Barnsley are now bottom of the Championship after being soundly beaten by Stoke City.

A Sam Clucas double and goals from Lee Gregory and Joe Allen outdid Barnsley, who looked second best to a side clearly buoyed by a change of manager and system. 

Stoke City opened the scoring eight minutes in, after conceding a fairly innocuous free kick for handball 30 yards out. 

Brad Collins stepped up to take the kick, but the ‘keeper horribly misjudged it and hit the ball low into Stoke’s midfield. Clucas pounced on the ball and, seeing Collins was nowhere near his line, looped a long ball over him and into the net. 

Barnsley had their first chance on the 15-minute mark, Dimtri Cavare playing the ball into Cauley Woodrow in the box. Woodrow’s first-time shot was well held by Jack Butland. 

In Text Promo Image

The Reds then had another half-chance a minute later as Kenny Dougall was waiting on the edge of the box after a throw-in from the left, but the Australian hit his shot well over the bar. 

Stoke City had another chance when Danny Batth headed into Collins’ hands from a corner on the right, but there was some controversy in the build-up as Lee Gregory appeared to handle the ball as he broke the offside trap down the right wing. 

The Reds then enjoyed a spell of pressure without really threatening the goal, peppering the Stoke penalty area with crosses from all angles. 

But Michael O’Neill’s side defended well and broke up the pitch, winning a penalty in the 29th minute as James McClean – a threatening presence on the left wing – dribbled into the box and was tripped. 

Gregory put the ball down on the penalty spot, and duly converted, sending Collins the wrong way and putting it into the bottom left corner. Aapo Halme was booked for a swipe on Gregory on the 45-minute mark, as the forward looked to collect a long ball on the left.

Barnsley attempted to mount a comeback shortly after half-time, Cameron McGeehan collecting a through ball from half-time substitute Luke Thomas and firing home from close range in the second minute of the second half. 

After his immediate impact, Thomas then looked as if he would win his side a penalty – but as the winger was brought down after cutting into the box from the right, the referee stayed quiet. Alex Mowatt fired wide after picking up the loose ball. 

The visitors could have had a third if not for Brad Collins, who denied Lee Gregory after the striker was found unmarked on the back post from a cross. The ‘keeper somehow got his legs in the way as Gregory shot from six yards. 

However, Stoke did get their third when the Reds failed to deal with a 64th minute corner and Joe Allen hit a low effort towards goal on the turn.

The Potters then got their fourth, and Clucas his second, three minutes later as the midfielder rifled the ball past Collins from the edge of the area. 

Late substitute Patrick Schmidt mimicked his fellow substitute Thomas in making an immediate impact in the 82nd minute, collecting Alex Mowatt’s long ball over the top of Stoke’s back line with his first touch and then sliding the ball past Jack Butland with his second. 

Stoke could’ve had a fifth when, after the Reds left men up for a corner, Mame Diouf was clean through on goal. But Thomas was there to put him off enough so that he couldn’t get a shot away.

  • 13:20pm
    Good afternoon and welcome to the Chronicle’s live feed coverage of Barnsley’s game at home to Stoke City from 3pm.
  • 13:26pm
    Team news is due in just over half an hour. Barnsley right-back Jordan Williams is their only injury doubt but they could bring back Luke Thomas into the starting line-up after he impressed as a substitute in last Friday’s draw with Bristol City.
  • 13:38pm
    The second-bottom Reds are five points adrift of safety because, although their Friday night draw with Bristol City cut the gap to three points, results the following day left them deeper in trouble.
  • 13:44pm
    Stoke are one place and one point below their hosts for today's game which is the last before a two-week international break.
  • 13:47pm
    Stoke made a disastrous start to this season, collecting just two points from their first nine games. They then picked up back-to-back wins either side of the last international break as they won at then-leaders Swansea City before beating another high-flying side in Fulham. But they have lost their last three without scoring.
  • 13:51pm
    Murray told the Chronicle: “Stoke are a really interesting one. Obviously they are on a tough run, a bit like ourselves. But, on paper, they have an unbelievable squad full of Premier League players.”
  • 13:54pm
    Murray added: “It’s a game against the side below us in the table, so it is a big opportunity, but it will be a challenge for us because of the match-winning quality and the experience Stoke have. The pressure will be on them because no one expected them to be in this position, with the players they have, but we have just got promoted and we are adapting to the new league. There is less pressure on us and we can go out and express ourselves.”
  • 14:02pm
    The teams are in. Barnsley: Collins; Diaby, Halme, Sibbick; Brown, McGeehan, Dougall, Mowatt, Cavare; Chaplin, Woodrow.
  • 14:03pm
    Subs: Radlinger, Andersen, Thomas, Schmidt, Oduor, Simoes, Wilks.
  • 14:05pm
    Stoke City: Butland; Edwards, Batth, Martins Indi, Ward; Woods, Allen, Clucas; Ince, Gregory, McClean.
  • 14:05pm
    Subs: Federici, Vokes, Carter-Vickers, Diouf, Powell, Campbell, Badou.
  • 14:09pm
    Murray was reluctant to call the game ‘must win’ but admitted a first victory in 14 games would have a huge impact. He said: “I wouldn’t say a win has got to come but I want it to come more than anything for this group of players. They are crying out for a win. I really believe that a win would take us to the next level and push us on.”
  • 14:11pm
    Murray added: “I could call it a must-win or a 48-pointer but there will still be 30 games to play after this match. It is definitely a massive game because of the position both clubs are in. The most important thing a win would give us is a big boost to the players and the momentum to go on and get even more wins which I believe we are very capable of.”
  • 14:13pm
    Midfielder Luke Thomas said: “It’s still early days in the season but it is a massive game. We are at home so we need to take advantage of that and take three points. We just need a little bit of luck. When you’re down the bottom, it is harder to win and you don’t really get much luck. The manager (caretaker Adam Murray) said after the game on Friday that our luck has got to change sooner rather than later. I don’t think we are a million miles away.”
  • 14:16pm
    Stoke appointed Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill as manager yesterday, their fifth manager in less than two years. O’Neill took training yesterday morning and will manage the side today, making his return to club management after eight years in charge of his country.
  • 14:20pm
    The former Shamrock Rovers man will continue to manage Northern Ireland in any upcoming Euro 2020 play-off matches, after overseeing a bright start to their qualifying campaign – as well as staying at the helm for their remaining qualifiers against the Netherlands and Germany.
  • 14:23pm
    The Potters sacked manager Nathan Jones on Friday of last week. Ex-Red Rory Delap was placed in caretaker charge of the club and oversaw the 2-0 loss at home to leaders West Bromwich Albion on Monday night. Delap played six games for the Reds mainly as a wing-back in 2013 as he helped them escape relegation under David Flitcroft.
  • 14:25pm
    Delap and Adam Murray played together at Derby County. Murray said: “We got on well when we were at Derby and our paths have crossed on coaching courses in the last few years. I was sitting next to his wife in the directors’ box at Stoke on Monday. Rory is a great bloke."
  • 14:27pm
    Stoke have former Barnsley goalkeeper and captain Adam Davies as well as centre-back Liam Lindsay who were both key players in last season’s promotion. Davies is yet to make his debut, only featuring once on the bench in a league game, while Lindsay has been in and out of the side. Neither feature in Michael O'Neill's first side.
  • 14:29pm
    Murray said: “Everybody at our club has been surprised not to see Adam Davies playing at all this season, especially considering Stoke’s league position. Liam has been in and out and he picked up an injury on Monday, so I don’t know whether he will play either. They are really good guys and they were very good players for Barnsley. Our lads will be pleased to see them, if they are at Oakwell for the game, but they will also want to beat them.”
  • 14:31pm
    Barnsley’s next eight games before Christmas are against bottom club Stoke, 16th-placed Blackburn Rovers, 22nd-placed Middlesbrough, 11th-placed Hull City, 14th-placed Cardiff City, 19th-placed Reading, ninth-placed QPR and 17th-placed Millwall. Murray said: “To the outside world, the fixtures we have coming up in November and possibly December are must-wins. But I think, whoever we play, we need to win. The draws have been great, giving us a foothold and giving the boys confidence, but we are better off winning one then losing one.”
  • 14:33pm
    Murray is understood to be a candidate to get the job on a permanent basis, with German Jens Keller also a person of interest. Murray told the Chronicle: “It doesn’t come up in conversations but the players aren’t stupid. They watch TV and listen to the radio, read things online, but it doesn’t have an impact on us and our thought process. We’re fully focused on winning the next game... I am not sure what my future will hold but I am not thinking about that. I haven’t had an interview or put my name forward for the job.”
  • 14:33pm
    Victory would mean Murray has collected as many points in five games as Daniel Stendel did in the first 11 of the season.
  • 14:34pm
    Stoke have spent £200m over the last five seasons, including £50million last year in an attempt to buy immediate promotion back to the Premier League. But, after finishing 16th, this season they have spent just £6million with most of their new arrivals being free transfers or loans. They still have plenty of experience and pedigree at this level with their substitutes bench on Monday being occupied by the likes of £10million recruit Tom Ince and £5million signing James McClean.
  • 14:42pm
    The last four meetings of these clubs have brought three draws and a Barnsley win. Stoke have a poor record at Oakwell. They won their first two games there but, in the last century, they have been successful only twice in 27 visits. Their last win in Barnsley was on Boxing Day in 1986, after which they lost their next eight games there over a decade.
  • 14:42pm
    They drew 2-2 in 2006 with Tommy Wright and Paul Hayes helping the Reds come back from 2-0 down after 23 minutes. The teams met at Oakwell again the following year, on Boxing Day, with future Barnsley midfielder Liam Lawrence scoring a hat-trick.
  • 14:43pm
    That was the most recent meeting of the sides with Stoke that season gaining promotion to the Premier League where they stayed for a decade.
  • 14:52pm
    Lawrence said: “I have still have the matchball. Barnsley played really well and we were lucky to get away with a point. I remember scoring the last penalty, celebrating in front of the Barnsley fans then someone threw a 2p coin into my head which really hurt. This is a massive game. Both sides desperately need the points so hopefully it’s a good game. A lot of people around Stoke have a lot of anxiety about this game.”
  • 14:53pm
    Darfield man Jon Parkin, who played for both clubs, said: “It’s a six-pointer already this early in the season. Stoke definitely didn’t expect that to be the case and Barnsley probably hoped it wouldn’t be. Both clubs desperately need to kickstart their seasons with a win. I am a Barnsley fan so I hope they win but, after that, I hope Stoke get enough points to stay up as well.”
  • 14:58pm
    Minutes away from kick-off as the teams make their way onto the pitch.
  • 15:01pm
    There will be a minute's silence ahead of kick-off.
  • 15:06pm
    1 - Conor Chaplin takes the kick for the Reds, who immediately give away a free kick.
  • 15:09pm
    2 A throw-in in a good position for Stoke on the right is defended well, but as the ball travels to the opposite side of the pitch the visitors get a corner. It's cleared by the head of Aapo Halme.
  • 15:11pm
    4 Dimitri Cavare powers up the right and plays it infield. Cameron McGeehan lays it off to Jacob Brown on the left wing, who cuts inside and pauses on the ball. He plays it back to McGeehan, who overhits his pass to Conor Chaplin and it's out for a throw-in.
  • 15:14pm
    8 - Sam Clucas pounces on a mistake by Brad Collins and finds the net from the halfway line.
  • 15:16pm
    9 The Reds had got a free kick from a handball in their own half, which the keeper stepped up to take. He sliced his long ball and it fell to Clucas, who had ample time to launch the ball over Collins and into the net.
  • 15:18pm
    11 Jacob Brown spins away from the defender in an inside left position and gets caught, winning a free kick. Alex Mowatt plays it to Bambo Diaby on the far post, but it's cleaered.
  • 15:19pm
    12 Brad Collins holds the ball well after James McClean is found on the left of the box and fires low towards goal.
  • 15:20pm
    14 McClean with a powerful run down the left, nutmegs Bambo Diaby but Kenny Dougall is back to help out the centre back with a good piece of defending.
  • 15:22pm
    15 Another corner from the left for Stoke City, but this time play is pulled back by the ref.
  • 15:24pm
    16 The Reds get a throw-in on the left and the ball makes its way over to Kenny Dougall on the edge of the box, but his effort on goal is wild and flies harmlessly over. That's another attempt after Woodrow's earlier strike on the 15-minute mark, as the striker received the ball from Dimitri Cavare on the right.
  • 15:26pm
    20 Lee Gregory looks to clearly handle the ball after beating the offside trap, but the ref doesn't see it and calls for a corner. The delivery is headed into Brad Collins' hands by Danny Batth.
  • 15:28pm
    22 A break in play as Sam Clucas goes down for the visitors as his side give away a throw in the Reds' half.
  • 15:30pm
    24 Conor Chaplin does well to play the ball over the heads of a couple of defenders as Cameron McGeehan plays it into the box, but Chaplin can't control the ball well enough to turn and shoot.
  • 15:34pm
    26 The Reds get some extended pressure, peppering Stoke's penalty area with crosses before Jacob Brown appears to take a crack at goal from the left side. He scuffs his shot and it's collected by Conor Chaplin, whose cross sparks half-hearted shouts of handball before the ball's cleared.
  • 15:35pm
    28 Penalty for Stoke City.
  • 15:35pm
    29 Lee Gregory nets from the penalty spot.
  • 15:38pm
    29 James McClean was tripped as he dribbled into the box. The winger has been a handful for the Reds defence.
  • 15:39pm
    32 Cameron McGeehan goes down yards from goal after the ball is played into the box, and the referee takes a few seconds to look at the incident before waving play on from the goal kick.
  • 15:43pm
    36 Alex Mowatt gets two chances to deliver from the left - the first is headed behind by Bruno Martins Indi, and Cameron McGeehan gets his head to the second as he wheels away from goal, firing wide.
  • 15:46pm
    39 Conor Chaplin, Cauley Woodrow and Alex Mowatt exchange some good passes in front of the Stoke goal, but the Reds can't find space for a shot and the ball is hoofed clear. Better from Barnsley, but they've carried little threat at all so far.
  • 15:48pm
    41 Cauley Woodrow has the ball in the net, but the forward knew play had already been stopped as Cameron McGeehan collected Dimitri Cavare's pass from an offside position on the right of goal.
  • 15:51pm
    2 minutes added time
  • 15:52pm
    45+1 Aapo Halme in the book as he takes out Lee Gregory, who was running onto a long ball
  • 15:53pm
    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0, Stoke City 2.
  • 16:09pm
    Toby Sibbick
  • 16:09pm
    SUB ON
    Luke Thomas
  • 16:11pm
    45 Back underway and the Reds have made a change at half-time. They've gone with a back four, Jacob Brown moving to right back and Dimitri Cavare on the left. Luke Thomas joins Cauley Woodrow and Conor Chaplin up top.
  • 16:12pm
    47 Cameron McGeehan fires home from close range after Luke Thomas' through ball.
  • 16:16pm
    51 Cameron McGeehan booked for a foul just outside the centre circle.
  • 16:18pm
    53 A good passing move on the left breaks down as Dimtri Cavare fluffs a through ball to Conor Chaplin, after the forward had exchanged passes with Alex Mowatt.
  • 16:22pm
    56 Luke Thomas looks to be brought down after surging into the box from the right wing, but there's no whistle from the ref. Alex Mowatt fired wide after collecting the ball, but the players and fans are amazed a penalty wasn't called.
  • 16:23pm
    58 Danny Batth booked for bringing down Cauley Woodrow on the halfway line as the Reds looked to break.
  • 16:27pm
    62 A superb save from Brad Collins as Lee Gregory looks sure to score. The forward collected a cross unmarked and Collins got his feet in the way.
  • 16:28pm
    63 Joe Allen scores from a corner.
  • 16:30pm
    64 Dimitri Cavare booked for a foul on the edge of the box.
  • 16:32pm
    67 Sam Clucas with a thunderbolt from long range.
  • 16:37pm
    73 Sam Clucas
  • 16:37pm
    SUB ON
    73 Badou Ndiaye
  • 16:39pm
    74 Cameron McGeehan
  • 16:39pm
    SUB ON
    74 Mallik Wilks
  • 16:44pm
    78 Joe Allen exchanges passes on the left with James McClean and then crosses low into the box. Lee Gregory holds the ball up and lays it off to Stephen Ward, whose shot lacks power and is collected by Brad Collins.
  • 16:45pm
    81 Conor Chaplin
  • 16:46pm
    SUB ON
    81 Patrick Schmidt
  • 16:46pm
    82 Patrick Schmidt is played over the top by Alex Mowatt and rolls the ball to the keeper's right.
  • 16:54pm
    89 Lee Gregory
  • 16:54pm
    SUB ON
    89 Sam Vokes
  • 16:54pm
    5 minutes
  • 16:55pm
    90 Luke Thomas with a sprint forward, lays the ball off for Cauley Woodrow whose side-footed effort from the edge of the box is straight at the 'keeper.
  • 16:59pm
    90+4 Mame Diouf is released clean on goal after the Reds push everyone up for a corner, but Luke Thomas is back to put the striker off and he can't get a shot away.
  • 17:00pm
    FULL-TIME: Barnsley 2, Stoke City 4.