Barnsley 2 Oakwell 1: New boss Daniel Stendel leads Reds to best league start in 15 years

Reds Head Coach Daniel Stendel urges his team on
Reds Head Coach Daniel Stendel urges his team on

Few could have expected Daniel Stendel to be threatening the record books in the manner he is when he became the Barnsley head coach earlier this summer.

The little-known German was a surprise appointment at Oakwell, but one that is so far turning out to be a masterstroke.

The 2-1 win over Gillingham on Saturday ensured that the Reds enjoyed their best start to a league campaign in 15 years, when Gudjon Thordarson also avoided defeat in his opening six league games in 2003/04.

If Stendel's team avoids defeat against Walsall next Saturday it will be the club's best start to a season since 1946-47 when, under Angus Seed, they went unbeaten in the opening 10 games.

It would also see him equal the record for the longest unbeaten start as a Barnsley manager, with Lee Johnson's seven league games the current leader.

Mind you, it helps having Kieffer Moore in your side.

Moore is goals in League One and his first-half double against the Gills laid the foundation for a fourth win from six games.

The striker opened the scoring after 13 minutes when he drilled home from 20 yards and was celebrating his sixth goal in two-and-a-half games soon after when he converted from the spot following a trip on George Moncur.

He ought to have posted another hat-trick after the break but saw an effort cleared off the line and after that it got tricky for the hosts.

Josh Parker rammed home from close range and Barnsley's resolve was tested as the Gills threw everything forward in search of a leveller.

It did not come, though, and Stendel was keen to remember the opening 65 minutes.

“We played 65 minutes a very good game, we had control of the game, we had control of the opponent, we played very good in possession and we created chances to score,” the German said.

“At 2-0 in front I was satisfied then we had one moment where we sleep quite comically and it was 2-1. I was a little bit surprised, the last 20 minutes were not easy for us.”

The record books won't remember that this one got a bit dicey for them, but it will remember another win.

Barnsley: Davies, Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay, Pinillos, Dougall, Potts (Adeboyejo 62), Mowatt, Moncur (McGeehan 73), Thiam (Brown 81), Moore

Unused subs: Walton, Williams, Isgrove, Jackson

Gillingham: Holy, Fuller, Zakuani (Lacey 40), Ehmer, Garmston, Hanlan (Wilikinson 67), Reilly, Bingham, Parker, Eaves, List (Rees 56)

Unused subs: Hadler, O'Neill, Nasseri, Stevenson, Hadler

Referee: John Bushby

Attendance: 11,434