Huddersfield 2 (Beckford 51, Vaughan 80)
Reds 2 (O'Grady 14, Scotland 75)
Today goes down as one of the craziest yet most memorable of days as the Reds secured their Championship status with a 2-2 against Huddersfield.
Twice the Reds went into the lead and twice it slipped, but a point was enough as results elsewhere meant both the Tykes and the Terriers – two great Yorkshire clubs – will play Championship football next term.
The Reds came close to opening the scoring early doors with O’Grady seeing his effort deflect wide before O’Brien’s cross was cleared.
Barnsley started the brighter of the two and O’Grady flashed wide after a Perkins through-ball put him in down the left on ten minutes.
On 14 minutes the big man took his chance with a calm finish after strong play down the left. It was a fairly acute angle but O’Grady tucked home to send the travelling Tykes crazy.
Never mind trying for a result under pressure, Barnsley were playing tremendous football under pressure. Mellis zipped in a cross that was begging to be turned home after Dagnall teed him up.
On 39 minutes Huddersfield’s first chance came when Vaughan got on the end of a loose ball but he curled wide of the post from 15 yards with the right boot.
Huddersfield needed to be better in the first half and their fans got right behind them as they came forward. Steele came to the Reds’ rescue with a great save, denying Ward one-on-one.
Their goal did come though when they beat the offside trap and Beckford dinked the ball over Steele from 15 yards six minutes into the second half.
Barnsley responded with Dagnall and only Smithies kept the Reds from restoring their lead. It was a great strike after O’Brien slipped him in but he found Huddersfield’s ‘keeper in great form.
It seemed like it might be one of those days as Dawson jinked his way into the box and fired at goal only for Smithies to once again come to his side’s rescue with a marvellous stop on the hour.
Two subs came for the Reds on 67 minutes with Jason Scotland and Reuben Noble-Lazarus replacing Jacob Mellis and Chris Dagnall.
Perkins saw a deflected effort saved by Smithes after striking from 25 yards. It was a decent stop as Smithies was already diving the wrong way and gathered well at the second attempt.
Barnsley were back in the driving seat when Scotland nodded home from barely a yard out after Perkins worked his way into the box down the left and fired across the face of goal.
Huddersfield pulled it level after Wiseman and Cranie collided allowing James Vaughan a shot at goal that deflected in on 81 minutes.
Barnsley’s final throw of the dice saw Tomasz Cywka thrown on for Stephen Dawson out wide. It was all or nothing now for Barnsley with six minutes left.
Cywka was set to tee Scotland up for a tackle came from nowhere when it seemed the Reds were to find a winner in the final minute.
Five minutes was added. Cywka tried his luck but it was straight at Smithies from 20 yards. It was ridiculously tense but results elsewhere came through and the scenes were nothing short of incredible. Terriers fans were celebrating with Barnsley players and both sets of supporters were chanting ‘Yorkshire’ in unison under the Spring sunshine – a sight to behold and cherish forever.
Huddersfield: Smithies, Woods, Gerrard, P. Clarke, Hunt, Scannell (Novak 81), Gobern, Norwood, Clayton, Vaughan, Beckford.
Subs: Bennett, Dixon, Ward, Wallace, Lee, Southern.
Reds: Steele, Kennedy, Wiseman, Cranie, O'Brien, Dawson (Cywka 85), Perkins, Etuhu, Mellis (Noble-Lazarus 67), Dagnall (Scotland 67), O'Grady.
Subs: Alnwick, McNulty, Harewood, Rose.
Referee: A. Marriner.