Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Luton Town and Barnsley at Kenilworth Road as Daryl Dike’s double fired the Tykes to victory on Easter Monday; Dike also sees late penalty saved.
Monday 5 April 2021 18:22, UK
Daryl Dike scored twice as Barnsley set a club record of six successive away wins to keep their play-off push on track with a deserved 2-1 victory at Luton.
The USA international took his tally for the season to seven, with James Collins pulling one back late on for the Hatters.
Barnsley had the first opening after three minutes, with striker Victor Adeboyejo swivelling to fire wide of the target.
Luton midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s instinctive 22-yard volley was straight at goalkeeper Brad Collins who gathered well, while Tykes forward Cauley Woodrow’s angled effort from outside the box missing the target.
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Barnsley upped the tempo midway through the half as Callum Brittain was found unmarked in the area but his side-footed effort was straight at Simon Sluga.
Romal Palmer cleared the crossbar with another strike before the Tykes took the lead in the 27th minute.
Woodrow’s through-ball reached Dike and the on-loan Orlando City forward held off Matty Pearson before firing low beyond Sluga.
Ryan Tunnicliffe sliced well wide from 25 yards after the ball dropped invitingly for him, but a disappointing first period saw Hatters manager Nathan Jones make two changes for the start of the second half, bringing on Harry Cornick and Sonny Bradley.
It did not make a lot of difference, though, with Barnsley extending their lead on the hour.
Woodrow brought the ball forward from deep and when his shot was fumbled by Sluga, it allowed Dike to react quickest and prod home his second of the afternoon.
Callum Styles almost added a quickfire third but his drive was tipped behind by Sluga at full stretch.
Jordan Clark toe-poked wide after a decent move on Luton’s left and with 18 minutes remaining, Town really should have pulled one back.
Kal Naismith’s excellent delivery found Cornick at the back post, only for the forward to get his header all wrong, with the ball bouncing tamely through to Collins.
Dike almost had a third, shooting into the side-netting and he had a marvellous chance to secure his hat-trick when tripped by Pearson in the area.
The forward’s spot-kick was well-saved by Sluga, who then did magnificently to recover and somehow block Michal Helik’s follow-up.
Luton went straight down the other end to pull a goal back. Substitute James Collins was picked out by Kazenga LuaLua and he fired into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.
Dewsbury-Hall shot wastefully over and had a corner cleared off the line.
Dominik Frieser sent one off target for the visitors as they looked to seal the points, but when Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu ballooned his stoppage-time attempt over it was job done.
What the managers said…
Luton’s Nathan Jones: “I’ve had to make a few changes at half-time in a lot of games and whether that’s because I’ve got it tactically wrong or what I thought I was going to get from players I didn’t get, so I have to keep making the right decisions and I have to evaluate my decisions. But I wasn’t happy with what we got in the first half and we could have made a number of changes but we didn’t and we were slightly better second half.
“The (second) goal’s a terrible goal to give away, it was out of absolutely nothing. We didn’t defend it well enough, it’s come back off the goalkeeper, didn’t react, so many things, but they’re on the front foot and we’re not and that was pretty much the story for the majority of the game.”
Barnsley’s Valerien Ismael: “I can just say congratulations to the guys. We are proud of the guys for their commitment. They are dedicated to our task and this is the most important thing. We have to keep that mentality in the last six games to push to give everything we have. We don’t want to have any regret, as we have a big desire to stay where we are.
“It was a forceful performance, our opponents changed their shape, we were under control until the penalty and after the penalty it was another game. This is the Championship and you have to deal with it, to fight, but we got the three points and this is the most important thing. It was important to show a reaction after the loss against Sheffield (Wednesday) and the draw against Reading. We have 68 points which puts us in great position, now six games left. Stay focused, recover and onto the next game.”
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