Barnsley 3-2 Luton: Tykes edge five-goal thriller at Oakwell
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 13/10/18 3:34pm
Barnsley earned back-to-back wins in Sky Bet League One as they saw off Luton 3-2 in a frantic encounter at Oakwell.
The Tykes seemed to be cruising thanks to first-half goals from Brad Potts and Cameron McGeehan, but a James Collins penalty gave Luton hope heading into the break.
Substitute Mamadou Thiam then appeared to put the game to bed with just over 10 minutes to go, before Collins struck what turned out to be a late consolation.
Adam Davies and Kenny Dougall were away on international duty so Barnsley boss Daniel Stendely replaced them with Jack Walton and Cameron McGeehan. While top scorer Kieffer Moore was injured and replaced by Jacob Brown.
Luton boss Nathan Jones reverted back to the side that beat Scunthorpe last weekend, aside from James Justin coming in for the injured Elliot Lee.
Barnsley brought in Daniel Stendel for his high-pressing style and the Tykes boss' philosophy worked to perfection as they took the lead after just five minutes.
The Tykes won the ball deep inside opposition territory and, as the Luton defence scrambled desperately to get back into position, Potts surged through to fire the opener into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
After 26 minutes, Barnsley doubled their advantage with an equally fine goal. George Moncur was the man to thank as he cut in from the left and beat two men before unselfishly rolling the ball into McGeehan and he showed superb composure in picking out the bottom corner from just inside the box with his first touch.
Barnsley: Walton (6), Cavare (7), Pinnock (6), Lindsay (6), Williams (5), Mowatt (7), McGeehan (7), Potts (8), Bahre (6), Moncur (8), Brown (6)
Subs: Pinillos (n/a), Thiam (7), Hedges (n/a)
Luton: Shea (5), Stacey (5), Pearson (5), Bradley (5), Potts (5), Rea (6), Mpanzu (6), Justin (6), Grant (5), Cornick (7), Collins (8)
Subs: McCormack (n/a), Hylton (n/a), LuaLua (6)
Man of the match: Brad Potts
Barnsley were well in control but then gifted Luton a way back into the game on the stroke of half-time. Ben Williams was late into the challenge as he tripped Harry Cornick in the box, and Collins stepped up to drive the resulting penalty down the middle.
The second half was a far tamer affair but that all changed on 79 minutes when Thiam put the game to bed with a thunderous strike into the top corner from just inside the box.
Another substitute in Kazenga LuaLua then saw his cross that crashed off the bar turned home by Collins for his second of the afternoon, but there would be no third for Luton as Barnsley saw out the win.
Man of the Match - Brad Potts
There were several contenders for Man of the Match from a Barnsley perspective, but the way Brad Potts fired the home side in front was hugely impressive, while he also proved himself to be a key part in the pressing game that boss Stendel has brought to Oakwell.
Daniel Stendel: "It was a very close decision to say he (Thiam) wasn't in the starting line-up and I'm pleased he scored. You need to fight every week to start and it was a good signal from him. Cameron McGeehan was very motivated and played well.
"It was a very good performance. We were the better team but it was also a close game. The performance from Luton was also good. We saw today that we played with different players and we can still win. It was a good experience for our team. All the players who came in did well."
Nathan Jones: "I thought they were better than us. They had more aggression than us, especially in the first half. They played with a bit more intensity, so credit to them. We were way off in terms of ball retention and playing with intensity and fluidity.
"They are a good side and we knew that. We knew that we needed to be brave and win our battles and we didn't do that in the first half. The goals were really disappointing but I think that overall, Barnsley deserved to win."
Both sides are back in Sky Bet League One action at 3pm next Saturday as Barnsley travel to Charlton and Luton host Walsall.