Millwall 1 (Henderson m/p 26, Smith s/o 54, Wood 80)
Reds 2 (Dawson 31, Tudgay 90+3)
A red card, missed penalty and three goals made for an eventful pre-Christmas clash but all that mattered was that Barnsley had three points thanks to a dramatic stoppage-time strike from Marcus Tudgay that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Spanish national side.
It was a grandstand second half with Millwall’s Adam Smith seeing red for a challenge on Perkins and Henderson blazing a first-half penalty over the bar, but Barnsley were good value for their points.
John Stones got into a bit of a pickle and Trotter capitalised only to have Stephen Foster block his effort on six minutes moments before Henderson almost had a chance after dancing into the box from the left-hand side.
O’Brien teed Tudgay up with a half volley from 25 yards but his vicious effort was straight at Forde who hammered the ball away with his fists.
The home fans were vying for every single decision despite a couple of blatant fouls from the former Barnsley loanee Wood, who even had a go at the linesman.
The ball fell kindly for Tudgay on 16 minutes after Dagnall forced Shittu and Beevers into a mistake but the Forest loanee didn’t have enough time to wait for the ball to drop and volleyed well over from 20 yards out.
A glorious chance fell the way of the Reds with O’Brien jinking towards goal but he could only drag his shot wide on 18 minutes moments before Henry hammered wide at the other end.
The Reds were dealt a huge blow as Martin Cranie hobbled off with an injury – Scott Wiseman came on for a straight swap.
Darius Henderson won himself a penalty on 26 minutes to throw a spanner into the Barnsley works, the big man stepped up but blazed high and over.
With half-an-hour on the watch, Wood struck a free-kick at the wall and Tudgay reacted quickest to hammer the ball clear.
The lucky break came on 31 minutes as Stephen Dawson reacted to Forde’s parry of Dagnall’s strike, the Dubliner tucked home under Forde’s recovery dive from 12 yards for his third goal of the season.
Barnsley had by this point eased their way into the match and looked comfortable in possession, although Millwall were keen to get forward from set-pieces with one resulting in Trotter slicing an effort wide.
Steele made a brilliant save as Henderson suddenly found himself one-on-one with Barnsley’s number one, but Steele got down well after springing from his line to block the former Sheffield United man barely 10 yards out.
Three minutes of stoppage time were shown by the fourth official just as O’Brien volleyed into the side netting. At the other end Lowry hammered at goal but Steele gobbled up with relative ease in the dying embers of the first half.
It was another frantic start to the half with both sides participating in heading tennis in the opening two minutes of the second period.
A wicked O’Brien cross caused havoc in the Millwall area but nobody connected with Perkins having to put the ball back into the danger area but again the cross evaded everyone.
A red card came out of the blue for Millwall’s Adam Smith after a challenge on Perkins. Mr Kettle brandished the card immediately after both players went in 50-50 on 54 minutes.
Dagnall and Tudgay were linking up well with the latter seeing his shot blocked 12 yards from goal. Perkins went on a brilliant run, avoiding a cynical attempt to hack him down, but sliced wide with his wrong foot 20 yards out. Moments later on 65 minutes Perkins turned provider as he delivered for Tudgay but he glanced wide with his head.
John Stones got a brilliant challenge in on Wood before he could get a shot away following his run into the box to latch into Trotter’s through-ball.
More patient play from the Reds saw another half chance for Dagnall as he latched onto O’Brien’s delivery but he clipped his effort wide. O’Brien was then replaced by Marlon Harewood for the Reds with the winger having put in a great shift for his side.
Shittu was living life on the edge but seemed to get away with a couple of clangers but it didn’t matter as Chris Wood raced away at the other end to tuck home on 80 minutes.
Matty Done came on for the Reds with six minutes to go with Perkins making way for the winger.
N’Guessan almost managed a shot on goal but for a combination of Foster and Stones in the penalty area, the home side were really going for a winner in closing stages. Wood blasted a shot over via a deflection with the Reds having to stay strong and thwart the hosts’ aerial threat.
Three minutes into stoppage time Marcus Tudgay pounced onto a through-ball to go one-on-one with Forde, the striker seemed to have lost the chance with the ‘keeper closing in but he dinked a sumptuous finish over the top into the empty net. Barnsley saw out the clash as Millwall pumped more balls into the box but Hill’s brave men hung on to a precious three points.
Millwall: Forde, Shittu, Wright, Trotter, Lowry, Henry, Feeney (Smith 63), Beevers, Smith, Wood, Henderson (N’Guessan 70).
Subs: Taylor, Dunne, Batt, N'Guessan, Osbourne, Malone.
Reds: Steele, Hassell, Golbourne, Foster, Dawson, O'Brien (Harewood 73), Perkins (Done 84), Dagnall, Cranie (Wiseman 20), Tudgay, Stones.
Subs: Alnwick, Done, Cywka, Greening, Rose.
Referee: Trevor Kettle
Attendance: 10,118 (199 away)