Barnsley 1 Man City 1
Oakwell Stadium, Barnsley
August 1st 2009, 3pm
An exciting tie in front of a bumper crowd at Oakwell ended all square to complete Barnsley's unbeaten pre-season record and top up their confidence going into the new season.
Manchester City were the visitors and brought with them a side that cost much more than the one that visited Oakwell last time but in recent times, multi-million pound teams have failed to phase the Reds as was the case today.
City started the brightest, and could have had the lead inside four minutes through Shaun Wright-Phillips as he latched on to a Nigel De Jong through ball but he slipped at the crucial moment.
Jamaican trialist O'Neil Thompson was called into action on six minutes to deny Adebayor a shot with an excellent last ditch block after good work from Craig Bellamy.
City were peppering the Reds defence on a regular basis and hit the target on 8 minutes but Luke Steele was equal to Robinho's effort. It took a little longer than a quarter of an hour for the Reds to test City, with Foster and Butterfield sending Macken through on goal but he ran the ball to wide and couldn't force a save from Given.
Seconds later however, Macken again was in the thick of it, this time heading wide from a Martin Devaney cross. O'Neil then tried his luck from 25 yards but his effort was only a danger to Man City's fans, not their goal.
Luke Steele produced a double save midway through the first half as he palmed away a shot from Bellamy from outside the box, into the path of the goal lurking Adebayor, who blasted towards the roof of the net but again was denied by Steele's acrobatics.
Just before half time, after going close earlier, Jacob Butterfield crashed a shot against the crossbar from the edge of the area and Campbell-Ryce followed up with a curling effort which beat Given but unfortunately also beat the far post.
Half-time: Barnsley 0 Manchester City 0
Adebayor was beaten by Steele again in the opening moments of the first half and Kayode Odejayi failed to get a shot away after racing through on goal. It could have gone either way and the Reds were matching the Premier League side.
Record breaking signing Robinho went closer than ever twice in a minute when he struck the cross bar and the angle of the goal with two strikes but he still couldn't open the scoring.
Reds fans were shouting for a penalty on 60 minutes as Odejayi was pulled to the ground in City's six yard box as he jumped to meet a Campbell-Ryce cross but referee Michael Oliver didn't want to know.
More efforts flew wide and into the keepers' arms as both sides pressed for an opener in a fast paced game worthy of a cup tie but Oakwell made noise louder than it would for any goal on 71 minutes as Iain Hume ran on to the pitch to replace the impressive Kayode Odejayi. The Canadian international striker was making his return to action at oakwell for the first time since a fractured skull almost killed him as a result of an elbow by ex Barnsley skipper Chris Morgan on the Oakwell pitch in a heated clash against Sheffield United in November 2008.
Fifteen minutes from time Bellamy had another effort at goal but hit the sidenetting from close range with Luke Steele all but beaten. The fans had to wait until 6 minutes from time for the opening goal but it was well worth the wait. A clearance from the Barnsley box bounced straight through the centre circle and the high back line of City, leaving Bogdanovic free to run on goal. He only took one touch however before sending a peach of a shot low into Given's right hand corner from outside the box sending the Oakwell crowd into raptures. The removal of his shirt would have warranted a booking in a competitive game but this time the Maltese international escaped with a swift telling off from the referee.
Just like a Barnsley bus, another goal came along a few minutes later after a stalemate for the majority of the match. It was Martin Petrov who managed to spoil the party for the Reds on 88 minutes as he tapped in from what looked like an offside position after Ireland's effort flashed across the face of goal leaving Luke Steele stranded.
Full-time: Barnsley 1 Manchester City 1
Oakwell's longest current servant, Bobby was solid at right back as usual and even received a cheer from the Oakwell crowd after rounding Brazilian International Robinho.
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