Reds 3 (Dagnall 3, 90+3, Harewood 19)
The Reds made it a little harder for themselves than it needed to be after coasting through the first half against MK Dons but all that matters is that Barnsley’s name is in the hat for the Quarter-Final draw tomorrow.
Chris Dagnall helped himself to a fine brace, sandwiching a Marlon Harewood strike, as Flitcroft’s Tykes ran out 3-1 winners.
It took three minutes for the Reds to find the lead and it was a splendid goal from Flitcroft’s men. Jacob Mellis lofted a sumptuous ball over the top for Dagnall and he took a great first touch as he entered the box and tucked into the far corner with his left foot from 12 yards.
The travelling Tykes went crackers and were singing their hearts out for the lads.
MK Dons got their first shot on target but Luke Steele gathered with ease from Darren Potter’s tame strike.
Dagnall got in again on 13 minutes as Etuhu dinked a ball over the top down the right but the striker blazed over from a fairly tight angle.
Barnsley’s second arrived as Scott Wiseman raced onto a ball down the right and pulled back expertly for Harewood who swept into the far corner from 12 yards. It was another fine move from the Reds.
The Reds weren’t being troubled at the back but it was important to guard against any complacency, although it was almost 3-0 had Harewood’s ball found Mellis. Wiseman it was who galloped down the right and sent a great ball over for Harewood but he just couldn’t take it in his stride as he went in on goal and was forced wide to see his cross blocked on 29 minutes.
Otsemobor shanked one over the top as the hosts scrapped for the crumbs of a free-kick, but Steele had yet to be tested by the 35th minute.
There were worrying scenes just five minutes before the break as Mellis seemed to twist awkwardly on the turf as he tried to latch onto a ball down the left. But Mellis dusted himself down and appeared fine to continue after treatment from the physios.
The first booking was finally shown as Chadwick kicked Hassell after the ball had gone.
Both sides made a single change apiece at the break with Scotland replacing Harewood for Barnsley and Harley was replaced by Chicksen for the Dons.
A free-kick for the home side forced Hassell to head clear from danger with Lewington lurking in the six-yard box.
Kelvin Etuhu took a nasty knock as the Reds attacked and had to be replaced by Jim O’Brien on 58 minutes. Etuhu left the field on a stretcher to standing ovation from all sides of the ground.
The home side were back in it when Bowditch raced onto a ball down the centre, catching the Reds’ defence out on 61 minutes, and slotting past Steele.
There was another chance for MK Dons from a deadly area as Wiseman brought down Powell on the edge of the box but Williams hammered the ball well over the bar.
It was now up to the Reds to show their grit and character to stamp out the home side’s revival.
David Perkins went on a simply awesome run into the area and it seemed his cross had been turned in by a Dons defender but it evaded the net and the head of Scotland who lurking at the near post.
Barnsley’s final change came with Rory Delap coming on for Bobby Hassell with 20 minutes remaining.
Golbourne was left in a heap after Williams put a high, late challenge in and picked up a yellow card for his troubles. The home fans had found their voice and their team were responding.
Dagnall drifted infield onto a Golbourne pass but cracked a low effort wide of Martin’s post. It seemed certain that another goal was on its way.
Steele made a tremendous save from a close-range as Lewington powered a header at goal but the Steele got a strong hand to the ball to turn it over. On 82 minutes Steele made another save as he just saw Lewington’s 30-yard free-kick around the post.
Jason Scotland could have put the game beyond doubt on 85 minutes as Mellis sent him in on goal, after bringing the ball onto his right foot he curled over the bar.
Again the Reds attacked as Golbourne showed great energy down the left to overlap Dagnall, Golbourne put in a great cross that was cleared to Mellis who dragged inches wide from 18 yards.
Twelve minutes of added time was indicated by the fourth official.
It was surely game over as Chris Dagnall raced onto a wonderful through-ball and rounded the ‘keeper before slotting home from a tight angle in front of the 3,700-strong travelling Tykes.
The referee lost patience with Alan Smith and showed him a red card for clattering into Delap well after the Stoke loanee had cleared the ball.
MK Dons: Martin, Otsemobor, Lewington, Mackenzie, Williams, Potter, Bowditch (Lines 68), Smith, Powell, Harley (Chicksen 46), Chadwick.
Subs: Kouo-Doumbe, Flanagan, Alli, Galloway, Rasulo.
Reds: Steele, Wiseman, Golbourne, Kennedy, Cranie, Hassell (Delap 70), Etuhu (O’Brien 58), Perkins, Mellis, Harewood (Scotland 46), Dagnall.
Subs: Alnwick, Foster, Cywka, Rose.
Referee: M. Jones.
Attendance: 14,475 (3,702 Tykes).