WATFORD CLAIMED another precious point away from home but were perhaps lucky to leave with even that after a dour second-half display.
Marvin Sordell opened the scoring from close-range after 36 minutes but the ‘Orns allowed their hosts back into the game with a second-half header from veteran Andy Gray.
Watford named the same 11 that beat Reading the previous weekend leaving strike trio Chris Iwelumo, Joe Garner and Troy Deeney on the bench once more.
The Tykes only made two changes from the side which claimed a creditable point from their draw at home to Leicester seven days ago. Matty Done and Rob Edwards dropping out for Jim O`Brien and Jay McEveley.
Barnsley immediately set upon the Hornet`s with former Colchester United midfielder David Perkins slamming a low effort against a combination of Scott Loach and the post.
Former Watford loanee Danny Drinkwater looked to have handed his current club the lead when he slammed into the advertising hoardings from outside the area; the shot re-bounding into the back of the Hornet`s net.
Barnsley continued to create the better chances early on with skipper Jacob Butterfield somehow slamming over from close-range after good work down the left.
Marvin Sordell came close to opening the scoring when he turned against the post from a yard out before being flagged offside.
Watford did however take the lead when Adrian Mariappa floated a clever ball into the back post where an un-marked Mark Yeates was able to cleverly head across goal for Sordell to nudge home from close range.
Jonathan Hogg had previously come close with a swept effort from distance whilst Yeates nearly followed up last week`s heroics when he bent a free-kick narrowly wide of Luke Steele`s left-hand post from 20 yards.
After enjoying at least their fair share of the first period, Sean Dyche`s men were on the back foot for the second-half, almost from the off. It wasn`t that Keith Hill`s side peppered the Hornet`s goal with efforts, more that the visitors were seemingly unable to string two passes together and by the time they did, time was running out.
Scott Loach pushed a powerful effort away from outside the area before Gray levelled.
From an O`Brien cross from the right, Gray was left un-marked at the far post to guide a powerful effort past Loach.
Gray could have had a second not long after, but any pace he did have has long since deserted him and he was unable to capitalize on a perfectly-weighted through-ball which left him one-on-one with Mariappa.
Watford`s best chance of a banal second-half came when substitute Chris Iwelumo – who had replaced the quiet Sordell, nodded into the side-netting when better-placed to loft a header towards the back stick.
Full-time: 1-1With hindsight, a decent point but these are the sort of sides Watford will be battling relegation with and three-points hauls are important against rival sides. On the basis of our second-half showing a draw was a good result.
Barnsley: Steele; Hassell, Foster, McNulty, McEveley; Park (Vaz Te), Drinkwater (Doyle), Butterfield (c), Perkins, O`Brien; Gray.
Subs not used: Preece (GK).
Referee: Mr E Ilderton.
Scott Loach – 7
No chance with the goal; otherwise very solid making some key saves.
Lloyd Doyley – 6
Got forward well on a couple of occasions and largely untroubled, forcing Jim O`Brien to the opposing flank.
Adrian Mariappa – 6
Provided the free-kick for the goal and largely untroubled.
Martin Taylor – 6
Solid, played his part in the ‘Orns goal.
Carl Dickinson – 7
Couple of slight errors but as reliable as ever.
Mark Yeates – 6
Played a large part in the goal and nearly scored himself on a couple of occasions. Came too narrow.
John Eustace (c) – 5
Went backwards all too often.
Jonathan Hogg – 6
Never afraid to get stuck in. As close as the Hornet`s came to a second.
Craig Forsyth – 6
Never really got at Bobby Hassell but more involved in the second-half.
Marvin Sordell – 6
Scored but lazy on the whole.
Andi Weimann – 6
Full of running without threatening Steele. Was wide-left in a 4-5-1 at one point.
Troy Deeney – 5
Not really sure what he offers as a wide-man other than endeavour.
Chris Iwelumo – 6
Could`ve done better with his one chance of note.
Put himself about and had one powerful shot blocked.