Over the weekend silverware was handed out at Wimbley that you probably did not know about. The Football League Trophy final commonly known as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy (hooray sponsorship) was contested between Barnsley and Oxford United. The football league trophy is a competition open for the 48 clubs in the Football League (League One and League Two) the third and fourth divisions of English football. The competition was founded in 1983 and the most successful club in the competition’s history has been Bristol City who has won the trophy three times (1986, 2003 and 2015) with two more final appearances in 1987 and 2000.
Heading into this year’s contest Barnsley was seventh in League 1 with 62 points and Oxford City was second in League 2 on 73 points. The final saw Oxford take a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute on a header by Callum O’Dowda a twenty year old Oxford United academy product who has represented Ireland at the U21 level. Oxford would see the 1-0 lead last until the 52nd minute until an own goal by defender Chey Dunkley that leveled the game at 1-1.
Barnsley added two more goals of their own with Ashley Fletcher (68’) and Adam Hammill (74’) getting on the score sheet to take a 3-1 lead. The goal by Hammill was the eventual game winner as Oxford United pulled one back in the 76th minute on a Danny Hylton header to make it 3-2. The U’s were not able to send the final into extra time though and Barnsley won their first ever game at Wembley lifting the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in front of 34,000 Barnsley fans. This is a day The Tykes fans are sure to remember for a long time and more could be on the way with the prospect of a promotion playoff still to come.