Swansea controls Championship play-offs after slim win over Barnsley
Swansea City sealed a narrow 1-0 victory over Barnsley in their Championship play-off semi-final first leg at Oakwell tonight.
Andre Ayew’s excellent coiled effort just before half-time gave Steve Cooper’s men the slim advantage heading into the second leg.
In front of a boisterous crowd of 4,500 Barnsley fans, the hosts were cheered on at the start but were unable to gain a foothold in the game.
In truth, the first half wasn’t much of an event – aside from the good atmosphere – and the odds were limited, neither goalkeeper Brad Collins nor his counterpart Freddie Woodman called for anything too unsettling.
That was until Ayew produced a moment of magic.
He grabbed the ball on the right side of the box, cut inside and unleashed a curling effort that passed helpless Collins.
Barnsley came out roaring after the break and Carlton Morris, billed as a halftime substitute, saw a shot knocked back by Woodman in the way of Callum Brittain.
Brittain looked destined to score, but some die-hard Swansea defenders saw the ball flip for a corner.
The rest of the game was disjointed, neither team was able to shape anything of the quality of Ayew’s strike.
There was a lot of pressure at home late, with Barnsley hitting the bar in stoppage time – but the Swans held on ahead of Saturday’s second leg at Liberty Stadium.
The winners will face either Brentford or Bournemouth in the Wembley final, with the Cherries holding a slim 1-0 advantage after their victory earlier in the night.
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