Another brilliant win for the super reds as the play-off push continues and Barnsley fans remain in dream land with the current run of this team.
Goals from Woodrow and Helik gave Barnsley a fifth victory in a row as they beat Millwall 2-1 at Oakwell. It is the first time Barnsley have achieved that feat in the second tier for 25 years. They last managed that in the 1996/1997 season in which they were promoted to the top flight. A sign of things to come?
Barnsley made two changes to the team that beat Stoke in midweek as Sollbauer came in to replace Sibbick at the back and Daryl Dike came into the attack at the expense of Frieser after the big American bagged his first goal in English football on Wednesday night.
The game got off to yet another flying start as the reds opened the scoring after just 90 seconds. Alex Mowatt clipped in a free-kick from the half way line, this was flicked on by Andersen and it made its way through to Woodrow. The Barnsley top scorer swivelled in the box and smashed the ball home with his right foot to open the scoring. The delivery from free kicks and corners from the left boot of Mowatt have been a real threat for the reds in recent weeks and something that the gaffer clearly has them spending a lot of time on in training.
The lead did not last long though for the hosts as Millwall hit back just a few minutes later. Barnsley full of confidence after the early goal committed plenty of bodies forward as Mowatt lined up another free-kick. This time the ball was cleared and the away side countered quickly.
The ball was played out towards the halfway line where it was picked up by Wallace, he flicked the ball through to Mason Bennett who beat Brittain with some clever step overs before firing into the far corner with his left foot. Very good finish but Ismael was clearly very unhappy with his sides defending. Brittain felt that he had took the Millwall front man wide enough and he would either be able to block the shot himself or narrow the angle for the keeper, but it was a perfectly placed finish and Collins had no chance.
Barnsley had another chance soon after Millwall got level; Brittain delivered a corner towards the back post only for Sollbauer to head over. The cross was just a little too high for the defender to be able to get over the ball to get it on target.
After the frantic opening minutes, the game did settle soon after. Millwall were looking to hit the hosts on the break and their front three were showing good movement and did look a threat. The home side were looking dangerous from set-pieces, especially when it was Mowatt taking them. But in all fairness the game was becoming a bit of a dull affair. This happens quite often in many of our games but as reds fans we know we have the bench to shake things up and we know Ismael isn’t afraid to the ring the changes and he will do so as whether he is happy or not with what he is witnessing.
Morris looked to have broken through as we approached half time, but as he took his shot there was an excellent last-ditch tackle from Hutchinson. This denied Morris getting a clear shot on goal, but the deflection off the defender took the ball into the air and it did look to be looping in for a moment before eventually dropping onto the roof of the net. It really was a terrific tackle from the Millwall man.
Ismael clearly was not happy with his sides opening half performance and he made two subs at the break bringing Sibbick and Halme on for Sollbauer and Palmer as he looked to take the initiative early in the second half. Sibbick was brought on for his extra pace at the back. And it was felt that Halme would offer a more physical presence in the middle of the park as well as adding extra height in both boxes.
The home side came close early in the second half when skipper Mowatt struck a free-kick from 25 yards but it was tipped over well by former Barnsley loanee Bialkowski in the Millwall goal.
Barnsley then began to apply some pressure as they looked to regain the lead and take all three points.
Just before the hour mark, the hosts did retake the lead and again it came from another Alex Mowatt cross. The reds won a corner on the right and this was floated in by Mowatt. Millwall cleared the initial cross but it was recovered by Mowatt who fired the ball straight back into the box.
The ball was flicked on by Andersen again, he really is the flick on king at the moment, and it broke to Helik in the box who volleyed home superbly as the ball came over his shoulder. It was a really classy finish from the big Polish defender who put it away like an in-form striker. Very similar to the Woodrow goal both in terms of the finish and the set up. Helik has been a colossus at the back in recent weeks but has also chipped in with a few goals. He and Andersen pose different types of threat from set plays and again it shows how much time the manager spends working on them.
Another Mowatt free-kick looked to have brought a third for the hosts as his cross was met by the head of Morris but the keeper got down well to tip it wide.
Millwall boss Rowett went to his bench as he looked to preserve his sides unbeaten run. He introduced a number of attacking options from the bench as the Lions changed shape to go much more attacking. They were going much more direct following the arrival of Matt Smith who is a giant.
This lead to plenty of crosses into the box from the away side as the red looked to hold on. Helik and Andersen in particular stuck to their task superbly to keep the away side out.
There was a late shout for a penalty for Barnsley after some great work down the left by sub Adeboyejo, he beat a few defenders and broke into the box and went down under a challenge but the ref waved this away. It was the right decision as it was a great challenge in the end.
That was the last action of note and a fifth win on the bounce moved Barnsley in to seventh and daring to dream as they sit one point behind the play-off places with a game in hand.
QPR next on Wednesday and this always proves to be a difficult game for Barnsley no matter where Rangers are in the table.