BARNSLEY manager Keith Hill admitted he was “immensely proud” of his players after they overcame a man disadvantage to beat in-form Peterborough.
The omens didn’t look good as the Reds went into the game on the back of four straight defeats - and no goals in those games - while Posh were in good nick.
To make matters worse the hosts were then reduced to ten men after half-an-hour thanks to Nathan Doyle’s deserved red card, but by then David Cotterill had opened the scoring and Barnsley went on to secure the gutsiest of victories.
Hill said: “Psychologically the sending-off could have had an adverse effect and Peterborough could have really hurt us, but I was really pleased with the way the players stood up to be counted and ground that result out.
“It was an immense performance defensively, and that gets us back to the way I want my players to play football.”
New loan capture from Huddersfield Kallum Higginbotham surprisingly made only the bench as Hill clearly saw enough at Crystal Palace during the week to make just a single change to his starting 11. That alteration came across the midfield as Cotterill was drafted back in, in place of Frank Nouble, who was relegated to the bench.
Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough went into Saturday’s game in decent form having cruised past promotion-chasing Reading during the week, and in-form strike pairing Tyrone Barnett and Paul Taylor continued up front.
The first half was a tale of the winning goal and then the red card that soon followed.
The Reds had started the game well and when they opened the scoring it was fully deserved.
It was a great strike too.
A sweeping move down the left culminated with the hugely impressive Matty Done swinging in a super low cross from the left into Cotterill’s path, and he instinctively pulled the trigger as he fired home from just inside the Posh box to beat keeper Paul Jones convincingly.
It was former Swansea and Wigan man Cotterill’s first Barnsley goal, and he celebrated in style.
Just seven minutes after Cotterill’s special, Doyle lunged in inexplicably on Lee Tomlin, leaving the Posh midfielder in a crumpled heap on the ground.
They were few voices of dissent as referee Haines went straight for his top pocket and sent off Doyle.
As the game wore on the Reds clearly grew in confidence and while Posh skipper Grant McCann went close with a curling free-kick so did Davies and Stephen Dawson with near-perfectly-executed efforts on the counter-attack.
The visitors tried desperately to turn the screw in the final ten minutes but the Reds’ backline stood firm