Barnsley's slender survival chances suffered another heavy blow as they went down 1-0 at home to Cardiff City on Wednesday – a fifth straight defeat.

The visitors, who were fifth bottom and had not kept a clean sheet for 27 games, offered little in a game of few chances but netted midway through the second half as the Reds faded after a promising first half.

Substitute Aaron Leya Iseka had a goal ruled out in the 95th minute for offside, which looked to be the wrong decision.

Barnsley remain bottom and eight points from safety while they are winless in 12 league games, including Poya Asbaghi's first ten as head coach.

Asbaghi – who was back after isolating due to Covid-19 – made four changes from the team that lost 1-0 at home to Bournemouth on Saturday.

New signing Domingos Quina started with fellow deadline day arrival Amine Bassi on the bench after his visa cleared quicker than expected. Liam Kitching and Claudio Gomes returned from injury into the 11, and Josh Benson also started.

Dropping to the bench were Jasper Moon, Romal Palmer and Aaron Leya Iseka while Matty Wolfe was out of the squad a minor injury. Carlton Morris was back on the bench after his bout of Covid-19.

The Reds played a 3-5-1-1 with Quina in central midfield along with Benson and Gomes, while Callum Styles was just behind lone striker Devante Cole.

Benson had the first chance in the third minute when the ball dropped to him 15 yards out but his low volley lacked power and was easily saved.

Cardiff then had a decent spell with two long throws by Will Vaulks being half cleared to Tommy Doyle who blazed two shots over from just outside the box.

Barnsley got back on top, playing some attractive football and winning a series of set pieces but struggling to carve out chances.

Styles won the ball off a defender and was clearly pulled back but the referee appeared to play advantage as Cole shot wide of the bottom left corner from about 25 yards out.

Kitching then headed wide from a right-wing Styles corner in the 45th minute.

Barnsley had been the better side in the first half but, as so often this season, lacked the ability to create and take chances in the final third.

The second half was much quieter, with no chances until the visitors took the lead in the 71st minute. A long clearance was played upfield to substitute Uche Ikpeazu who beat Michal Helik in the air then powered past Mads Andersen before his scuffed shot from the right of the box trickled past the static Brad Collins and into the bottom left corner. It was Cardiff's first shot on target.

Barnsley brought on debutant Bassi and Iseka in response to the goal, having earlier introduced Morris.

Gomes blazed over from long-range, as Kitching had done earlier at 0-0, then they began to look threatening in injury-time.

Iseka headed wide from a Bassi free-kick in the 93rd minute after rising above his marker at the the back post. Iseka then had the ball in the back of the net after Styles' shot was deflected to him and he fired home.

Barnsley (3-5-1-1): Collins; Helik, Andersen, Kitching (Bassi 78mins); J Williams, Benson (Iseka 78), Gomes, Quina (Morris 64), Vita; Styles; Cole.

Unused: Walton, Moon, Palmer, Hondermarck.

Yellow cards: Andersen.

Cardiff (3-5-2): Smithies; Ng, Morrison (Flint 11mins), McGuinness; Drameh, Vaulks, Wintle, Doyle, Doughty (Ikpeazu 64); Hugill, Watters (Davies 55).

Unused: Phillips, Bagan, Collins, Pack.

Yellow cards: McGuinnes, Doyle, Flint.

Goals: Ikpeazu 71.


  • Looks like a back five. Gomes, Benson, Quina in the middle, Styles behind Cole.
  • 7:49pm

    3 The hosts have the firs shot as the ball drops for Josh Benson 15 yards out and his volley lacks power and is easily helped by the goalkeeper
  • 7:52pm

    Barnsley look lively tonight. They are the first to most loose balls and playing with intensity
  • 7:55pm

    Cardiff fans singing about the empty seats at Oakwell. There are much bigger gaps than usual. Looks as though a fair few season ticket holders haven't turned up
  • 7:56pm

    A break in play due to a Cardiff injury. Both teams having drinks
  • 7:57pm

    Cardiff defender Sean Morrison limps off injured. Aden Flint comes on
  • 7:59pm

    13 Will Vaulks' long throw from the right is half-cleared then Tommy Boyle blazes well wide from 20 yards out
  • 8:00pm

    The game has turned into an even and pretty quiet contest after Barnsley's bright start
  • 8:03pm

    18 Cardiff having a decent spell here. They break through Max Watters who shoots from 25 yards but Kitching blocks in the box
  • 8:05pm

    20 Vaulks long throw from the left. Again it's only half cleared and again Doyle has a chance, this time closer in and with more time but he blazes over the bar from the edge of the box
  • 8:07pm

    Cardiff have had most of the ball for the last ten minutes, often in the Reds half
  • 8:09pm

    Bad moment for debutant Quina who is passed the ball on the left wing but takes his eye off it and rolls under his foot and out for a throw
  • 8:11pm

    26 Quina plays a good ball to the right of the box where Williams volleys across goal. It wasn't going in but the goalkeeper touches it out for a corner. Just needed someone there to tap in
  • 8:12pm

    26 Benson's corner cleared
  • 8:13pm

    The fans are appreciating what they are seeing, there are choruses of 'go on Barnsley' and 'come on you Reds' as the hosts win another corner through Devante Cole
  • 8:13pm

    28 Benson corner from the left is easily caught by the goalkeeper
  • 8:15pm

    This is turning into another good spell for the hosts after they started the better then had a 10-15 minute period of defending. Can they make the pressure count with a goal?
  • 8:16pm

    Josh Benson is catching the eye so far, with his movement to get into space in the Cardiff half and his passing
  • 8:16pm

    31 Barnsley corner on the right. Styles takes. It's headed out. The Reds' set pieces haven't hit their mark yet against the division's set piece specialists
  • 8:20pm

    34 Devante Cole shoots wide from about 25 yards out after Styles was clearly pulled back but the referee played advantage
  • 8:23pm

    38 Styles free-kick on the left. is caught by Alex Smithes
  • 8:24pm

    Mark McGuinness booked for a foul on Callum Styles, who has been hacked down several times tonight
  • 8:28pm

    A couple of minutes until the break now. Barnsley have been on top for the last 15 minutes or so but haven't carve out any big chances.
  • 8:31pm

    45 Benson's good ball into the box to Styles is flicked behind by a defender's head
  • 8:31pm

    45 Chance for the hosts! Styles corner on the right is headed wide by Kitching. Not the easiest opportunity but he will be disappointed not to hit the target
  • 8:33pm

    Three added minutes
  • 8:34pm

    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 0, Cardiff 0. The Reds have been the better side overall but it's been a game of few chances so far
  • 8:50pm

  • 8:55pm

    Barnsley having plenty of the ball early in the second half. A free-kick was just cleared
  • 8:57pm

    52 Benson takes a free-kick on the right. The referee sees a foul by a Barnsley player and it's cleared anyway
  • 8:57pm

    The home crowd are getting noisier. They are definitely behind their team tonight who are putting in a good effort
  • 9:00pm

    Cardiff are bringing on Isaak Davies for Max Watters
  • 9:04pm

    Mads Andersen the first home player in the book after sliding in on the wing and taking out a Cardiff player as they looked to break
  • 9:06pm

    62 Vaulks; long throw leads to a scramble in the box. Quina eventually slides in on Vaulks and wins the ball then it is cleared
  • 9:07pm

    Carlton Morris comes on for Domingos Quina who has had a promising debut
  • 9:08pm

    Alfie Doughty has to come off for Cardiff after that earlier Andersen tackle. Uche Ikpeazu replaces him
  • 9:11pm

    Tommy Doyle booked for a foul on Vita
  • 9:13pm

    69 Vita wins the ball and charges up the left wing before being tackled. He's played pretty well again tonight after finally being given a chance
  • 9:14pm

    70 Cardiff goalkeeper Alex Smithes receives a back passes and miscontrols it behind for a corner. Oh dear
  • 9:15pm

    70 Styles' corner is cleared, Gomes heads back in, it is punched out and Kitching fires over from 25 yards with a volley
  • 9:16pm

    Uche Ikpeazu bulldozers past both Helik and Andersen before his scuffed shot beats Collins
  • 9:18pm

    Barnsley are on the attack, Cardiff smash a clearance upfield, Ikpeazu wins a header against Helik then powers past Andersen. His shot trickles past the static Collins. That trio of Barnsley players are better than that.
  • 9:21pm

    That is obviously a hammer blow for the Reds. They are bringing on Iseka and debutant Bassi
  • 9:21pm

    Benson and Kitching off
  • 9:25pm

    81 Williams' cross from the left, Bassi tries an acrobatic flick to Vita while spinning but it is cut out
  • 9:26pm

    Into the final ten minutes now. It feels crucial for this season. A defeat tonight would be very hard to recover from
  • 9:28pm

    84 Callum Styles overhits a cross into the box. Grumbles in the crowd
  • 9:30pm

    86 Gomes blazes well over from outside the box. That and Kitching's similar effort at 0-0 are all Barnsley have mustered in the second half
  • 9:33pm

    88 Will Waulks smashes a volley well wide from 25 yards
  • 9:35pm

    A little bit of pushing and shoving in Barnsley's left back area, the referee calms it down
  • 9:35pm

    Five added minutes.
  • 9:37pm

    Aden Flint booked for kicking the ball away after conceding a free-kick on the left
  • 9:38pm

    90+4 Bassi free-kick on the left, Iseka rises above his marker but heads wide. That could be that
  • 9:40pm

    Iseka puts the ball in the net in the 95th minute but it's ruled out for offside. 0
  • 9:42pm

    FULL-TIME: Barnsley 0, Cardiff 1. The visitors get the winner midway through the second half. Barnsley offered very little until injury time when Iseka had a leveller controversially ruled out for offside