THE last two meetings between Wanderers and Barnsley prior to this weekend have been decided in the Whites’ favour by loan signings and last season’s thrilling 3-2 triumph at Oakwell saw Craig Dawson as the hero.
The former Radcliffe Borough man was a star performer for Dougie Freedman’s side during the campaign and showed he possessed a goal threat with four in three successive outings last spring.
While he helped plug a leaky defence as his main job, Dawson also moonlighted at the opposite end and his strike at Oakwell extended Wanderers’ unbeaten run.
The Whites went ahead in South Yorkshire when David Ngog fired home just 15 minutes into the game.
The lead was doubled shortly before half time through another loanee, Jay Spearing, and Freedman’s men looked comfortable in their search for a third win in a row.
But the hosts came out fighting in the second half and after Tomasz Cywka hauled them back into it soon after the restart, Chris O’Grady made it 2-2 on 53 minutes. It looked like all the good first-half work would count for nothing.
But Dawson had other ideas and just before the hour mark, he pounced after a free-kick was saved and spilled to net what proved to be the winner in front of 2,000-plus Whites followers.