Barnsley continued their poor form with a 2-1 loss at Stevenage on Tuesday night, missing a chance to cement themselves in League One’s top six.

Adam Phillips put the visitors ahead but the hosts – who were winless in eight – levelled just before half-time then won it early in the second half.

Barnsley have taken eight points from eight games and are still fifth, eight points off the top two and six clear in the top six.

The Reds were poor throughout, lacking quality and cohesion, and Stevenage missed a host of chances.

Sam Cosgrove came into the 11 for Devante Cole in the only change from Saturday’s loss at Charlton.

The hosts should have taken the lead in the second minute when a left-wing cross was met three yards out by Aaron Pressley who headed straight at Liam Roberts.

Jamie Reid then shot just wide of the bottom right corner after meeting Kane Smith’s low right-wing cross.

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Pressley missed another fine chance on 19 minutes when he turned wide five yards out from Reid’s impressive low cross.

Another right-wing cross, this time by Louis Thompson in the 21st minute, was headed towards goal by Elliot List but Roberts dived to his right to save.

But it was Barnsley who took the lead with their first chance on 30 minutes. A long kick from goalkeeper Russell put Phillips through on goal and he lobbed the goalkeeper from just inside the box. Stevenage appealed for offside but the goal stood.

Jon Russell could have doubled the lead minutes later when he was played through on the goal right of the box by Cosgrove but goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray came out to block well.

Roberts again found Phillips with a long pass and he tried to square to McAtee but it was intercepted.

Instead it was the hosts who levelled in first half injury-time. After a corner was cleared, Reid received a pass from Thompson, cut past Phillips who dived in then found the bottom corner from ten yards out.

The hosts took the lead early in the second half through Dan Butler’s powerful 25-yard free-kick.

Reid then ran through the Reds defence before his 20-yard shot was turned out of the bottom left corner by Roberts. The goalkeeper also made a good close-range save to deny Reid on the right of the six-yard box after a cross was headed down to him.

Pressley missed another chance when he headed a left-wing cross at the back post but Roberts kept it out of his bottom left corner. He then saw another header from a corner caught by the goalkeeper.

Phillips’ low cross from the right of the box was too hard for substitute Cole.

Cole looked to be denied a clear penalty on 82 minutes when he was clean through and wrestled down by Carl Piergianni but no penalty was given.

Substitute Fabio Jalo then shot just wide of the bottom right corner from 12 yards out after a Phillips pass.

Reid hit the inside of the left post from the edge of the box after McAtee lost the ball.

Barnsley (3-5-2): Roberts; de Gevigney, McCart, Earl; Williams (Cotter 90+5mins), Connell, Phillips, Russell (Kane 65mins) Cadden (Jalo 79); Cosgrove, McAtee (Cole 65).

Unused: Killip, Cotter, O’Keeffe, James.

Yellow card: de Gevigney, McCart.

Goals: Phillips 30.

Stevenage (3-5-2): MacGillivray; , Vancooten, Piergianni, Sweeney (B Thompson 79mins); Smith, Burns, L Thompson, Butler; Reid (Roberts 90+3), Pressley (Hemmings 90+6), List (Guiness-Walker 90+3).

Unused: Mitchell, N Thompson, Freeman.

Yellow cards: List, L Thompson.

Goals: Reid 45+2, Butler 52.

Attendance: 4,727 (769 away fans).

Referee: Declan Bourne.

AS IT HAPPENED
  • 6:40pm
    Good evening and welcome to the Chronicle’s live text coverage of Barnsley’s game at Stevenage from 7.45pm.
  • 6:45pm
    Barnsley (3-5-2): Roberts; de Gevigney, McCart, Earl; Williams, Connell, Phillips, Russell, Cadden; Cosgrove, McAtee. Subs: Killip, Kane, Jalo, Cotter, O’Keeffe, James, Cole.
  • 6:45pm
    Sam Cosgrove comes into the 11 for Devante Cole.
  • 6:49pm
    Stevenage: MacGillivray; Smith, Vancooten, Piergianni, Sweeney, Butler, Burns, L Thompson, Pressley, Reid, List. Subs: Mitchell, N Thompson, Freeman, Roberts, Guiness-Walker, B Thompson, Hemmings.
  • 6:53pm
    The Reds are fifth in League One, eight points off the top two and six clear in the top six.
  • 6:56pm
    They lost 2-1 at Charlton on Saturday, ending a club record 11-game unbeaten away run.
  • 7:01pm
    They need six more points from their last five games to guarantee a place in the play-offs.
  • 7:08pm
    Stevenage are ninth, six points and three places outside the top six with four games left.
  • 7:08pm
    They looked set to compete for a second successive promotion before a winless run of eight games all but ended their chances.
  • 7:09pm
    They have only won two of their last 14 games, not scoring in three.
  • 7:16pm
    They were beaten 1-0 at Exeter City on Saturday.
  • 7:25pm
    It will be Barnsley’s first ever match at Stevenage.
  • 7:26pm
    They and more than 1,000 fans travelled down in January but it was called off at 1.15pm with the referee claiming part of the pitch was unplayable due to frozen ground which Collins disputed.
  • 7:26pm
    The two teams had met for the first time ever at Oakwell on December 23.
  • 7:32pm
    The visitors took a fourth-minute lead through Luther Wildin-James and were on top for half an hour but Barnsley won it through John McAtee’s stunning lob and Herbie Kane’s deflected winner.
  • 7:34pm
    Stevenage manager Steve Evans has lost all three meetings with Barnsley, having also been beaten twice as Peterborough boss in 2018/19.
  • 7:37pm
    Barnsley head coach Neill Collins said: “We’re always motivated but there will be extra motivation and we do want to reward our fans after what happened last time. “We’re going into a difficult environment against a really good side. They ask you different questions. “Our players have done a great job of making these long journeys worthwhile for the fans. “We will look to do the same at Stevenage after what happened the previous time.
  • 7:39pm
    Collins added: “Steve has done a fantastic job. We will have to be at our very best. But following a defeat it’s a game to look forward to. They play direct, they have real good attacking players, (Jamie) Reid has scored a lot of goals. “We will need to be aware of that but we will look to cause them some problems as well.”
  • 7:42pm
    Midfielder Adam Phillips said: “They are a good team. They are a lot more physical than Charlton. “We will have to go there with a gameplan. “It was a tough game at home and we’re expecting another one. We’ve been good away this season and hopefully we can get another away win. “They are a good team and very organised. “They are a bit different to other teams and it works for them.”
  • 7:46pm
    GAME UNDERWAY
  • 7:48pm
    2 Big chance for the hosts after 90 seconds. A cross from the left is left. by goalkeeper and. defender and. Aaron Pressley heads from about three yards out straight at Roberts
  • 7:50pm
    5 Nicky Cadden wins a corner on the left
  • 7:50pm
    Poor Cadden corner over everyone
  • 7:52pm
    Cadden beats his man on left then Connell shoots right footed but it hits McAtee in box
  • 7:52pm
    Barnsley playing decent football now
  • 7:54pm
    8 Stevenage win a corner o n the right
  • 7:54pm
    9 Butler's corner o n the right. Headed out by McCart
  • 7:55pm
    Corner on left headed onto a defender and whacked out by Cosgrove
  • 7:56pm
    10 Long throw on left leads to a throw headed out by Cadden then Phillips blocks shot
  • 7:57pm
    Mael hooks a long pass into the stands. Barnsley have lost their rhythm a bit.
  • 7:58pm
    YELLOW CARD
    Jordan Williams booked for a foul on touchline about 40 yards from Reds corner
  • 7:58pm
    Free-kicked head out by Phillips but flag up anyway
  • 8:00pm
    De Gevigney long throw on left. Headed out, Connell crosses and headed behind for corner on right
  • 8:01pm
    15 Right wing Cadden corner. Low, deflected towards goal but cleared.
  • 8:03pm
    Chance for. the hosts. After a throw is cleared Kane Smith's low cross. from the right is met by Jamie Reid whose low effort about ten yards out is just wide of the near corner
  • 8:05pm
    19 Another chance for Stevenage. Reid runs. down the right and crosses low. for Pressley who touches it about five yards. out but it. bobbles just wide of the bottom left corner, Should score
  • 8:05pm
    Stevenage on top and having joy down right
  • 8:08pm
    22. Now Louis Thompson's cross from the right is headed towards goal by Elliot List and Roberts dives to his. right to save
  • 8:11pm
    A tough first quarter of the game for Barnsley. They haven't got going and Stevenage have had four decent chances
  • 8:13pm
    A rare attack from Barnsley. Phillips looks to have. won a corner on the right after a good McAtee pass but goal kick given
  • 8:14pm
    Collins shouting furiously at McCart on touchline. Home fans cheer ironically
  • 8:15pm
    GOAL!
    Adam Philips opens the scoring with a clever lob over the goalkeeper
  • 8:17pm
    Liam Roberts with the assist. His long pass puts Phillips in clear, everyone seems to expect offside but he chips it over the goalkeeper and in for his ninth of the season. Stevenage not happy.
  • 8:18pm
    Completely against the run of play after Stevenage missed four good chances but Barnsley will get a huge lift from that. Away end buzzing now
  • 8:20pm
    Chance for 2-0. Cosgrove. plays Russell in on the right of the box. but the goalkeeper comes out to make a good save
  • 8:22pm
    A Stevenage player gets. to his feet after receiving treatment
  • 8:24pm
    Play back underway after Louis Thompson gets back in action
  • 8:26pm
    Cadden corner headed out
  • 8:26pm
    Barnsley win corner on left
  • 8:27pm
    41 Cadden corner on left. Over everyone again
  • 8:29pm
    Connell pass to Phillips is called offside and the home crowd cheer ironically after goal was allowed.
  • 8:29pm
    McAtee wins a free-kick on left about 40 yards out
  • 8:31pm
    Free-kick cleared
  • 8:31pm
    Five added minutes
  • 8:31pm
    Cross from right put behind by McCart for corner
  • 8:32pm
    45+1 Corner. headed out
  • 8:33pm
    GOAL!
    Jamie Reid levels in first half injury-time
  • 8:36pm
    He cuts in from the left after a corner is cleared and fires into the bottom left corner from about 15 yards through a crowd
  • 8:37pm
    HALF-TIME: Stevenage 1, Barnsley 1
  • 8:52pm
    SECOND HALF UNDERWAY
  • 8:55pm
    A pause here due to a Stevenage injury
  • 8:56pm
    Big chance for Reds. Phillips finds Williams who crosses from right. but Cosgrove. cannot turn in a few. yards out
  • 8:57pm
    Stevenage. shoot wide from edge of box but the referee brings it back for a free-kick to them 25 yards out
  • 8:59pm
    GOAL!
    A 25-yard free-kick goes straight in from Dan Butler
  • 9:00pm
    Almost 3-1. Reid runs. through the. Reds defence and shoots. from 20. yards but Roberts turns it wide of bottom left corner
  • 9:00pm
    Barnsley really struggling now
  • 9:01pm
    Reid denied by Roberts again from close range. after a cross is headed down to him on right of. box
  • 9:04pm
    Barnsley still on the ropes. A couple of desperate clearances in their box.
  • 9:06pm
    Another chance for the. hosts. Pressley could have had a hat-trick. He meets a right-wing cross at back post and nods towards bottom left corner but Roberts. keeps it out
  • 9:08pm
    Stevenage win a corner on the left after a good Mael header
  • 9:08pm
    Corner headed out to Thompson who shoots wide of bottom left corner from just outside box.
  • 9:09pm
    Cole and Kane coming on
  • 9:10pm
    Decent. attack by the Reds, Cosgrove goes in for a header and the goalkeeper punches. A free-kick is given against Cosgrove
  • 9:11pm
    Another Stevenage chance. A shot from the right is deflected wide of the bottom left corner
  • 9:12pm
    Cosgrove and Russell off for Kane and Cole
  • 9:14pm
    Barnsley have been. totally dominated in this half, as they were in the first 30 minutes. Stevenage should be at least 4-1 up
  • 9:15pm
    68 Stevenage corner on. the right, headed on but Roberts. catches. He's saved Barnsley tonight
  • 9:16pm
    769 away fans here
  • 9:18pm
    Kane. puts Phillips in on right of box but his low cross is overhit and beyond Cole
  • 9:22pm
    YELLOW CARD
    Elliot List booked for a foul on Williams
  • 9:24pm
    Jalo coming on
  • 9:26pm
    Stevenage bring off Dan Sweeney for Ben Thompson
  • 9:26pm
    Jalo on for Cadden
  • 9:29pm
    Devante Cole wrestled to the ground when clean through a few yards out. No penalty. Incredible
  • 9:31pm
    YELLOW CARD
    Louis Thompson booked for a foul on halfway
  • 9:32pm
    McAtee shoots into side netting from 20 yards. Deflected. Corner
  • 9:33pm
    Corner cleared. Phillips passes to Jalo in box. who juggles it then shoots wide. of the bottom right corner from 12 yards out
  • 9:36pm
    Reid hits. the inside of the post from 20 yards after. McAtee lost ball
  • 9:38pm
    Barnsley corner on left headed out
  • 9:39pm
    McAtee crosses from left of box. No one there
  • 9:41pm
    Cotter ready to. come on but not long left
  • 9:41pm
    Cotter on for Williams
  • 9:43pm
    Stevenage bring on ex-Red Kane Hemmings.
  • 9:44pm
    FULL-TIME: Stevenage 2, Barnsley 1.