Barnsley deservedly secured their first win on the road this season courtesy of a Tom Bradshaw brace and Mamadou Thiam’s strike as they ran out 3-1 winners against Millwall.
Great work on the wing from Harvey Barnes gave Bradshaw a tap in to break the deadlock before the interval, only for the Lions to level in stoppage time after Gregory fired home from the spot.
Despite Paul Heckingbottom being sent to the stands within minutes of the second half restarting, Barnes came close to extending the lead with a curling effort.
Bradshaw doubled his tally after great work again from Barnes in the build-up and Thiam struck a third from the spot seven minutes from time after Jared Bird had been brought down in the area.
It could have been 4-1 had Adam Hammill hit the target in stoppage time and Thiam not been thwarted by Jordan Archer, but the Reds ended their five month wait for a win on the road.
The Lions’ physical approach almost gave them the opener inside four minutes as Lee Gregory muscled his way through, but Adam Davies showed excellent reactions deny him from six yards.
Cameron McGeehan, making his full debut for the Reds, took aim from 25 yards in reply and was just off target with his effort, with a looping Steve Morison header the best the Lions could muster in reply.
Tom Bradshaw’s glancing header just past the quarter hour mark forced Archer into action with a good save away to his left, with Brad Potts’ effort from Adam Hammill’s cross also just wide.
The hosts were let off the hook six minutes before the break as Archer spilled Jason McCarthy’s cross straight to McGeehan, and despite his, Potts and Bradshaw’s best efforts, Archer recovered well to deny the Reds.
Barnsley weren’t to be denied and edged ahead just before the interval when excellent work from Harvey Barnes allowed him to scamper clear down the left and square for Bradshaw to notch his sixth goal of the season.
The Lions were behind for only six minutes before they were given a route back into the contest as Matty Pearson upended Lee Gregory as he raced in on-on-one with Davies.
Pearson was booked for his troubles and Gregory slammed the ball past Davies from the spot to level the contest at the break.
HALF TIME: Millwall 1-1 Barnsley.
The second half began with Reds Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom being sent to the stands by referee Oliver Langford after he had consulted with the fourth official.
On the pitch, the Reds went in search of their second and nearly got it when Barnes drifted in from the left to force a good save out of Jordan Archer.
O’Brien could not test Davies with a poor arrowed effort from the left while a thunderous Jed Wallace effort on the hour was thwarted again by the Reds stopper.
His save proved crucial as the Reds retook the lead on the hour mark, with Barnes and Bradshaw combining wonderfully once more, with the aid of a stunning 40-yard pass from McGeehan.
The on-loan Leicester man surged inside from the left after taking down McGeehan’s ball beautifully and delivered a pinpoint cross for Bradshaw to notch his seventh of the season on the slide.
In reply, the Lions could not hit the target when substitute Shane Ferguson took aim from a tight angle, while Davies made yet another fine save, keeping out Steve Morison’s point blank header.
At the other end, substitute Mamadou Thiam’s cross was met by Potts from close range, only for Archer to pull off a high class save to deny the Reds a third.
Thiam however was the man to put the result beyond all doubt with the Reds’ third goal seven minutes from time.
Fellow substitute Jared Bird’s excellent close control brought a foul in the area and the Frenchman stepped up to roll the ball past Archer.
It could have been 4-1 in stoppage time had Hammill been more accurate from Thiam’s pullback, while the striker had a ferocious effort from just outside the area saved again by Archer.
But it was a repeat of the Play-Off final result from a year ago...
FULL TIME: Millwall 1-3 Barnsley
Millwall: Archer (GK), McLoughlin, Meredith (Onyedinma, 82’ ), Hutchinson, Gregory, Wallace, Webster, Tunnicliffe, Morison (c), O’Brien (Ferguson, 63’ ), Saville.
Subs: Martin (GK), Craig, Thompson, Romeo, Cooper.
Barnsley: Davies (GK) (c), McCarthy, Lindsay, Jackson, Pearson, J. Williams, Potts, McGeehan (Bird, 81’ ), Barnes (Hedges, 72’ ), Bradshaw (Thiam, 72’ ), Hammill.
Subs: Townsend (GK), Fryers, MacDonald, Ugbo.