JOHN McAtee was thrilled to end an 11-game scoreless run in midweek but believes he should have reached double figures for goals much quicker this season.

The 24-year-old striker, who is on loan from Premier League Luton Town for the season, opened the scoring in Barnsley’s 2-2 draw with promotion rivals Bolton Wanderers at Oakwell on Tuesday. It was his first goal since Boxing Day when he netted a brace at Port Vale at the end of a run of seven goals in as many games.

McAtee told the Chronicle: “It’s been a few games since I scored.

“So it was nice to hit the net again.

“Especially in front of the home fans who were brilliant.

“I enjoyed it but it would have been much better if we won.”

McAtee has now scored seven league goals this season plus three in cup games. He has been the regular partner up front of top-scorer Devante Cole for most of the season but has been replaced in some of the recent games by Sam Cosgrove.

“I should have had a lot more but it’s nice to hit double figures for the season. Hopefully I can build on that because we have good competition up front. You have seen it in recent weeks. Cozzy has come in a few times. D (Cole) is one of the top-scorers in the league. It’s healthy and everyone is together.”

Head coach Neill Collins had said McAtee would miss the midweek match with the back problem that ruled him out of the weekend win at Wycombe Wanderers.

“It was a strange one. I just felt it in training. It was a muscle spasm.

“It was about resting up and getting ready for Bolton.

“I was happy to be back.”

McAtee and Donovan Pines put the hosts 2-0 up on Tuesday but Bolton pulled one back then levelled in the 98th minute with a rebound from a penalty saved by the inspired Liam Roberts.

“I believe in the lads. I think we can beat anyone. When Robbo made the saves you think it’s going to be our night. Everyone defended brilliantly. Robbo was outstanding and he looked deflated afterwards.

“The lads were a bit down, especially after being 2-0 up, we felt we were in control. The way the game ended deflated the lads a bit.

“But the message was we haven’t been beaten even though it felt like a loss.

“It’s very disappointing but we have to keep spirits high and put it right on Saturday.”