Tykes battle back for point
Barnsley produced a stirring second-half fightback to earn a 2-2 draw against Sheffield Wednesday.
Last Updated: 08/08/09 5:25pm
Barnsley produced a stirring second-half fightback to earn a 2-2 draw against Sheffield Wednesday in a South Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough.
Wednesday produced a dominant first-half display on the opening day of the season and led 2-0 at the break courtesy of goals from Jermaine Johnson and Michael Gray.
However, Barnsley rallied after the interval and, after Jacob Butterfield had pulled a goal back on 58 minutes, Jon Macken grabbed an equaliser 15 minutes from time.
Luke Steele's flying one-handed save kept out a thumping drive from James O'Connor in the ninth minute, but the Barnsley goalkeeper was beaten in front of the Tykes' travelling fans moments later.
Gray squeezed past Rob Kozluk down the right wing and his fine deep cross was swept home at the far post right-footed from six yards by the unmarked Johnson.
Gray curled a left-footed free-kick just wide of Steele's post 10 minutes later before Owls goalkeeper Lee Grant performed heroics at the other end when saving with his feet to deny Macken's low shot from 10 yards.
Some of Wednesday's football drew cries of 'ole' and, orchestrated by the veteran Gray, the home side's passing and movement had Barnsley chasing shadows.
Tykes skipper Stephen Foster was lucky not to concede a penalty in the 29th minute when the slippery Francis Jeffers latched on to Gray's clever pass.
But referee Anthony Taylor gave the Barnsley defender the benefit of doubt and awarded a free-kick just outside the box, which came to nothing.
Richard Wood's late lunge denied Macken what would have been a fortunate equaliser for the visitors before Wednesday were rewarded with the second goal their first-half display merited.
More intricate passing took them deep into Barnsley territory and Marcus Tudgay's deft flick teed up Gray to head home his first goal for Wednesday into the bottom corner from 10 yards.
Grant was quick off his line to thwart Kayode Odejayi just before the break and thrust out a leg to keep out Macken's shot on the turn minutes after the restart.
Wednesday had stepped off the gas early in the second period and were punished for it.
Martin Devaney broke free down the right for the first time and his cross broke kindly in the penalty area for Butterfield, who kept his composure to bury a low drive under Grant's dive in the 58th minute.
Wednesday were stirred into action, but were not as fluent or accurate with their passing and Barnsley, who had seemed dead and buried in the first half, suddenly found themselves level in the 75th minute through Macken.
Towering strike partner Odejayi flicked on a long free-kick and slack defending allowed Macken to race on into the box and despatch a firm right-footed shot into the bottom corner.