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Reds v Millwall: Full Time

29 May 2016

Reds 3
Millwall 1

Barnsley have returned to the Championship with an impressive 3-1 win over Millwall in the League One Play-Off final.

Two quick-fire first half goals from Ashley Fletcher and a 25-yard Adam Hammill strike put the Reds in control inside the opening 20 minutes but Millwall responded when Mark Beevers prodded home from a corner 10 minutes before the break.

Fletcher and Millwall forward Steve Morison had wasted earlier chances to score with Archer making a fine save from the Barnsley front man as the Reds went in 2-1 up at the break.

A quieter second half saw Hammill's low effort just past the hour draw a save from Archer before Aiden O'Brien fired straight at Adam Davies following a brief penalty box scramble but Lloyd Isgrove put the game beyond all doubt with his first goal for the club.

Adam Davies pulled off a stunning save in the final moments to prevent Chris Taylor pulling a goal back for the Lions but in front of over 50,000 fans, the Reds returned to the Championship.

The Lions could have opened the scoring inside the first minute when Mark Beevers headed Chris Taylor's delivery wide of the mark before Fletcher drilled another angled effort at Millwall keeper Jordan Archer.

Millwall threatened first when Mark Beevers headed Chris Taylor's free kick well wide of the mark inside the opening minute but the Reds hit back in emphatic fashion seconds later.

With less than two minutes on the watch, Sam Winnall's clever flick-on was superbly controlled by Ashley Fletcher, who spun away from the Millwall defenders before firing across Jordan Archer and into the bottom corner.

Fletcher came close to doubling his tally on 13 minutes, firing straight at Archer after running on to Josh Scowen's through ball but the Reds did not have to wait too much longer for a second.

In the 19th minute, Adam Hammill collected the ball almost inside his own half, skipped inside the Millwall defenders before unleashing an unstoppable 25-yard effort into the top corner, beyond the helpless Archer.

Steve Morison failed to test Adam Davies with a tame header from a long throw while George Williams went into the book just before the half hour for a strong challenge on Chris Taylor but the Lions pulled one back 10 minutes before half time.

Barnsley failed to clear their lines from a corner and the ball broke loose to Beevers, who poked home after Tony Craig had scuffed his initial shot.

An injury to Millwall defender Joe Martin forced Aiden O'Brien on just before the break while Josh Brownhill's audacious 30-yard shot flew over the crossbar as the first half drew to a close.


The Reds continued to press the issue early in the second half, forcing two corners within 11 minutes of the restart, neither of which the Reds could take advantage of while Lee Gregory fluffed his lines after a mix-up in the Barnsley defence gave him a chance.

Barnsley's next chance of note came just past the hour as a flowing move culminated with a low Hammill shot comfortably saved by Archer while Marc Roberts was cautioned for a strong challenge on Lee Gregory.

Millwall substitute O'Brien almost capitalised on a goalmouth scramble with a downward effort that was well gathered by the Reds stopper and only a late intervention from Shane Ferguson prevented Lloyd Isgrove from scoring his first Reds goal.

The winger did not have to wait too much longer to break his Reds duck as the smallest man on the field rose highest to meet Conor Hourihane's corner and net his first goal since joining the Reds on loan in late 2015.

A clever corner routine almost made it 4-1 with Winnall firing just over the top while a stunning Adam Davies save in the final eight minutes prevented Chris Taylor from pulling a goal back as the Reds secured a hard-fought but well-deserved return to the Championship.

Reds: Davies, Scowen, Mawson, Roberts, G. Williams, Isgrove (Watkins, 85' ), Brownhill, Hourihane, Hammill, Fletcher (Toney, 81' ), Winnall
Subs: Townsend, Nyatanga, McCourt, Chapman, A. White

Millwall: Archer, Edwards (Williams, 82' ), Craig, Beevers, Martin (O'Brien, 43' ), Ferguson, Abdou, Thompson (Onyedinma, 76' ), Taylor, Morison, Gregory
Subs: Forde, Upson, Nelson, Philpot

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