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Barnsley Fans Verdict: Royals Secure Vital Point at Oakwell

Josh Laurent popped up with another crucial goal on Saturday to win a point for the Royals. He’s how the fans reacted.

PA Images via Getty Images

It’s funny how history can repeat itself, isn’t it? On 2 April 2021, we travelled to Oakwell for a season-defining game with our fellow play-off contenders Barnsley. Exactly one year on and the same scenario was upon us, although this time ourselves and Barnsley found ourselves at the opposite end of the Championship table.

It’s also funny how both games finished with the same scoreline, and yet the emotions from the fans after the match couldn’t be further than what we experienced after the same fixture last season.

Words cannot describe how big this game was. It didn’t matter about performance, we just needed a result. Anything to keep that gap at five points or more. And, ultimately, the players delivered on that, thanks to another late Josh Laurent goal.

The goal sparked some terrific scenes among the travelling contingent, who took those celebrations onto Twitter after the game. Here’s the key talking points.

Danny Drinkwater

I know Drinkwater hasn't exactly set the world alight since joining on loan from Chelsea, and I think it’s fair to say that the relationship between him and the fans is fractious to say the least. However, I thought he was superb on Saturday afternoon.

He showed energy and determination and looked up for the fight. He was a lot better on the ball than he has been in recent weeks too. Credit where credit is due.

The fans appreciated his performance too it seems...

The celebrations

There are a few moments every season which you can look back on and think “that’s why I keep on following my team up and down the country”, and Saturday produced one of those.

We were good in the second half (or Barnsley were just astonishingly awful), and deserved a point. But it’s one thing deserving a point and another thing getting it. Step forward Josh Laurent, who slotted home to produce scenes reminiscent of Modou Barrow’s winner at Ipswich Town under Jose Gomes.

What a moment, and one that the fans will savour for some time...

A big result

The performance left a lot to be desired, particularly in the first half, but all that mattered was getting a result. That draw keeps the gap between us and Barnsley at five points with seven games to play. It’s not done yet, but taking a point off our direct rivals is huge.

We have to keep backing it up though, starting with the home game against Stoke City on Tuesday. We just need to keep this wheel turning.

The fans certainly understood the significance of the taking something away from Barnsley judging by these tweets...

Conclusion

A loss would’ve been disastrous, so that goal is the most important goal of the season so far. But they’re only going to get more important from here on in, we need to back this result up with another good one on Tuesday.

Barnsley were there for the taking though in that second half, so I really hope we’re not looking back at this result at the end of the season and ruing not taking all three. But, let’s keep backing the boys like we did on Saturday, they'll need it more than ever.

URZ