Barnsley pulled further away from the Coca-Cola Championship relegation zone at the expense of QPR's fading play-off hopes with an excellent performance at Oakwell today.

Anderson de Silva rifled Barnsley in front two minutes before half-time after Damien Delaney's 35th-minute header had cancelled out Daniel Bogdanovic's opener for the Tykes.

And that is how it stayed as Barnsley made it seven points from the last nine available, while QPR are now winless in five.

The hosts started the stronger with the South American pairing of Hugo Colace and De Silva combining well in the midfield engine room to keep the ball moving forward.

It was the Brazilian De Silva who created the first opening as his ball picked out Michael Mifsud, who turned well but then blazed over the crossbar.

The pair would combine again after a quarter of an hour, with Damion Stewart forced to bring down Mifsud right on the edge of the area as he turned on to De Silva's pass. Argentinian midfielder Colace sent the resulting free-kick into the wall.

Wayne Routledge looked the most dangerous player for QPR, but Dexter Blackstock twice wasted chances the winger created with weak shots.

When Blackstock did get his timing right, he went desperately close to scoring, turning Heidar Helguson's header inches wide under pressure from Dennis Souza.

Barnsley then got the reward for all their early probing in the 26th minute.

Mifsud turned provider, crossing from the left for fellow loan striker Bogdanovic to rise and head the ball beyond the reach of Radek Cerny and into the far corner of the net.

QPR had done little to threaten Heinz Muller's goal but they were level in the 35th minute when Matteo Alberti's cross found the head of Delaney who beat the German goalkeeper at the near post.

However, Barnsley found a response two minutes before the break as De Silva pounced on a loose ball inside the area to rifle in a powerful low shot and send his side in ahead at the break.

Adam Hammill brought the second half to life six minutes after the restart, racing down the left wing and into the area to force Cerny into a good save low down.

The Tykes were very much on top and continued to press QPR back inside their own half, without managing to create any clear chances. QPR introduced ex-Real Madrid man Jordi Lopez to make his debut in the 65th minute, replacing Alberti, but they could do little about Barnsley's almost total domination in midfield.

Mifsud had a chance to kill the game in the 74th minute when a wonderful little through-ball from De Silva found his run, but the shot from just inside the area was deflected for a corner. QPR could create nothing in open play, and Kaspars Gorkss headed wide with a rare opening from Routledge's free-kick in the 78th minute.

When Lopez dragged a shot wide with two minutes to go, QPR saw their last chance to get anything from the game go with it.

Yorkshire Post, 28 February 2009
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Ian Wilkinson

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