Reds 2 (Winnall 12, Hammill 67)
Millwall 1 (Morison 61)
Barnsley begin 2016 with a win after beating promotion chasing Millwall 2-1 at Oakwell.
Sam Winnall glanced in the opener after flicking home Adam Hammill’s inviting delivery after only 12 minutes, while Lloyd Isgrove had a goal ruled out shortly after for a foul in the build-up.
Steve Morison tapped home the equalizer just past the hour mark, but Adam Hammill struck the winner six minutes later, skipping past four players to finish from close range.
The result secures Barnsley back-to-back league wins for the first time since beating Millwall back in August.
Millwall’s Fred Onyedinma threatened to power through the Reds defence in the opening moments but the first effort fell the way of Adam Hammill, bending over from the edge of the area after five minutes.
The Reds came even closer on eight minutes as Ben Pearson drove forward before slipping in Lloyd Isgrove. The Southampton loanee attempted to round David Forde but the stopper threw a palm at the ball to force him away.
It took the Reds until the 12th minute to open the scoring. Millwall failed to clear a corner and Aidan White returned the ball to Hammill, who crossed for Sam Winnall to glance home his tenth goal of the season.
After 19 minutes, Marley Watkins broke quickly and fed Hammill, however the winger’s effort again sailed over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Isgrove thought he had doubled the lead just past the half hour as he rose highest to meet Hammill’s delivery, but his header was ruled out for a push in the build-up.
Ten minutes before the interval, Winnall played a one-two with Isgrove and the aforementioned forward raced in on goal but a last-ditch challenge from Byron Webster prevented him from scoring.
Mark Beevers came close to levelling for the visitors three minutes before the break, however Davies was more than equal to his downward header.
Neil Harris made a double substitution at the break in the hope of adding a more physical edge to the Lions’ play and one of those replacements, Shane Ferguson, was booked within five minutes for fouling Isgrove.
From the resulting free kick, the Reds felt they should have had a penalty as Sam Winnall was hauled down by Beevers while Isgrove’s drive was smartly stopped by Forde.
Steve Morison thought he had equalized after meeting Ferguson’s cross, but Alfie Mawson spectacularly cleared off the line to preserve Davies’ clean sheet.
Conor Hourihane won a free kick on the edge of the area on 56 minutes, from which Hammill tested Forde’s reach but found him up to the task.
Two minutes later, Winnall danced through the Millwall defence but found Forde in inspired form to deny the striker with his legs.
Just past the hour, Barnsley’s resolve was broken as Ferguson rattled the post from 20 yards and Morison stabbed home the loose ball from close range.
Isgrove came close to giving Barnsley the lead again, volleying wide from inside the area, before drawing a foul from Joe Martin moments later, resulting in a booking for the Lions full-back.
The Reds did re-take the lead on 66 minutes as Sam Winnall’s inventive flick allowed Hammill to race through the Millwall rearguard.
Despite scuffing his initial effort, the ball broke kindly for Hammill to smash home the Reds’ second from close range.
It could have been 3-1 on 70 minutes as Hammill again jinked his way inside, arrowed an effort towards the top right corner, only for a fingertip save from Forde to deny him.
With 11 minutes remaining, Hammill was cautioned for an aggressive challenge, but Ferguson sent the resulting free kick sailing over the crossbar.
In the closing moments, Mawson and White both cleared Morison headers off the line while Marley Watkins was withdrawn four minutes from the end due to injury.
In the fourth minute of injury time, Morison looped a header onto the crossbar and the follow-up was cleared to safety from the goalmouth by the impressive Mawson.
A total of 8,700 fans saw the Reds move up to 17th position in the League One table, two points clear of the relegation zone.
Reds: Davies, Wabara, Long, Mawson, A. White (Bree, 86’), Watkins (M.Smith, 86’), Pearson, Isgrove, Hourihane (c), Hammill, Winnall.
Subs: Townsend, R.Williams, H. White, Roberts, Templeton.
Millwall: Forde, Martin, Edwards (Abdou, 68’), Upson (Ferguson, 45’), Williams, Onyedinma (Gregory, 45’), Beevers, Webster, Morison (c), Saville, O'Brien.
Subs: Archer, Nelson, Thompson, Philpot.