Crystal Palace 1 (Scannell 90+3)
After 90 minutes of dominance from front to back, barely any scares, no worries and confidence oozing, a stoppage-time strike from Scannell robbed the Reds of a more-than-deserved point in the capital. The Palace fans jeered their team off at half time after the Reds had bossed the opening period but were soon clapping when their only shot on target in stoppage time flew in. Football's certainly cruel.
In the opening 12 minutes both sides tried their luck from distance but to no avail, Ambrose cracked a 30-yard free-kick at the wall before Davies blazed well over the top following a couple of Barnsley corners.
Apart from a couple more wayward shots at goal there were few chances in the opening quarter but Barnsley were bossing with possession but taking their time going forward.
Great build-up play from the Reds saw Done fire at Speroni from 25-yards. The move came after a switch of play to Wiseman and then to Done on 31 minutes, but the Palace stopper gathered fairly comfortably after the winger's bursting run.
Again the Reds enjoyed prolonged possession ending in a shot on target, this time from Gray. Scott Golbourne picked up possession out on the left and whipped in a delicious cross for Gray to stoop and head across the face of goal but Speroni was equal to it on 37 minutes. Barely a minute later Done again fired at Speroni, but the winger opted for precision rather than power but lacked the former.
After the break and, as you would expect, came out of the traps after their disappointing opening period and forced McNulty did tremendously well to clear a right-wing delivery. Two minutes later and Scannell got lucky but could only blaze well over from a fairly acute angle after the ball kindly ricocheted into his path down the right.
Frank Nouble was replaced by Michael Tonge as Hill sought some creativity on the park - Palace, meanwhile were happy to try and hit the dominant Reds on the break.
When it seemed Easter was in Button kept his cool to send Wiseman down the right, he found Done and the winger spread into the path of Davies who saw his shot blocked. Barnsley were staying patient and picking their passes with precision and just needed a lucky break on goal.
The Reds had found their confidence and some wonderful football was on display, which improved even more after the introduction of Tonge with Dawson and Doyle putting in a real shift in the engine room.
Hill's side still had to be on their guard despite bossing the match as Scannell flew forward with just over 10 minutes remaining and let fly from 12 yards only to be denied by Button - who, despite enjoying a quiet night, was sweeping up with ease and confidence.
Into the dying embers of the game and the hosts were trying to force the opener but Foster was having an outstanding match and taking no prisoners with some ruthless defending.
And into stoppage time, what would you expect when the Reds had been barely troubled all match? The opposition score. Palace got lucky when a cross from Dikgacoi - who looked offside - was flicked into the path of Scannell who had to simply head home from six yards. Barnsley's hearts were broken.
Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Parr, Scannell, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Ambrose (Williams 62), Murray (Easter 62), Martin, (Appiah 77)
.Subs: Price, McShane.Barnsley:
Button, Foster, Wiseman, Golbourne, McNulty, Doyle, Dawson, Done, Nouble (Tonge 65), Davies (Collins 87), Gray.Subs
: Lidakevicius, Cotterill, Smith.Referee:
Mr T. KettleAssistant Referees:
Mr J. Hopkins & Mr T. Robinson.Fourth Official:
Mr. I Crouch.Attendance:
11, 853 (200 Reds)