Barnsley rounded out 2020 with a fifth victory in six games, as first-half strikes from Cauley Woodrow and Alex Mowatt saw them edge past Rotherham at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The two South Yorkshire towns are separated by just 14 miles, and the game ended up being similarly close, as the visitors edged out their second 2-1 derby victory in a row.
An influential performance from skipper Mowatt saw him set up Woodrow to put the Reds in front, before turning scorer himself just seven minutes later.
A header from Michael Smith just before the hour mark halved the deficit, but the Reds dug deep to complete the victory.
Barnsley’s top scorer latched onto Mowatt’s eighth-minute through ball and with great composure, tucked a lovely finish beyond Millers goalkeeper Viktor Johansson.
With Rotherham still reeling, Callum Styles then found himself in acres of space on the edge of the box, and squared a short pass to Mowatt, who needed no invitation to bend a brilliant shot into the far corner.
However, the Millers were determined not to be bowed in the face of that early deficit, and they forced Jack Walton into smart saves on several occasions.
First, Kyle Vassell had a fierce strike blocked, before Walton palmed away a close-range attempt from Freddie Ladapo on the turn as he kept the lead intact at the break.
HALF-TIME: Rotherham United 0-2 Barnsley
Visiting hearts were in mouths when substitute Smith pulled one back twelve minutes into the second half, nodding home Dan Barlaser’s corner from point-blank range.
Despite that, ‘spurned chances’ was largely the theme of the second half, as both sides were guilty of wasting glorious opportunities.
First, Ladapo fired a shot across goal that whistled inches wide of the upright, before Victor Adeboyejo also managed to miss the target when put through one-on-one with Johansson.
Millers substitute George Hirst narrowly headed over, before Styles lashed a strike off target from the edge of the box as neither side was able to make any further impact on the scoresheet.
The result means Barnsley have so far seen off all three of their fellow Yorkshire sides in this season’s Championship, and they rise to eighth, now just two points outside of the playoff places.
FULL-TIME: Rotherham United 1-2 Barnsley
Reds XI: Walton (GK), Styles, Andersen, Brittain, Woodrow, Sollbauer, Mowatt (c) (Moon), Frieser (Thomas), Adeboyejo, Helik, James (Palmer).
Unused: Kendrick (GK), Kane, Christie-Davies, Schmidt, Oduor, Miller.