Barnsley 1 Burton 2: Painful start for new Reds boss Jose
Jose Morais' Barnsley tenure kicked off with defeat in a relegation six-pointer against Burton.
All eyes were on the 52-year-old Portuguese manager, who signed an 18-month deal on Friday, as he took his first steps into the Oakwell dugout.
The signs were bright going into the game with the Reds never before losing to Burton – the Championship basement boys at the start of the night.
Brewers’ boss Nigel Clough had also never toppled Barnsley at Oakwell during his managerial career before the game, but that all changed.
The Reds were booed off at half-time after a poor 45 minutes.
It looks as though Morais has a huge job on his hands to galvanise the squad and turn their fortunes around – with League One football creeping closer with each passing game.
First-half goals from Jamie Allen and Jacob Davenport left the Reds with just one win in their last 18 – moving them to 23rd - despite Dani Pinillos’ late consolation.
The new boss was given a warm welcome as he stepped into the dugout, but things got worse very quickly as they conceded after just 57 seconds.
Barnsley touched the ball just once before Jamie Allen broke his duck for the club from outside the box.
And Morais’ men looked devoid of any confidence after going behind.
Joe Williams had the only real chance for the hosts before the break as he tried to recreate his wonder strike in the reverse fixture – with his effort after Oli McBurnie’s knock down flew wide.
On the stroke of the break captain Andy Yiadom led by example by throwing himself in the way of Hope Akpan’s fierce strike.
However, moments later the deficit was doubled – changing the complexion of Morais’ first half-time team talk.
It was four minutes into stoppage time with Nick Townsend well beaten by Davenport’s perfectly placed free-kick into the top corner.
The Reds showed a will to attack in the second half as they tried to claw something from the game.
In the 51st minute they forced their first corner, before their best chance of the match materialised.
Adam Hammill had the first shot on target for the hosts, forcing a save from Stephen Bywater before substitute Mamadou Thiam had an effort cleared off the line.
After the hour Gary Gardner had a free-kick saved by Bywater after Tom Bradshaw was pulled down.
The Reds were left frustrated when Gardner rounded Bywater with McBurnie’s effort cleared off the line.
With 15 minutes left Pinillos’ deflected shot got the Reds on the board after some great work down the wing by Yiadom.
Right at the death the Reds were denied an equaliser for offside after having the ball in the net.