Head-to-head record on Wearside...
Sunderland wins: 10 | Barnsley wins: 2 | Draws: 1
Last time on Wearside...
Sunderland 2-0 Barnsley (Whitehead 82, Brown 88)
Sunderland 1-0 Barnsley - Roker Park - 03/01/1994
The Tykes have been our first foot frequently over the past three decades believe it or not, though they’ve returned tails between legs all the way back to Yorkshire with nul-pwa each time.
In all honestly, bugger all has changed on the face of it in the twenty-odd years since '94 - we’re both bobbing around the lower reaches of the second tier,and as it was back then, good old Mick Buxton had us sitting in sixteenth place going into the New Year, with 19,302 fans roaring the Lads on to a third home win in a row.
Ulsterman Phil Gray continued his scoring streak with a 35th minute winner that pipped Viv Anderson’s on a bitterly cold Monday afternoon on Wearside, but Barnsley would go on to have the last laugh, thrashing us 4-0 in the reverse fixture only two months later. Peak Sunderland.
Sunderland 2-3 Barnsley - Stadium of Light - 21/11/1998
We had gone eighteen games unbeaten going into this game (yes, we used to be really, really class) and in four crazy first half minutes, this game - despite it being the sole home defeat of the season - was as entertaining as they came for us that season and all down to Ashley Ward. What a nutter.
The burly centre forward opened the scoring against the run of play on thirty three minutes, skied a penalty a minute later and then two minutes after that, obviously still frustrated, decided to stamp on poor little Darren Williams and got sent off. It was the kind of behavior you’d expect to see from Hollywood A-lister Shia LaBeouf, not a Lancashire-born journeyman striker.
The ten men of Barnsley bravely defied the odds though and doubled their lead through Bruce Dyer straight after half time. That goal meant the Lads woke up from their unusual slumber and rained down on that depleted Barnsley back-four, pulling us back into the game. Just as it looked like we’d be heading into December unbeaten, Kevin Ball gave Barnsley their second penalty of the game, and this one they converted as Darren Barnard sent Thomas Sorensen the wrong way to ruin our other perfect home record that year.
As it was, we never lost a league game at home following the defeat for almost a year, and retained our top spot till season end. Ah... those were the days.
Sunderland 2-0 Barnsley - Roker Park - 01/01/1992
The last time a year began with a home visit from Barnsley, Malcolm Crosby waved his magic wand and helped us to dance through the likes of Chelsea and Norwich on the way to the final of the FA Cup. We began 1992 with three home wins on the bounce, moving us from fifteenth to eleventh in the process and this dispatching of the Tykes of Yorkshire was the first of them.
John Byrne and Don Goodman tore into centre half Gerry Taggart, a man who was almost certainly a bin man in a previous life. It was no surprise when local lad Gordon Armstrong put Crosby’s boys in front on twenty three minutes.
Continuing our dominance in the second period, it wasn’t long before new signing Don Goodman doubled our lead, sealing a New Years Day victory over Mel Machin’s side. Barnsley would end the season two places above Sunderland in 16th, with our success in the FA Cup not translating into league form.