Wigan Athletic 1 (Grigg 10)
Reds 4 (Winnall pen 33, 44, Hourihane 56, Brownhill 74)
Barnsley blasted their way into the Play-Offs as this rollercoaster campaign was extended, following a 4-1 win at Champions Wigan Athletic.
The Reds will take on Walsall in the Play-Offs for a shot at Wembley and, of course, the Championship.
The start of the match had a party atmosphere to it, as the hosts celebrated promotion to the Championship with the Reds aiming to follow them.
From the first sniff of a shot it was the hosts who opened the scoring with their number nine Will Grigg. Ironically the Reds' number nine was the one who gave the ball away - during a promising counter-attack - allowing Wigan to counter themselves. Wildschut whipped in a cross and Grigg pounced on the block by Mawson to tuck home whilst everyone stood claiming handball.
With the wind in their sales and the game having opened up, Chris McCann charged forward but could only blast over the bar from 25 yards.
Again the home team came at the Reds who were looking on edge, despite starting the opening 10 minutes looking comfortable on the ball. McCann once again launching over the crossbar after a clever pull-back by Wildschut on 20 minutes.
The closest Barnsley came to a chance was when Nicholls flapped at a Hammill corner but the referee blew for an alleged could by Mawson as the Reds tried to scramble the ball home. Moments later on 26 minutes, Hammill didn't get the power required to beat the Wigan goalkeeper after drifting in from the left past Daniels.
From one end to the other, Wildschut had a deflected effort easily caught by Davies and then Fletcher whistled a cross-shot along the face of goal with the game past the half-hour mark.
Barnsley were awarded a spot-kick on 32 minutes after a fantastic tackle by Brownhill allowed Fletcher a run at goal. Warnock hacked at Fletcher after Winnall was thwarted by Nicholls moments earlier but Brownhill won the ball back with a tenacious tackle and Fletcher was away. Winnall stepped up and sent Nicholls the wrong way. The travelling Tykes went wild.
Thankfully the leveller had given Barnsley some much-needed confidence and they started to attack with real purpose. Hammill bent one wide with his left foot after Scowen did well to work his way forward on 40 minutes.
An incredible piece of play between Williams and Hammill allowed the latter in on goal, albeit from a tight angle, with 42 gone. His pull-back was well cleared by Warnock as Fletcher lurked at the back post.
The Reds took the lead on 44 minutes and it has be said that it was deserved. A great interception by Isgrove presented him the opportunity to drive at goal. After getting a shot away that squirmed under Nicholls, the ball dropped nicely for the advancing Winnall to tap home, with Daniels only just missing out on a clearance.
With five minutes of the second half gone, Adam Davies had Alfie Mawson to thank for blocking a certain goal from substitute Ryan Colclough. But Barnsley came back at the hosts and Adam Hammill almost pulled a world-class goal out of the bag with an overhead kick that, if it had direction, could well have beaten Nicholls.
The Reds were on top and they made it show on 56 minutes with a third goal. A bizarre flap at a cross from Scowen by Nicholls allowed Fletcher to pick the ball up and pull back for Hourihane. His shot first-time took a nick on its way through and somehow beat Nicholls for 3-1. Needless to say, the travelling Reds went barmy.
If anything the third goal had taken the sting out of Wigan and their willingness to go forward, as opposed to the expected red rag to a bull. The only shot the home side offered by the 73 minute in the second half was a tame Power strike that trickled wide from 22 yards.
A fourth goal for Barnsley arrived on 74 minutes and it came in some style. Josh Brownhill lined up a 30 yard free-kick and he lashed the ball into the top corner. It was a truly incredible hit that was worth gracing any stage.
With 11 minutes left the Reds made two changes, with a debut for Jak McCourt. The midfielder replaced Isgrove as Fletcher made way for Chapman.
Barnsley now the game completely in control as they bossed play from back to front. Two-goal hero Winnall was then substituted for Ivan Toney.
In stoppage time a silly late hack at Hammill meant Chris McCann saw red, but it didn't really matter for the league winners.
Wigan: Nicholls, Perkins, Daniels (Wabara 46), Power, McCann, Grigg, Jacobs (Vuckic 69), Morgan, Warnock, Pearce, Wildschut (Colclough 46).
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Morsy, McAleny, Barnett.
Reds: Davies, Scowen, G. Williams, Mawson, Roberts, Hourihane, Brownhill, Hammill, Isgrove (McCourt 79), Fletcher (Chapman 79), Winnall (Toney 84).
Subs: White, Townsend, Toney, Nyatanga, Tuton.
Referee: Tony Harrington
Attendance: 18,730 (4,770)