Report: Barnsley 0 Cardiff City 1 - Reds suffer late heartache to Neil Warnock's Bluebirds
Barnsley's four-game unbeaten run cruelly came to an end at the hands of promotion chasing Cardiff City last night.
The Reds agonisingly conceded in the 83rd-minute as Callum Paterson stole the spoils late on at Oakwell.
It was a wet and windy evening under the lights in South Yorkshire, but even a bright Barnsley performance was enough for a share of the spoils.
Paul Heckingbottom’s men had picked up eight points from their last four games and arguably had the better chances.
And the way in which they conceded will irk Heckingbottom, the players and the fans alike.
Adam Hammill made a great goal-line clearance to deny the high-flying Bluebirds, with the balls bounching off Paterson and going in.
Head coach Heckingbottom preferred to switch things around in order to rest some legs after Saturday’s exertions.
The suspended Joe Williams was replaced by the recalled Gary Gardner as expected, whilst club captain Angus MacDonald failed to overcome a knock in time - with Matty Pearson coming in.
Elsewhere, Saturday’s scorer Harvey Barnes moved to the bench in favour of Ryan Hedges - whilst Cameron McGeehan and Mamadou Thiam also came in for George Moncur and Tom Bradshaw respectively.
Once again the Reds dominated the ball for large parts without working Neil Etheridge.
Adam Davies had a comfortable save to make from a tame Joe Bennett shot at the start, but not much else before the break.
The visitors had shouts for a wishful penalty waved away after Danny Ward hit the deck early on - much to the disdain of the Oakwell faithful.
Down the other end impressive defender Liam Lindsay lashed an audacious strike over the bar.
The recalled duo of Thiam and Hedges showed great understanding, with Hedges’ teasing cross being safely put out of play by a Cardiff defender.
And the best chance of the half fell to Thiam who could only head in to the side netting as his search for a first Reds’ goal in open play went on.
Lindsay went down after clashing heads with team-mate Zeki Fryers, but was deemed fit to play on after receiving treatment.
Right before the break Hammill thrashed a decent effort wide as a promising but frustrating half for Heckingbottom’s men came to an end.
The Reds were under a bit of pressure early in the second half at the high-flying Bluesbirds looked to grab the opener.
Craig Bryson struck wide after the ball fell awkwardly outside the box before former Premier League winger Junior Hoilett tried his luck but could only fire straight at Davies.
Heckingbottom turned to fresh legs as he brought on Barnes and Bradshaw for Hedges and Thiam.
And Barnes picked up from where he left off at the weekend, constantly terrorising his full-back as he tried to get forward at every opportunity.
Hammill hit a curling effort wide with just 15 minutes left as they game looked destined for a draw.
Neil Warnock’s side started to pile on the pressure late on.
The visitors almost fortunately took the lead as a deflected effort looped just over the bar - much to the relief of the Reds.
But the Reds failed to clear the resultant corner with Hammill’s goal-line clearance in vain as Paterson found an unlikely winner.
Barnsley: Davies, Yiadom, Pearson, Lindsay, Fryers, Potts, Gardner, McGeehan (Moncur, 74), Hammill, Thiam (Bradshaw, 64), Hedges (Barnes, 64).
Subs not used: Walton, McCarthy, Bird, Ugbo.
Cardiff: Etheridge, Ecuele Manga, Bamba, Morrison, Bennett, Gunnarsson (Damour, 74), Ralls, Bryson, Hoilett, Paterson, Ward (Gounongbe, 82).
Murphy, Peltier, Tomlin, Feeney, Feltscher.
Reds Star Man: Adam Hammill
Referee: David Coote