REPORT | Barnsley 2 Wanderers 2

Williams celebration Barnsley

Never-say-die Wanderers staged a magnificent fightback to score the injury-time equaliser that took them into the automatic promotion places, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites were in danger of being overhauled in the table by Barnsley when the Yorkshiremen – beaten only once in League One since November – went 2-0 up just after half-time.

But a 10th league goal of the season from former Barnsley striker Victor Adeboyejo with half an hour to go got Wanderers back in the hunt.

Ian Evatt’s men then tore into the home side with a magnificent spell of football which produced a glut of chances.

And just when time looked like running out they finally took the last of them when substitute Randell Williams followed up a Josh Sheehan penalty that was saved in the 98th minute to ram home the equaliser which took Wanderers above Derby County and into second spot with 10 games of the season to go.

Williams goal Barnsley

It was a dramatic end to a pulsating game which had so much riding on it.

Even with so many fixtures to go this felt like a big one as Wanderers played the last of their games in hand and Barnsley had the chance to continue their climb and enhance their own promotion credentials.

The two sides have been the closest of rivals in recent seasons and once again there was nothing to separate them – even if Wanderers felt their late comeback could have brought them even greater reward.

The White certainly had the chances to turn a two-goal deficit into a famous win. But they had to do it the hard way.

Moments after Gethin Jones had almost punished the club where he previously spent a spell on loan with the opening goal, Wanderers gifted Barnsley the lead.

George Thomason was caught out as he accepted a pass from Joel Coleman to give John McAtee the chance to slot home with 25 minutes gone.

That rocked the Whites who had been beaten at Oakwell in last season’s play-offs and the prospect of another defeats raised its head when defender Donovan Pines then doubled Barnsley’s lead two minutes after the break when he fired home following a corner.

Adeboyejo goal Barnsley

Wanderers were in danger of suffering a potentially damaging third successive away defeat at that point but their response was nothing short of magnificent.

Thomason, who recovered from his early error to produce another stand-out performance, was denied by Liam Roberts from the first big chance before Jones saw his follow-up effort blocked.

Roberts was to be a key figure with some crucial saves but he was powerless to stop Adeboyejo making it 2-1 to give the fightback real momentum.

Again Thomason was involved in the build-up, following a smartly-taken free-kick from Sheehan, before releasing Aaron Collins to deliver a wicked low cross Adeboyejo steered into the net to move into double figures.

There was then only one team in it. But Wanderers couldn’t find a way past Roberts as the on-loan Middlesbrough man saved from Collins and Paris Maghoma either side of an effort from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson which hit a post as the Whites peppered Barnsley’s goal.

The Tykes also kept out a further effort from Maghoma and thought they had got over the line but Wanderers refused to give up and with seven minutes of added time gone got their reward.

Sheehan penalty Barnsley

Cameron Jerome had been a real handful after coming off the bench and when he was wrestled to the ground, referee James Bell pointed to the spot.

Sheehan accepted the responsibility and even though Roberts kept out the midfielder’s effort, Williams reacted quickest to drive home the rebound and send 2,000 travelling fans wild at a result that could prove pivotal in the final reckoning.

Wanderers: Coleman; Jones, Almeida Santos, Toal; Sheehan; Dacres-Cogley (Iredale 52), Dempsey (Maghoma 70), Thomason, Ogbeta (Williams 70); Collins (Bodvarsson 79), Adeboyejo (Jerome 79). Substitutes: Forrester, Morley.

Booked: Thomason, Iredale, Jerome

Barnsley: Roberts; Williams, Pines, De Gevigney, Earl, Cadden (O’Keeffe 67), Connell, Kane, Phillips (Cotter 83), McAtee (Grant 67), Cole (Cosgrove 94). Substitutes: Killip, Russell, Cosgrove, McCart.

Booked: Williams, McAtee

Referee: James Bell

Attendance: 14,808

Read Time: 4 mins