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DAN BACKS WONDER WOLVES.

Barnsley 1, Wolves 3

Even Barnsley boss Danny Wilson couldn't hide his admiration for a Wolves side who look in the right mood for a crack at the Premiership.

The astute ex-Sheffield Wednesday star has forged Barnsley's impressive bid for a first shot at the big-time. And after watching his side hustled out of second spot, he admitted that Wolves had a promotion look about them.

Barnsley have drawn admirers themselves with their own slick brand of football that has earned them their place in the leading pack.

But when it came to the crunch, it was Wolves who played all their aces.

"We didn't want to be muscled out of the game so we changed our system to try to combat their physical midfield and forwards. But when they got a goal so early, strategy went out of the window," he said.

"They were very strong and powerful and their front two were magnificent."

Front pair Steve Bull and Iwan Roberts grabbed a goal each, with Bull firing in his 20-yarder after only two minutes. Roberts headed in from point-blank range 21 minutes later.

Barnsley's reply shortly after the break was a controversial goal. Wolves keeper Mike Stowell pulled off a fine save to deny Neil Redfearn, but was injured in a challenge with Paul Wilkinson. As he lay on the ground, Darren Sheridan rifled the ball past him to pull the home side back into the game.

But Wolves powered their way back with their third, Steve Froggatt's 59th-minute free kick taking a slight deflection off Barnsley skipper Redfearn.

Roberts said: "Before the game we would have settled for a point, but we're delighted with the result. It was a tremendous win.

"It was vital for us to get three points. Barnsley have a game in hand, and if we had lost it would have been a big setback."

Keeper Stowell emerged after the game with his shoulder strapped up and said: "Wilkinson collided with me and I landed heavily. I didn't know what was happening for a while and when I came round they had scored.

"The ref said he hadn't seen anything, but I thought it was a strange decision to award the goal."

Wilson added: "I'm not too down-hearted - we're still in a great position."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 24, 1997
Words:380
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