Rochdale’s pre-season games schedule continued on Tuesday night with the visit of Barnsley.
The Tykes were 2-0 winners over Dale in the high tempo encounter at the Crown Oil Arena, with Ike Ugbo netting a second half brace.
Keith Hill’s side created numerous chances during the encounter but couldn’t find a way past the resolute Barnsley side.
Lloyd Isgrove hit well wide of the upright early on, after finding himself in a dangerous position, while summer signing Brad Inman had Dale’s first chance of the game soon after, when his on-target shot tested Nick Townsend in the Tykes goal.
It was end to end at times, and moments later Adam Hammill chipped a free-kick into the area for Zecki Fryers, who won the ball at the back post, sending Josh Lillis scrambling across goal to collect the headed effort.
Straight up the other end and Ian Henderson made the most of a Barnsley error. After charging in on goal up the left, he delivered, on the angle, across the six-yard box for the in-running Calvin Andrew, but the ‘keeper got down to hold and prevent the Dale forward from latching onto the pass.
The best chance of the half came in the 13th minute when Callum Camps forced a wonderful save from Townsend, when he fired a powerful effort at goal from distance.
As the half progressed, Dale continued to create the better of the opportunities, coming close through Inman in the 17th minute when his shot was deflected wide of the post.
Jordan Williams’ whipped ball into the area on the half hour mark caused problems as Hendo attacked it, and the Tykes goalkeeper was forced to come off his line to snatch.
After a sweeping move forward, Jamie Allen played in Henderson, and as it looked like he’d get his shot away, Liam Lindsay timed an excellent challenge to perfection to prevent him testing Townsend.
Before the half was out, Andrew caught the Barnsley goalkeeper off guard and struck a powerful effort from 25-yards just inches wide of the post.
HT: ROCHDALE 0-0 BARNSLEY
Rochdale deservedly had the ball in the back of the net during the opening exchanges of the second half, but it wouldn’t count. Allen’s ferocious strike was blocked by the Tykes defence, and after Andrew raced on to the loose ball, he finished beyond Townsend only to see his effort ruled out for offside.
Keith Keane was called into action soon after to deny Barnsley on the line, hooking away Bradshaw's header.
With the game continuing to be played at pace, Dale came close again, as the Rochdale trialist struck narrowly wide of the target.
Substitutions followed either side of the hour mark, when Reece Brown and the trialist were replaced by Andy Cannon and Jim McNulty, respectively.
Keith Hill’s side had asked the majority of the questions throughout the game, but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock in the 68th minute.
Tom Bradshaw’s header from a Lloyd Isgrove’s delivery was well saved by Lillis, but substitute Ugbo tapped home from close range on the follow up.
Rochdale continued to test the Barnsley goal but the Tykes stood strong. In quick succession, Inman was denied, before Henderson had a shot closed down a couple of yards from the line, while at the other end, Isgrove struck a snap shot inches wide of the upright, although Lillis had it well-covered.
15-year-old Daniel Adshead replaced Inman soon after, as Dale made a third substitution.
Henderson headed inches wide from a Williams corner as Rochdale searched in vain for an equaliser, but before the game was out, Barnsley netted a second of the evening through Ugbo.
He went through one-on-one with Lillis, and slotted into the bottom corner of the net from an acute angle.
FT: Rochdale 0-2 Barnsley