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Sky Bet Championship

Oakwell Stadium (ATT 9,076) 16th March 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: T Bates

Barnsley Barnsley vs Watford Watford

Barnsley 1

B Hassell (35)

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Bobby Hassell's first league goal in over two years helps Barnsley beat Watford 1-0

Last Updated: 26/03/13 12:58pm

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Bobby Hassell: His header earned the points

Bobby Hassell: His header earned the points

Bobby Hassell's first league goal in over two years helped edge Barnsley further away from the npower Championship relegation zone with a 1-0 win over Watford, as the Hornets lost more ground in the race for automatic promotion.

Hassell, on as a sixth-minute replacement for the injured Rory Delap, headed home Jacob Mellis' cross 10 minutes before half-time.

It was the defender's first league goal since scoring for the Tykes in a 1-1 home draw with Swansea on January 22, 2011.

After climbing out of the bottom three with victory over Brighton at Oakwell on Tuesday night, Barnsley are now two places and two points above the drop zone.

With 39 away league goals before Saturday, Watford are by far the Championship's highest scorers on their travels but they lacked their usual attacking flair against the Tykes.

The Hornets stay third in the table though, for now, ahead of Crystal Palace's trip to Brighton on Sunday, and remain two points behind second-placed Hull, who lost at home to resurgent Nottingham Forest, following back-to-back defeats.

Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele was called into action early on to push away Jonathan Hogg's header and Matej Vydra blasted a 20-yard shot way over the crossbar as the half-hour approached.

The hosts had their first real effort on goal after 33 minutes as Jason Scotland forced a good save from Jonathan Bond.

Two minutes later, the Tykes took the lead. Mellis got free down the left and whipped in a pacy cross which Hassell guided into the bottom left-hand corner of the net from 12 yards out.

Watford were unable to respond in a frantic final 10 minutes of the first half as Barnsley defended stubbornly.

Chris O'Grady almost made it 2-0 at the start of the second half but Hogg got down quickly at his near post to save.

Vydra finally got a clear sight of goal in the 73rd minute but his volley produced a good save from Steele who held on to the shot.

David Flitcroft's side continued to stifle the visitors while creating chances of their own.

Half-time substitute Chris Dagnall, on for Scotland, cleared the crossbar with a shot after 84 minutes before O'Grady shot straight at Bond with three minutes of the regulation 90 remaining.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 34 65
2 Middlesbrough 34 63
3 Watford 34 62
4 Bournemouth 34 60
5 Ipswich Town 33 60
6 Norwich City 33 59
7 Brentford 34 58
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 57
9 Nottingham Forest 34 50
10 Sheffield Wednesday 34 46
11 Blackburn Rovers 34 45
12 Charlton Athletic 34 42
13 Birmingham City 34 42
14 Huddersfield Town 34 42
15 Cardiff City 34 41
16 Leeds United 34 41
17 Bolton Wanderers 34 40
18 Reading 34 40
19 Fulham 34 39
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 34 37
21 Rotherham United 34 37
22 Millwall 34 31
23 Wigan Athletic 34 28
24 Blackpool 34 22