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Match Previews

JPT MATCH PREVIEW: WIGAN ATHLETIC V BARNSLEY

3 December 2015

Latics host the Tykes in the Northern Area semi-final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

  • League One’s basement side profiled as we look at Barnsley’s Football League Trophy history and this season.
  • A look back at Barnsley’s last visit to the DW Stadium, just under two years ago.
  • Adult tickets just £5, Under 18s just £1.
Wigan Athletic and Barnsley will go head-to-head at the DW Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy reaches the area semi-final stage.

The winners of this tie will go one round from Wembley and will face either Fleetwood Town or Morecambe, who play on Tuesday night, in a two-legged Northern Area Final early in 2016.

In terms of team news, Latics remain without Kevin McNaughton and Donald Love with the Scottish right-backs still recovering from their respective injuries. Craig Morgan and Chris McCann were both substituted in recent fixtures with Burton Albion and Southend United with injuries and the pair continue to be assessed.

On loan striker Jordy Hiwula is the top goal-scorer in the competition with four goals in two games and he will push for a recall as will Andy Kellett, who was awarded the Man of the Match award in the 4-0 victory over Blackpool in the previous round.


Jordy Hiwula is the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy’s leading goal-scorer with four goals in two games.

Tickets for the clash between the Tykes and Gary Caldwell’s Latics are priced at just £5 for adults and £1 for Under 18s, for further ticket details click here.

BARNSLEY’S JOHNSTONE’S PAINT TROPHY HISTORY

The 2015-16 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy campaign is only the sixth time Barnsley have entered the competition of the bottom two tiers of the Football League in its 32 year history. The Tykes have been a regular fixture in second tier football since the creation of the Associate Members Cup in 1983, spending just four years in the third tier - between 2002 and 2006 – prior to their relegation back to this level in 2014.

It is a competition that Barnsley have had little success in; the Oakwell side have played just ten Football League Trophy fixtures in their history, with an equal split of wins and losses in that period. In fact, this season’s run to the area semi-finals is the best run Barnsley have ever had as the seven fixtures the Tykes had played prior to this campaign yielded just one win in 90 minutes, a penalty success and five defeats.

This season’s campaign saw Barnsley in the north-east section of the competition and they came through with flying colours in the first round, defeating Scunthorpe United 2-1 at Glanford Park thanks to goals from Lewin Nyatanga and Marley Watkins before Charlie Goode scored a late consolation for the Iron. The second round posed the test of a tough trip to Bradford City but again Lee Johnson’s side stood firm as Watkins was again on the mark, cancelling out Billy Knott’s opener for the Bantams, before Alfie Mawson won the affair in the second-half for the Tykes. In the area quarter-finals, League Two struggles York City visited Oakwell and took a surprise lead through Michael Coulson before Ben Pearson and the returning Adam Hammill – who re-signed for Barnsley a day prior to the tie with the Minstermen – scored in the second-half to put the Tykes two rounds from Wembley.


Adam Hammill has returned for a second spell with Barnsley after making 84 appearances for the club between 2009 and 2011.

BARNSLEY IN 2015/16 SO FAR

A major downside for Barnsley is that, unlike Latics, their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy form hasn’t assisted their league form. Gary Caldwell’s side used the competition as part of a ten game unbeaten run between September and November whilst their victory in the last round against Blackpool followed up a 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Bury and preceded League One wins over Rochdale and Shrewsbury Town. In contrast, the Tykes were steady in their league form after beating Scunthorpe in the first round, though their second round win at Bradford was followed by six consecutive defeats in all competitions. That run was broken by their area quarter-final win over York, but a run of one win in four league games since has seen the South Yorkshire side plummet to the bottom of League One.


Barnsley are struggling and sit bottom of the Sky Bet League One table.

Like Caldwell, Barnsley boss Johnson oversaw a heavy turnover of players in the summer, in his first full season in charge of the club after taking the reins towards the end of the 2014-15 campaign. Notable departures included Martin Cranie (Huddersfield Town), Kane Hemmings (Dundee), Dale Jennings (MK Dons), Milan Lalkovic (Walsall), Ross Turnbull (Leeds United) and Mason Holgate, who followed in the footsteps of John Stones by moving from Oakwell to Goodison Park for a reported £2million. Replacements arrived in the form of defender Mawson and midfielder Watkins (Brentford and Inverness CT respectively), midfielder Ryan Williams (Fulham) and striker Simeon Jackson (Coventry City). Johnson also used the loan market to bolster his squad, bringing in midfielders Ben Pearson and Joe Rothwell from Manchester United and strikers Ivan Toney (Newcastle United), Michael Smith (Swindon Town) and Conor Wilkinson (Bolton Wanderers).


Alfie Mawson (left) has been a regular for the Tykes since his summer move from Brentford.

It is quite surprising that Barnsley have since found themselves on a downward spiral, especially given their solid start to the campaign. After an opening day defeat at Chesterfield and Capital One Cup penalty victory over Scunthorpe, the Tykes embarked on a run which saw them pick up seven League One points from a possible nine, defeating now high-flying Burton Albion and Millwall in the process. A 5-3 extra-time defeat to Premier League Everton in the second round of the Capital One Cup was a creditable effort. Another month of steady league form followed the loss to the Toffees as home wins over Swindon Town and Gillingham left Barnsley in eighth at the end of September. October started with a late defeat to Yorkshire rivals Doncaster Rovers, with Richard Chaplow bagging a 90th minute winner for the hosts at the Keepmoat Stadium, a blow it is fair to say Johnson’s side haven’t recovered from. Six consecutive League One defeats followed that match and Barnsley had slumped into the League One relegation zone. Non-League Altrincham then defeated the Tykes in the FA Cup first round and Port Vale won at Oakwell to pile the pressure on Johnson and his side. A win at Oldham Athletic a fortnight ago relieved the alarming nature of Barnsley’s slump, though a defeat at Peterborough United and a home draw with Sheffield United – thanks to a 95th minute Conor Hourihane strike – have kept the Tykes at the foot of the League One table.

BARNSLEY’S LAST VISIT TO THE DW


Martyn Waghorn’s strike on his Latics home debut and a goal from Nicky Maynard gave Uwe Rosler’s side a 2-0 win over Barnsley at the DW Stadium in February 2014 but the day was marred by the broken leg sustained by Ben Watson, who had just recently returned from a similar injury.


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