the post.
This defeat leaves the reds hanging just above the relegation zone and are by no means safe with teams below picking up points. United gave Barnsley a harsh lesson; that you can dominate a game for long periods and still leave with no points.
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Date:Saturday March 22 2008
|4. MK Dons||38||20||9||9||36||69|
|5. Sheff Utd||38||17||10||11||12||61|
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