Reds 2 (Keane o.g 4, O’Grady 39)
A first half worthy of winning any match was just what the Reds produced to defeat promotion-hopefuls Leicester City. It was another incredible home performance from the Tykes, with O’Grady notching his second Barnsley goal after an own goal by Keane. It could have been a lot sweeter had Jason Scotland converted a second-half penalty, but it didn't matter.
It took four minutes for the Reds to take the lead, after taking the initiative through Scott Wiseman who showed great awareness to intercept a pass before bombing past Konchesky on the right. The defender put in a dangerous ball that was turned into his own net by Matty James.
After Konchesky had blasted over a free-kick in anger, Scotland thought he had doubled his side’s lead after turning home O’Grady’s shot but the flag soon raised on the far side.
The Reds were all over Leicester and their fans weren’t happy with it. With 14 minutes gone it was all Barnsley – Perkins and Etuhu bossing the middle of the park with Mellis looking his creative self on the left. Mellis pinged a brilliant free-kick onto the head of Hassell but his header was straight at Schmeichel.
When Mellis got a loose ball under control inside the box, his shot was too tame and easy for Schmeichel to gather on 23 minutes.
A weak effort from Wood was gathered with ease by Steele as the away side registered their first shot on target. It was no surprise that Nigel Pearson opted to make a change having witnessed a shocking opening quarter.
Kennedy and Perkins combined to allow Scotland time in the box but his shot on the turn was stopped at the near post by Schmeichel. From the resulting corner Cranie’s header was cleared off the line.
There was a glorious chance for Dawson to make it 2-0 on 31 minutes after taking down a sumptuous through-ball from Mellis but he lobbed the ball wide of the post. Moore replaced De Laet for the visitors.
The whole ground thought goal of the season had landed when a vicious Mellis volley dipped towards the top corner but it drifted agonisingly wide on 38 minutes.
A minute later the Reds got the second they deserved. O’Grady started the move by expertly flicking the ball into the path of Scotland and he nudged back into the path of the former Leicester man who tucked into the bottom corner from 15 yards after bearing down on Schmeichel.
It could have been three in first-half stoppage time after Scotland slipped Etuhu in down the right but Schmeichel did well to smother the ball at his near post.
The second half resumed and so did Barnsley’s tempo. The football was sumptuous as the Reds charged their way forward, O’Grady and Perkins combining to send Perkins into the box to be upended. Scotland took responsibility but he found the trailing leg of Schmeichel on 51 minutes.
After more incredible football down the left, a third was denied by the flag when Perkins slammed into the roof of the net, although it was unclear where the offside was on 55 minutes.
Dawson thumped at Schmeichel after O’Grady won the ball back for the Reds. At the other end Cranie had to clear the danger when Wood challenged Steele in the air outside the box but it was easy enough for the defender.
Jason Scotland was replaced by Dagnall on 63 minutes. An injury for Martin Cranie meant Stephen Foster was introduced with 22 left to play.
Steele claimed a Nugent header with ease as Leicester occasionally came forward, but it was still all Barnsley with less than 20 on the watch.
On 75 minutes Schlupp thought he was in but Stephen Foster’s incredible tackle kept the striker out as he threatened to fire home. The striker thought he had done two minutes later but the flag was up. City’s best chance was through Nugent but he found Steele in inspired form on 80 minutes as his header was expertly tipped wide.
The Reds’ final change saw O’Brien replace Mellis with nine minutes to play. The Foxes still had a threat on the break as Schlupp again went in on goal but Steele made himself big and blocked at his near post.
The sun caught Steele out on 85 minutes and a combination of Wiseman and Foster blocked a certain goal for Schlupp as the ball rebounded off the bar.
With the clock ticking down, the Foxes came forward and Steele had to tip a Moore effort past the post when the defender fired at goal from the edge of the box.
The match was almost tied up when Dagnall ran onto the end of O’Grady’s clever lob but Schmeichel blocked well before his defence cleared.
Four minutes of stoppage time was indicated by the fourth official.
Reds: Steele, Hassell, Kennedy, Wiseman, O'Grady, Etuhu, Perkins, Dawson, Scotland (Dagnall 63), Mellis (O’Brien 81), Cranie (Foster 68).
Subs: Alnwick, Harewood, Cywka, Rose.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Moore 31), Konchesky, Whitbread, King, Dyer, Keane, James, Knockaert (Marshall 56), Nugent, Wood (Schlupp 60).
Subs: Logan, Vardy, Wellens, Kane.
Referee: Andy D'Urso.
Attendance: 10,429 (2106 away)