Shadow Scholarship | Rochdale 2-2 Barnsley

The Barnsley FC Shadow Scholarship came from 2-0 down to claim a point at Rochdale and make it five games unbeaten.

Despite dominating for large periods, the Reds looked destined for defeat midway through the second half but goals from Jack Bennett and Aidan Hargreaves sealed an impressive comeback.

In a tight opening to the game, the first chance fell to Jack Tinker who saw a shot blocked behind before Callum Walmsley fired just wide from the resulting corner.

Bailey Oates’ tireless pressing then created an opening for Jake Vigrass but the October Player of the Month was also denied by a sturdy Dale defence.

Just a minute later, the hosts took the lead with their first real chance as a cross was turned in at the back post.

Barnsley were back on the attack shortly afterwards but Jimmy Pursell couldn’t keep his shot down after Essa N’Dow had found him on the edge of the box.

Claims for a penalty were turned down five minutes later after what appeared to be shirt pulling on both Bennett and N’Dow in the box.

Jake Barton pulled off a fantastic fingertip save to keep the deficit at just one goal late in the first half.

HT: 1-0

The Reds picked up a blow early in the second half as N’Dow was forced from the field through injury, with Hargreaves taking his place.

Barnsley’s task was made even harder shortly afterwards as Rochdale countered with pace before finding the bottom corner to double their lead.

Substitute Hargreaves began to have a greater influence on the game, beating the last man with an instinctive flick before half-volleying just wide.

Sam Cook should’ve halved the deficit from a Jimmy Pursell corner but his free header could only find the roof of the net.

With just under 20 minutes to play, Barnsley finally got a reward for their second half dominance as Jack Tinker fizzed a ball into the feet of Bennett, who turned a defender with a classy flick before finding the bottom corner.

Jack Tinker was involved in the equaliser just six minutes later, his quick throw-in catching the defence off-guard before Hargreaves fired a powerful drive into the far corner.

Vigrass, Hargreaves and Bennett nearly combined for a winning goal before Barton pulled off a strong low save late on.

Barnsley XI: Jake Barton, Callum Walmsley, Sam Cook, Dom Claxton, Jack Tinker, Jimmy Pursell, Mason Butcher, Bailey Oates, Jake Vigrass, Essa N’Dow, Jack Bennett.

Substitutes: Brandon Murillo, Rhys Wilson, Aidan Hargreaves.