Two wonder goals saw the young Reds claim victory against Millwall in their final home game of the season on Saturday.
A ferocious Brad Binns volley and a stinging effort from Aiden Marsh, his second of the game, set the two sides apart in the second half in a game where both teams had dominant spells.
Barnsley began in style when Will Lancaster’s looping free-kick from distance cannoned high off the crossbar and back into the goal mouth, and, with a group of players waiting to get on the end of it, Marsh came out on top as he smashed in from close range with the goal gaping.
Ten minutes later, though, momentum began to swing in the Lions’ favour as a neat passage of play brought them level. A great ball put Abdul Abdulmalik through on the wrong side of the hosts’ defence, who showed good pace running in on goal before squaring the ball to Sean O’Brien for a simple finish.
Henry Kendrick did well to come out of his goal and close down the angle to deny Jay Barton and prevent the visitors from getting a second in quick succession. While, at the other end, Charlie Winfield tested Joe Wright following a driving run into the area.
HALF-TIME: Barnsley 1-1 Millwall
On 55 minutes, the Reds had Callum Walmsley to thank for his goal line clearance after Kendrick got a touch but couldn’t quite keep Abdulmalik’s shot out.
Barnsley were then awarded a free-kick in the middle of the park, which was sent into area and only partially cleared by Millwall. Binns, in space, took full advantage of this, lining himself up and hitting the ball first time into the back of the net, capping off a fine performance from the midfielder.
From here on, Adam Murray’s side started to take control and Marsh produced another moment of magic – bearing down on the centre of the goal, he drove a pinpoint shot into the top left corner to give his team some breathing space heading into the closing stages.
Still, the Londoners weren’t down and out, and Barton went close to setting up a nervy ending. He did brilliantly to control the ball in the box and make room for himself to shoot, which he did, with the ball clipping the bar on its way over.
Goal of the day will perhaps be up for debate amongst the dressing room after this weekend’s performance, a good dilemma to be having ahead of the Reds’ final game of the season away at Queens Park Rangers.
REDS XI: Kendirck, Hassan-Smith, Walmsley, Nicholson, Adamson, Winfield, Binns (Birks), Lancaster, Mupawira (Ackroyd), Feeney (Sherlock), Marsh.
Not used: Widdop, Sila-Conde.
LIONS XI: Wright, Muller, Ezenwolum, Munting (Williams), Mitchell, Strachan, Barton, Davis (Penney), O’Brien, Abdulmalik (Bate), Boateng.
Not used: Fanshawe.