CHRIS FAGAN scored again but Town Reserves were held to a 1-1 draw by Barnsley at the Galpharm Stadium last night.
A crowd of 470 watched 19-year-old trialist Fagan fire totesport.com East leaders Town ahead four minutes before the break, but they were pegged back on 69 when Dennis Souza equalised.
Fagan, the Republic of Ireland Under 21 cap from the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain, netted a hat trick on his debut against Hartlepool last week and he didn’t disappoint last night in front of watching Town boss Lee Clark and his full senior staff.
The former Manchester United back-up made some clever runs and space and was always keen to have a crack at goal.
He tested Barnsley keeper Luke Steele – the hero of their famous FA Cup run – with a 20th-minute volley and also fired into the side netting after rounding the keeper on 35.
But he made no mistake six minutes later when, after a rehearsed corner by Joe Skarz had been missed by Spencer Harris, he turned neatly onto the ricochet and fired a crisp left-foot volley into the roof of the net.
With Ian Craney and James Berrett supplying some ingenuity from central midfield and Dave Heagney working manfully up front, Town looked set to take control when they made a driving start to the second half, but a couple of decent chances went begging.
Heagney had the first, bringing a smart save from Steele after 54 minutes, while Fagan was put clean through barely a minute later by a super pass from Berrett, but the keeper made a solid block at his near post.
It was enough to spur the Oakwell side, although their equaliser came from an unexpected mistake from keeper Simon Eastwood.
The England age-group cap, who distinguished himself with earlier saves from Maceo Rigters, Kayode Odejayi and Jacob Butterfield, this time fluffed a corner from the left and Souza was on hand to tap home.
By then, Barnsley had Huddersfield born winger Reuben Noble Lazarus on the pitch.
The Newsome High School and Sports College student is the youngest player ever to play at Football League level, but he is continuing his development in the Oakwell second string, and he certainly had a few ‘locals’ in the crowd last night who were cheering him on.
Town coach Paul Stephenson also fielded a number of Academy players, including debutant Aiden Chippendale on the left flank.
He made a few promising contributions, while the central defensive pairing of Skarz and Harris did pretty well against the powerful Odejayi and the pacy Rigters.
Town – Eastwood, Hunt Ridehalgh, Craney (Atkinson 81), Harris, Skarz, Barlow (Watson 72), Berrett, Fagan, Heagney, Chippendale (Nightingale 72). Subs not used: Eastham, Collinson.