Heckingbottom sees positives in defeat for Barnsley: Reds 0 Huddersfield Town 1

Angus MacDonald denies Joe Lolley
Angus MacDonald denies Joe Lolley

Head coach Paul Heckingbottom is focused on taking the positives out of Saturday’s defeat to Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town.

It took a last-ditch goal from summer signing Steve Mounie to condemn the Reds to defeat at Oakwell.

Defensive mistakes have been at the forefront of the club’s pre-season run-outs, but the Reds backline stood firm for 89 minutes before conceding.

A solid defensive performance, against a Premier League side, will be a positive sign for Heckingbottom as his side head into their second Championship campaign since promotion.

“The game was good. There were a lot of positives to take from it,” reflected Heckingbottom.

“It was a competitive game and we were tested in lots of different ways against a very good side.

“It was what we wanted and we got some really good things out of it.

“We were very good out of possession and their chances came from our mistakes.”

Adam Davies was kept busy in the hosts’ net as he pulled off a string of fine saves in a top performance.

The Reds struggled to penetrate David Wagner’s defence with the regularity they would have liked in front of their home fans.

Early on, they had a couple of chances, but they were indebted to Davies for keeping them in the game until the very end.

Forward Stefan Payne came closest to an opener as his header was superbly saved by Jonas Lossl.

Alex Mowatt fired wide after a well-worked free-kick routine between the former Leeds United man and Adam Hammill.

Town’s only chances of a lack-lustre first half fell to Phil Benning and Joe Lolley who both failed to hit the target.

After the break, the Reds defence were forced to work hard, with Angus MacDonald denying Lolley on the line two minutes after the restart.

On the hour, Davies kept the game goalless with a stunning stop to keep out Chris Lowe after some clever footwork gave the Town man space to shoot.

Collin Quaner thought he had scored for the visitors, with a sprawling Davies denying the German.

Moments later, Hammill curled an audacious effort wide of the post after a counter-attack.

Quaner once again found himself thwarted by the in-form Reds’ stopper as Town upped the ante.

The encounter looked nailed on to finish goalless as Sean Scannell glanced his header against the bar with less than five minutes left on the clock.

However, Mounie - who had been quiet all game - was the difference as he latched onto a long ball from his keeper before dinking over Davies’ head late on.

Barnsley: Davies, Yiadom, MacDonald, Lindsay, Fryers, Hammill, Moncur, Williams, Mowatt, Payne, Ugbo. Subs: Townsend, McCarthy, Jackson, Pinnock, Mallan, D’Almeida, Bradshaw, Brown.

Huddersfield: Lossl, Hogg, Billing, Cavare, Lowe, Lolley, Ince, Quaner, Mounie, Zanka, Schindler. Subs: Schofield, Scannell, Williams, O’Brien, Edmonds-Green, Kane.