Brad Collins was the man of the match as Barnsley somehow managed to come away from the South Yorkshire derby with all three points.
Former Rotherham striker Carlton Morris scored a controversial goal in the second minute then the visitors had the better chances during a disappointing display by the Reds, who somehow walked away with a 1 – 0 victory.
But that result coupled with Reading’s draw on Sunday means that Barnsley are guaranteed a play-off spot with two games to go. Dream land for all reds fans.
Valerien Ismael made two changes from the side that won in Huddersfield on Wednesday.
Daryl Dike replaced the injured Dominik Frieser and Aapo Halme played in central midfield with Romal Palmer dropping to the bench.
There was a dramatic start as goalkeeper Viktor Johansson clawed a looping Cauley Woodrow effort out of his top left corner in the first minute. Callum Styles played the resulting corner short to Alex Mowatt and got the ball back then crossed from the right for Michal Helik to head towards goal. Morris challenged Johansson and appeared to head the ball into the net for his seventh goal of the season.
On first viewing I felt that the referee was right to allow the goal to stand. But after seeing the replays Morris seemed to lead with his arm and I feel that it was a foul on the goalkeeper who had to go off injured. It was later revealed that he had a fractured eye socket.
Barnsley had started very well in the opening few minutes but were poor for the remainder of the first half, with their intensity dropping and Rotherham having all the attacks and chances until the break.
Chiedozie Ogbene had Rotherham’s first shot but his powerful 20-yard effort was straight at Brad Collins who caught it easily.
Former Barnsley striker Michael Smith then met a Freddie Ladapo cross on the left of the box but saw his close-range shot blocked by Callum Brittain before, minutes later, the ball dropped to Richard Wood in the six-yard box but his deflected effort looped into Collins’ hands.
The first real clear-cut chance came on 43 minutes when Jamie Lindsay put Freddie Ladapo through on goal but Collins made an impressive block with his chest from the 12-yard shot.
Brittain volleyed just over the bar from 25 yards in first half injury-time and half time came with the lucky to be ahead.
Ismael brought on Jordan Williams for Styles at the break. A change I was not surprised by but I also expected Palmer to replace Halme in midfield but that change never came.
Rotherham missed two huge chances in the first half minutes of the second half. First Ogbene sprinted easily past Michael Sollbauer – who was taken off minutes later for Toby Sibbick – in the box before being denied by the impressive Collins one-on-one. Sollbauer actually fouled Ogbene but Ogbene chose to stay on his feet and try to finish rather than go down to try and win a penalty.
Then Ladapo inexplicably missed the ball when he looked sure to turn it in six yards out from Shaun MacDonald’s low right-wing cross.
The game then became more even and Dike almost made it 2-0 on 77 minutes when he outmuscled Wood to go through but his shot was deflected just wide.
Smith then nearly levelled on 81 minutes but he headed a right-wing cross by substitute Wes Harding wide from eight yards out.
Ogbene looked certain to score in the 88th minute when a cross from the left dropped to him five yards out but Collins sprang to his right to make another excellent save and save Barnsley yet again.
Full time and a 1 – 0 win for the reds with Brad Collins the man to thank for it. In all fairness we should have lost this one but who cares.
Play-offs here we come.