Reds 1 (G. Williams 90)
Peterborough Utd 0
Barnsley's pursuit of a play-off spot remains on course after a late 1-0 win against Peterborough United.
George Williams netted the only goal in added time, steering home Adam Hammill’s pinpoint cross to secure the Reds a vital three points with his first senior goal.
Marc Roberts’ header was smartly saved by Ben Alnwick before Chris Forrester was dismissed two minutes before the break after clashing with Conor Hourihane.
Two further chances late in the half saw Josh Brownhill and Sam Winnall denied by Alnwick, preserving a clean sheet and keeping the scores goalless at the break.
Alfie Mawson and Josh Brownhill both found Alnwick impassable as the stopper continued to catch the eye while Michael Bostwick lashed wide from 20-yards.
All appeared over until Williams popped up with the vital winner that moved the Reds level on points with play-off rivals Gillingham.
The Reds began the stronger and almost edged ahead in the second minute as Conor Hourihane’s inviting free kick was nodded onto the post by Ivan Toney only for the offside flag to be raised.
Peterborough responded after 13 minutes when Marcus Maddison’s outswinging corner was glanced just off target by Shaquile Coulthirst while Jon Taylor’s burst forward ended with an effort lashed well wide of the mark.
Adam Hammill sprung into life, testing Ben Alnwick with a swerving effort from 25-yards that the stopper gathered well while Chris Forrester fired just wide from the edge of the area 26 minutes in.
Just past the half hour, Lloyd Isgrove cushioned the ball down for Toney who lashed wide of the mark while Hourihane tested Alnwick with a low angled drive.
The resulting corner saw Marc Roberts denied by another fine save from Alnwick as the Reds began to turn the screw.
A flare up between Forrester and Hourihane saw the latter hit the deck with Forrester dismissed for two bookings in a matter of seconds.
First, he was cautioned for clashing heads with Hourihane before pushing the Barnsley midfielder to the ground, resulting in a second yellow.
With a man advantage, the Reds saw Sam Winnall denied by another fine reaction save from Alnwick before he stopped Josh Brownhill’s thunderous drive in the final minute.
Alfie Mawson’s free kick in the final minute of stoppage time was straight at Alnwick as the Reds ended the half on top.
Barnsley continued to create openings early in the second half with Toney’s audacious overhead kick forcing a corner before a rasping Mawson effort forced Alnwick into another fine save four minutes after the restart.
And the stopper was at it again to deny Brownhill’s stunning free kick from 25 yards and just before the hour, Taylor tested Adam Davies at his near post but the stopper responded well to prevent Peterborough from opening the scoring.
Substitute Ashley Fletcher almost mode an immediate impact, sending the ball out to Scowen who drilled it back in for Winnall, only for Alnwick denied him again from close range.
Hammill blazed wide after 67 minutes, dodging two challenges but failing to hit the target and Peterborough responded with a vicious Bostwick drive fizzing inches wide.
Taylor blazed over in the final five minutes from 20 yards as Harry Chapman failed to test Alnwick with a speculative volley from a narrow angle soon after.
Alnwick was booked for time wasting a minute from the end and Barnsley got their reward in added time.
Hammill’s sensational ball in found full-back George Williams who glanced the ball beyond Alnwick and in, much to the delight of the 8,886 fans inside Oakwell.
The win moves the Reds level on points with Gillingham with just three games of the season remaining.
Reds: Davies, Scowen, Roberts, Mawson, G. Williams, Isgrove (Chapman, 65’ ), Hourihane, Brownhill, Hammill, Toney (Fletcher, 59’ ), Winnall.
Subs: Townsend, Nyatanga, McCourt, Khan, Tuton.
Peterborough: Alnwick, Santos (Da Silva Lopes, 90+2’ ), Baldwin, Bostwick, Fox, Maddison (Zakuani, 46’ ), Beautyman, Taylor, Coulthirst, Forrester (Sent off, 43’ ) Oztumer (Angol, 46’ ).
Subs: Tyler, Samuelsen, Williams, Nabi
Attendance: 8,886 (226 Peterborough)