Barnsley came from behind twice in their visit to Ewood Park, but the defensive frailties of previous performances remain – and were enough to see the hosts come away with all three points.

A Bradley Dack brace and long-range Stewart Downing effort undid the Reds, despite them equalising through Conor Chaplin and Cauley Woodrow, and they are now 16 league games without a win.

The hosts had a 4th-minute penalty shout turned down after Lewis Holtby went down under Aapo Halme’s challenge as Joe Rothwell advanced on goal.

Former Red Adam Armstrong then had the ball in the net with a long-rang effort which found the bottom corner, but the referee had already blown for offside.

Barnsley’s first effort came 18 minutes in, Woodrow firing low from the right after some good work to keep possession by Mike Bahre, who laid the ball off for Toby Sibbick to find the forward.  Woodrow’s effort was on target, but didn’t trouble Christian Walton.

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The striker had another chance two minutes later after Jacob Brown did well to find some space in the box and play him in, but his strike from the middle of the box was well saved by the Rovers ‘keeper.

Despite a bright start, the Reds went 1-0 down due to a defensive error from Mads Andersen, reinstated to the starting lineup for the first time in a month.

The centre-back, under some pressure on the left side of the pitch, attempted to thread a low pass through to Alex Mowatt but horribly misjudged it.

Lewis Travis picked up the ball and played in Armstrong, who worked his way into the box and squared it for Dack to score into an open net.

Almost immediately afterwards the Reds attempted to make their way back into the game, but Alex Mowatt’s ball into the box couldn’t quite reach Brown.

Dack, Rovers’ top scorer with seven so far in the league, then teed up Sam Gallagher on the 31st minute after Elliott Bennett found the midfielder with a cross, but Gallagher’s powerful effort was wide of the far post.

Woodrow was then called upon to head the ball away after Gallagher turned Andersen with some good dribbling and crossed the ball into the box.

On 43 minutes, Ben Williams – who was one of Barnsley’s better players – denied what looked to be a certain second goal for the hosts, as Dack once again threatened with a low ball into the box from the left.

The Welsh left-back was on hand to slide and intercept before Gallagher could pounce on the back post.

Two changes at half-time saw the Reds start the second half as the better side, and they didn’t have to wait long before making their way back into the competition.

Three minutes after coming back out, Brown collected a through ball and paused on the ball, with substitute Chaplin running up-field in support.

Brown laid the ball off for Chaplin, who produced a fine low drive towards goal that crept under Walton.

Few would argue against you if you said that Rovers’ second goal on 69 minutes came against the run of play, with Barnsley the much more assured side on the ball for much of the second half.

Mowatt in particular had two chances to put his side ahead, the first on the hour mark a low drive which Walton had to scramble to save on his left, and the second a curling effort from the edge of the box after a one-two with Chaplin, four minutes later.

For Rovers’ second, Rothwell beat Sibbick and cut inside, taking a shot which was blocked and fell kindly for second-half substitute Stewart Downing – who swung his right boot at it from the edge of the box and found the bottom corner.

Ben Williams was then called upon to produce another goal-line clearance in the 75th minute after Danny Graham broke the offside trap on the left and rolled the ball towards goal.

Woodrow then levelled again for the Reds on 82 minutes, squeezing the ball home after Chaplin collected the ball on Walton’s right and played the ball across goal after some good play from Mowatt and Brown to work the ball into the box.

Chaplin had already had another effort from a similar position blocked by the Rovers ‘keeper on 77 minutes, forcing a corner.

Defensive frailty was again to blame as Rovers got the winner, Dack found on the back post after a Downing free kick into the box was headed across goal for the midfielder to net on 86 minutes.

The Reds pushed for another equaliser, with Radlinger even coming up for a late corner, but the home side held on for the three points.

AS IT HAPPENED
  • 13:27pm
     
    Good afternoon, and welcome to the Chronicle's coverage of Barnsley's match away at Blackburn Rovers. Kick-off is at 3pm, with team news due in just over half an hour.
  • 13:29pm
     
    Both sides are down at the bottom of the Championship table, with the home side 18th and Barnsley rock-bottom after 16 games.
  • 13:31pm
     
    Barnsley, winless since their 1-0 victory over Fulham on the opening day of the season, this week welcomed new head coach Gerhard Struber to the club on a two-and-a-half year contract with an option for an additional year.
  • 13:32pm
    The 42-year-old leaves Austrian side Wolfsberger AC third in the league and fourth in their Europa League group, and said on Thursday that he was up for the challenge of keeping the Reds in the league.
  • 13:35pm
     
    The head coach said: “I’m happy to be here and to work with a very good team with a good balance and high potential. “It’s a big challenge and not a normal one. I’m an Austrian trainer and it’s not normal to get a job in England. “Football is always a gamble, a little higher, a little smaller. This is a big challenge, it’s not a simple task, but I love it, it’s a big motivation for me.
  • 13:39pm
     
    Struber added he and the club had first been in contact two years ago. “They called me three or four weeks ago, and we’ve spoken a lot of the situation and the problems now. I know the situation here.”
  • 13:41pm
     
    His primary goal, as discussed with the Barnsley board, is to keep the side in the Championship. Struber said: “The goal is clear to stay in the league, and I hope with my assistant coaches we take this chance. I’m convinced we can do it.”
  • 13:44pm
     
    From 2007 Struber coached at several levels in the RB Salzburg academy before his first senior management role at SV Kuchl in 2012. A two-year spell at Salzburg’s feeder club FC Liefering in 2017 led him on to the Wolfsberger role when previous coach Christian Ilzer left for FK Austria Wien in May.
  • 13:46pm
     
    The Carinthia side had previously finished third in the Bundesliga, and while that side had much more experience than this current Barnsley squad, Struber said his experience in youth coaching would serve him well.
  • 13:49pm
    He inherits one of the youngest sides in the Football League, with Aapo Halme, Patrick Schmidt and Ben Williams all travelling with their nations' under 21 sides over the international break but none featuring. “We know we have a young team that we can change and make better tactical situations, especially in the defence of the team. I know how this team can perform and I have a vision with this team.
  • 13:51pm
     
    “We’ll grow up with this team, with my ideas. We must work more in the details. I’ve watched many games from Barnsley. The team is okay, but the individual mistakes are down to the youth. “I worked for the second team from RB Salzburg and I know what I must do to make sure mistakes get reduced. I see the big heart in this team and I’m convinced that we change this in the results.”
  • 13:54pm
    The Austrian’s signing was confirmed by the club on Wednesday, 44 days after previous head coach Daniel Stendel left the role. Struber has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal taking him up to 2022, with an option for a further year. The job is Struber’s first outside his native Austria, where he had been a part of Red Bull Salzburg’s youth coaching set-up after previously playing for them as a midfielder.
  • 13:59pm
     
    “I come from a very good team in Austria, we’ve had big success in the last month,” said Struber. “We had a very good situation in the Europa League with top results against Borussia Monchengladbach and AS Roma. I like to think out of my box, and go out of my comfort zone. I like new challenges. My dream is always to work in England. This is the mother of football. The stadia in England are special, the atmosphere is amazing. When you get the chance to work here, you must go.”
  • 14:03pm
     
    Struber has named his first starting 11. Radlinger; B Williams, Halme, Diaby, Andersen, Brown; Mowatt, Sibbick, Bahre; Schmidt, Woodrow.
  • 14:04pm
     
    Subs: Collins, Dougall, McGeehan, Chaplin, Cavare, Thomas, Thiam.
  • 14:06pm
     
    Rovers: Walton; Bennett, Adarabioyo, Lenihan, Bell; Travis, Holtby; Rothwell, Dack, Armstrong; Gallagher.
  • 14:06pm
     
    Subs: Leutweiler, Johnson, Evans, Buckley, Downing, Brereton, Graham.
  • 14:09pm
     
    Struber appears to be keeping a consistent shape to the Reds, playing three central defenders as caretaker Adam Murray did in his five games in charge. However, there have been significant changes in personnel, with Mads Andersen returning to the side and Sibbick moving into the central midfield role he impressed in through the opening games of the season. Captain Mike Bahre also returns to the starting lineup. His last appearance was in the 5-1 defeat to Preston on October 5.
  • 14:10pm
     
    The head coach, appointed on Wednesday, is thought to favour a high-pressing style and quick play in the final third. Austrian journalist Florian Grassler has covered Struber’s Wolfsberger side for media outlet Regionalmedien Austria. He said: “For Struber, the mentality of his players is important. He uses the word ‘mentality-monster’. “Struber wants to put the other team under pressure. His play is hard-running, and in possession a fast game in the deep is important for him. He is considered very meticulous.”
  • 14:15pm
     
    This could favour Barnsley well against 18th-placed Blackburn Rovers, who have conceded 16 in nine games. However, Rovers have only failed to score in one of those games, against Birmingham City on October 22, and that could prove taxing for Barnsley’s defence which has shipped 22 goals across the period.
  • 14:17pm
     
    Boss Tony Mowbray had his sights set on a top six finish this season, having led Rovers to promotion back to the Championship in his first full season in 2017/18 after they were relegated the year prior and finished 15th last season. Mowbray this week celebrated 1,000 days in charge – the first Rovers boss to do so since Mark Hughes – making him the 16th-longest serving manager in the Football League.
  • 14:19pm
    In the Championship, he’s second only to Bristol City’s Lee Johnson, who was head coach with the Reds for just short of a year after signing in February 2015.
  • 14:20pm
     
    Barnsley have won the sides’ previous two meetings 2-0, but including cup ties Rovers have won five of their last ten, with three draws, including a 5-2 against the ten-man Reds at Ewood Park in August 2013. Mowbray had hoped Irish centre-back Darragh Lenihan would return to his side for today's game after five games out through injury, giving them some much-needed defensive surety - he starts. His countryman Derrick Williams misses out having picked up an injury against New Zealand.
  • 14:23pm
    Forward Adam Armstrong has scored three in 16 league appearances this season. He scored six times on loan for the Reds in 2016/17, including a memorable debut goal against Preston North End.
  • 14:25pm
     
    Rovers also have former Barnsley loanee Harry Chapman, but the winger hasn’t started a game since he signed permanently for them in January having impressed on loan from Middlesbrough last season. An injury cut short that spell, and he’s only featured once this season as a substitute against Oldham in the Carabao Cup. Chapman has spent more time in the under 23s for Rovers and may be loaned out in January, but Mowbray believes the 22-year-old has the ability to break into the first team. Chapman played 14 games on loan for Barnsley in 2016, scoring once.
  • 14:26pm
    Struber replaces caretaker Adam Murray, who has overseen three draws against Swansea City, West Brom and Bristol City, and two defeats to Huddersfield and Stoke City, since taking temporary charge after the club separated from German head coach Daniel Stendel on October 8.
  • 14:28pm
     
    Despite an uplift in performances and mentality, Murray could not stop the side dropping to the bottom of the Championship, with his five-game spell – in which they conceded 11 times – ending in a 4-2 loss at home to Stoke City.
  • 14:30pm
    That game was Reds forward Cauley Woodrow's 50th appearance in all competitions for the side. The 24-year-old, who signed on loan from Fulham last season before making the deal permanent in the summer, has netted 25 times – a record of a goal every other game – and is this season's current top scorer with six in 13 league appearances.
  • 14:34pm
     
    Struber went straight into taking training on Wednesday as he met the players for the first time, and said he’s happy with the squad at his disposal.
  • 14:35pm
     
    He said as he spoke to the press for the first time Thursday afternoon that he wanted to ‘learn the human behind the player’. “Yesterday (Wednesday) we had a good training session, and today as well,” said the 42-year-old.
  • 14:37pm
     
    “I spoke yesterday with the players, it’s a very important thing now and in the next days I will speak with every player to find out their personality and their aims. I will learn the human behind the player, I think this is the most important thing.”
  • 14:37pm
     
    Struber indicated his first training session was a ‘theoretic’ session based on the side’s shape and movement, with players watching videos. He is known in his native Austria for his meticulousness, but said he would find a balance between this and making the most of the players’ ‘big hearts’.
  • 14:39pm
     
    “The attitude is a big branding for the team,” he said. “We need a good balance with this big heart and a good mind. This is the big challenge now, we need a little time to bring the philosophy into their heads. I hope that we do it with the right balance and that the players go with us step-by-step and i hope on saturday we see it a little bit in the end result. I’m very happy with the squad.”
  • 14:45pm
     
    The Reds are currently without a win since the opening day of the season when they beat Fulham 1-0 at Oakwell – their longest winless streak, at 15 matches, since 1959. They have conceded more goals than any other team in the league at 33, and their 16 goals put them in the joint-third lowest scoring sides.
  • 14:47pm
     
    Barnsley’s upcoming run of seven games before Christmas sees them face 16th-placed Blackburn Rovers today, then 22nd-placed Middlesbrough, 11th-placed Hull City, 14th-placed Cardiff City, 19th-placed Reading, ninth-placed QPR and 17th-placed Millwall.
  • 14:50pm
     
    Daniel Stendel led Barnsley, who had been relegated the previous season, straight back to the Championship in his first season in English football, but left the club following a 5-1 away defeat to Preston North End which ended a run of ten games without a win. There was some indication Stendel was dissatisfied at the board’s adherence to a strict recruitment policy that has seen them focus on youth, with few players in the side having substantial Championship experience.
  • 14:52pm
     
    But Struber, who admitted he himself needs some experience in the league, said this is not one of his concerns. “It’s not the topic now, the topic now is we play on Saturday and we bring a top performance in this game,” he said. “This my focus now, and this is the focus of the team.Experience is a big advantage in the Championship, and in professional football. We’ll speak about new players in the next transfer window in January.”
  • 14:57pm
     
    A few minutes until kick-off here at Ewood Park as the stadium slowly fills up.
  • 14:59pm
     
    The teams are now making their way onto the pitch, the Reds led by Alex Mowatt who takes the armband for Gerhard Struber's first game in charge.
  • 15:03pm
     
    1 Kick-off taken by the Reds. Aapo Halme is in centre midfield in more of a 4-3-3, with Toby Sibbick playing right-back.
  • 15:05pm
     
    3 A few timid back-and-forth exchanges in the opening minutes, but no chances so far.
  • 15:08pm
     
    4 A penalty shout for the visitors as Joe Rothwell collects the ball from a quick free kick on the right and dribbles at the Reds defence. There's some claims as Lewis Holtby goes down under Aapo Halme's challenge but nothing doing.
  • 15:12pm
     
    9 A Reds free kick as Adam Armstrong is called offside. Sami Radlinger pings it over to Jacob Brown on the right, but it's well defended by Rovers.
  • 15:14pm
     
    11 Barnsley look pretty solid so far in their new-look formation, with central striker Cauley Woodrow dropping deep to form the point of a midfield diamond and Jacob Brown and Patrick Schmidt working the flanks.
  • 15:16pm
     
    13 Some complaints from the visiting fans as Amari'i Bell is taken down on the halfway line by Jacob Brown and the ref blows his whistle. It's hit by Tosin Adarabioyo up to Adam Armstrong, but he can't control it and knocks it out for a throw.
  • 15:17pm
     
    14 Adam Armstrong puts the ball into the bottom corner with a decent finish from long range, but the ref had already blown for offside.
  • 15:18pm
     
    15 Reds throw from deep is quickly taken by Ben Williams, who has looked bright at left-back, but he can't control the return pass from Alex Mowatt and it's out for a home throw-in.
  • 15:20pm
     
    16 Some good footwork by Joe Rothwell on the edge of the box as he dances through several challenges, but his outside-of-the-foot shot is blocked. The ball is cleared and Christian Walton is forced to head it out as he comes well out of his area.
  • 15:21pm
     
    18 A long-range effort from Cauley Woodrow after Mike Bahre keeps hold of the ball well and lays it off to Toby Sibbick who finds Woodrow with his pass. The forward advanced down the right but was nowhere near close enough to challenge Christian Walton as he struck a low effort.
  • 15:22pm
     
    20 Cauley Woodrow denied by an excellent stop from Christian Walton as he fired low and hard from inside the box.
  • 15:23pm
     
    20 Woodrow was found well by Jacob Brown who had found some space in the box.
  • 15:24pm
     
    YELLOW CARD
    21 Jacob Brown booked for a foul on Darragh Lenihan as the defender cleared the ball.
  • 15:27pm
     
    GOAL!
    24 Bradley Dack finishes as Adam Armstrong capitalises on a defensive error and plays in the midfielder for an easy finish.
  • 15:29pm
     
    26 A sucker punch for Barnsley but a bad mistake by Mads Andersen, who played the ball lazily out of defence and allowed Adam Armstrong to travel into the box on the end of Lewis Travis' pass. Barnsley had looked decent up to that point.
  • 15:31pm
     
    28 The Reds try for an immediate reaction, with Toby Sibbick winning a throw in on the right with some good footwork. Alex Mowatt lofts it into the box but Jacob Brown can't get on the end of it.
  • 15:35pm
     
    32 A good move by the home side sees Sam Gallagher fire a powerful effort wide of the far post from the right of goal, just on the edge of the box. He was teed up by Bradley Dack from an Elliott Bennett cross.
  • 15:37pm
     
    34 Cauley Woodrow turns defender as Sam Gallagher breaks down the right and takes on Mads Andersen with a few stepovers. The forward was back to head the ball away from danger. Andersen looks a little rattled after the mistake.
  • 15:41pm
     
    37 Bradley Dack finds Adam Armstrong with a good cross-field ball and the forward heads it back for Joe Rothwell, but Mads Andersen does well with a no-nonsense clearance. But the home side collect and advance again. They've been the better side for the past 15 minutes as Barnsley look to steady the ship.
  • 15:42pm
     
    39 The Reds break after Adam Armstrong misses a pass and Bambo Diaby plays it infield to Cauley Woodrow. He storms up the pitch but, trying to find Patrick Schmidt ahead of him, overhits his through ball and it's collected by Christian Walton.
  • 15:45pm
     
    41 Some better passing and movement from Barnsley but it breaks down with Mike Bahre, who shouldn't be losing the ball so easily on the edge of the box. Rovers get a free kick just inside their own half, which Darragh Lenihan punts to Sami Radlinger.
  • 15:47pm
     
    43 Ben Williams with an important block from a low ball into the box, which could've seen Sam Gallagher bag his side a second from Bradley Dack's cross. Aapo Halme then goes down in what appears to be a clash of heads, and the Fin receives treatment on the pitch.
  • 15:47pm
     
    ADDED TIME
    3 minutes added time
  • 15:48pm
     
    45+1 The game restarts as Aapo Halme walks onto the sidelines.
  • 15:50pm
     
    45+1 Aapo Halme comes back on and pressures Bradley Dack into giving up the ball, but Cauley Woodrow can't find Patrick Schmidt. The side's passing in the final third has been pretty poor, despite some good movement.
  • 15:51pm
     
    HALF-TIME: Blackburn Rovers 1, Barnsley 0. A bright start from the visitors gave way to a poor end to the half.
  • 16:07pm
     
    45 We're back underway for the second half, the Reds immediately recovering possession and then winning a free kick.
  • 16:07pm
     
    SUB OFF
    Patrick Schmidt and Aapo Halme off at the break.
  • 16:08pm
     
    SUB ON
    Conor Chaplin and Kenny Dougall replace them like-for-like.
  • 16:09pm
     
    46 Cauley Woodrow with an off-balance half volley from the edge of the box can't find the net.
  • 16:11pm
     
    GOAL!
    48 Jacob Brown finds Conor Chaplin, who scores with a low left-footed drive
  • 16:13pm
     
    50 Sami Radlinger nearly beaten from a way out by Joe Rothwell, who had spotted the 'keeper off his line and powered it towards goal. Radlinger did well to produce a one-handed save as he retreated towards his goal.
  • 16:16pm
     
    53 The Reds playing some much more assured football, and keeping possession much better than in the second half.
  • 16:16pm
     
    54 Jacob Brown finds the side netting with his left foot from a tight angle after collecting Toby Sibbick's cross from the right.
  • 16:19pm
     
    56 Sam Gallagher with a confident run from the right into the channel, skipping a couple of challenges, before going down. But the ref gives the free kick the other way as he deems the forward to have dived.
  • 16:23pm
     
    60 A long range effort from Alex Mowatt ends a flowing Barnsley move, but it's saved by Christian Walton low on his left. Mowatt had combined well with Mike Bahre and Cauley Woodrow before cutting inside onto his left.
  • 16:24pm
     
    62 Jacob Brown gets two good chances to play the ball into the box. His first was made by a superb flick over Amari'i Bell but was cleared. His second then flashed across goal after he was played down the right by Conor Chaplin.
  • 16:25pm
     
    SUB OFF
    Lewis Holtby and Sam Gallagher make way for the home side.
  • 16:26pm
     
    SUB ON
    They're replaced by Stewart Downing and Danny Graham.
  • 16:27pm
     
    64 Inches wide by Alex Mowatt! He received the ball from Cauley Woodrow on the right and played a one-two with Conor Chaplin, before releasing a curling left-footed attempt from the edge of the box.
  • 16:30pm
     
    67 A good spell of possession from Barnsley, Mike Bahre, Alex Mowatt and Conor Chaplin all involved on the left. Ben Williams loops the ball into the box, but it's collected by Christian Walton.
  • 16:31pm
     
    GOAL!
    69 Stuart Downing with a low strike from the edge of the box.
  • 16:33pm
     
    71 Joe Rothwell had cut inside from the left and his effort was blocked, coming out to Downing who could net with his right foot. Annoying for the Reds, who have been the better team this half.
  • 16:37pm
     
    75 Ben Williams clears off the line after Danny Graham breaks the offside trap and cuts inside, rolling the ball towards goal. Another important bit of defending from the young left-back.
  • 16:40pm
     
    77 Conor Chaplin turns inside and out and powers a low effort towards goal, forcing Christian Walton to palm it out for a corner.
  • 16:40pm
     
    SUB OFF
    78 Joe Rothwell.
  • 16:40pm
     
    SUB ON
    78 John Buckley.
  • 16:44pm
     
    GOAL!
    Cauley Woodrow squeezes the ball home from close range.
  • 16:46pm
     
    84 Cauley Woodrow denied by a fantastic piece of goalkeeping from Christian Walton, who tips his long-range effort over the bar for a corner.
  • 16:48pm
     
    GOAL!
    86 Bradley Dack gets two chances to put it in from the back post as a cross is headed across goal by Danny Graham.
  • 16:52pm
     
    ADDED TIME
    4 minutes added time
  • 16:55pm
     
    90+3 Kenny Dougall with a deflected effort from the edge of the box, wins a corner for the Reds.
  • 16:56pm
     
    FULL-TIME: Blackburn Rovers 3, Barnsley 2. A disappointing result and the Reds are now 16 league games without a win.