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Report: Barnsley Under-23s 2 Blues Under-23s 1

The game should have been out of sight by half-time.

Steve Spooner

Blues Under-23s squandered a host of first-half chances and were left to ponder over what might have been after suffering defeat to Barnsley.

Oriol Soldevila opened his goalscoring account for the Club after 17 minutes but how the visitors failed to find the net again before the break will remain a mystery.

Steve Spooner’s side created a number of clear-cut opportunities and missed a spot-kick whilst frequently carving out chances to add to their tally.

The Tykes shuffled their pack in the second period and a change of tactics eventually paid dividends as they came from behind to steal all three points.

Despite the defeat, there were plenty of positives for Spooner who felt the players executed everything asked of them other than finding a ruthless streak in front of goal.

“I have to be honest, it was a very positive performance,” Spooner explains. “The only negative was that we were too sloppy with our finishing.

“The game should have been out of sight by half-time.

“We missed a penalty, we had several one-on-ones that we didn’t take advantage of and so you look at the scoreline and think it would have been a closer contest than it was.

“I’m Really pleased for Oriol (Soldevila), he’s applied himself really well since he came in and so I’m delighted that he’s grabbed his first goal for us.

“We knew what kind of tactics Barnsley would adopt to get themselves back in it. We negated their attacking threats really well initially and stuck to the game plan.

“We’ve then had a stonewall penalty turned down. We’ve seen it again and Kyle Hurst rounds the goalkeeper and he’s pulled down.

“The referee doesn’t give it and it’s frustrating because you add that to the missed chances and the game would have been done.

“They came at us, changed their shape and get themselves an equaliser. The lad received it between the lines, dribbled towards the goal and my criticism is that we should have closed him down quicker. We didn’t and he’s shot through the legs of one of our defenders and into the bottom corner.

“Then the second goal is a corner which again, conceding from a set piece is disappointing.

“We were considerably bigger in size but we let the attacker get the wrong side of us and then we got blocked off. The ball just fell to him and he stabbed it in.

“So I really think it was a case of three points dropped, we were in a great position to win the game and we can feel hard done by.

“That being said, there were far more pluses than minuses. If we put the ball in the back of the net, it’s a completely different story.

“The lads have done really well over the past few games, we’re very pleased with them and we can’t let this result side track us.

“It’s Wigan next week, another tough game. We have to be more ruthless in front of goal but we also haven’t been getting the rub of the green recently.

“It won’t do the lads no harm, going through a patch where we are not scoring and taking chances.

“You have to remember what it was like when the goals were going in and rediscover that self-confidence.

“The good thing is, I’ve been around the game long enough to know that those things change.”

Blues: Rouse, Gordon, Redmond, Campbell, Roberts (Djurovic 45), Thompson-Sommers, Stirk, Soldevila, Concannon (Fernandez 60), Hurst (Dugmore 70), Andrews.

Not used: Brooks, Sun

Goals: Soldevila 17’

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