Barnsley made it two wins from two under new head coach Valerien Ismael as Alex Mowatt’s stunning strike secured a 1-0 victory over Watford at Oakwell.
The Tykes got off to a good start in this game, taking the lead after just six minutes courtesy of a screamer from captain Mowatt, whose effort from outside the box flew in off the inside of the post.
The home side were the only team to create any real chances in the first half.
With almost 20 minutes gone, a well worked move saw Mowatt clip a ball over the top for Conor Chaplin to get on the end of. Chaplin cut the ball back to Dominik Frieser on the edge of the area, but his shot went well over the bar.
Less than 10 minutes later and Barnsley fashioned themselves another chance.
Patrick Schmidt played in Callum Brittain down the right-hand side, and his cut-back to the edge of the area fell to Chaplin. The striker was on the stretch as he made contact with the ball, which meant his effort was weak and easy for Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster to collect.
Watford were unable to create any clear-cut opportunities in the first half. The Hornets looked to Ismaila Sarr throughout the half as their source of inspiration, but the forward’s end product in the final third was poor.
The visitors’ best chance of the game came just a couple of minutes before the hour mark.
Sarr was again involved and on this occasion the Senegalese managed to get by his man and drive towards goal from a narrow angle. His ball back found Tom Cleverley six yards out, but the midfielder fired his effort wide.
Just minutes later and Barnsley should have made it 2-0. A wayward defensive clearance fell to substitute George Miller who found himself in on goal, yet he dragged his effort wide when the striker should have hit the target at the very least.
Watford had another glorious opportunity to level with just over 20 minutes to go.
A short corner routine led to Ken Sema swinging a cross in. Defender Ben Wilmot leapt well at the front post and angled his header downwards towards the far corner, but the power on it meant the ball bounced up and over the bar.
Watford continued to threaten the Barnsley goal throughout the second half, with Wilmot seeing another header from a corner miss the target.
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