BARNSLEY scored a dramatic late equaliser at Premier League candidates Cardiff City tonight.
They had gone behind to a header from a corner in the second half and had spent much of the rest of the game absorbing waves of pressure.
But in extra time, they fought their way back, scoring controversially through Stephen Foster, with the last kick of the game.
Kelvin Etuhu, who was hurt in the goalless draw at Crystal Palace, hadn’t made the squad and defender Martin Cranie’s hamstring problem saw him an absentee, also.
The Reds, who lost 5-3 win in the same fixture last year, are desperate on keeping away from the drop zone - they started off the evening two places above it.
But recent form for David Flitcroft’s team had been a confidence booster, having won three of the last five.
As expected, the Reds had to withstand some early pressure, with Craig Bellamy in mischievous mood.
Aron Gunnarsson whistled a shot from just outside the area wide of the left-hand post.
On 17 minutes, Welshman Bellamy met a Tommy Smith cross and clattered the ball against the post.
Jim O’Brien put a half chance wide as Barnsley tried to impose themselves in the opposition half.
Three minutes later Luke Steele had to save from the 33-year-old ex Liverpool man.
And Jordon Mutch tested the 28-year-old keeper after that.
For all City’s pressure, they could only go in level at half time.
The last-ditch defending continued after the break.
But the Reds finally conceded just short of the hour, defender Ben Turner heading the ball in to the bottom right corner of the net, after a corner from Bo-Kyung Kim.
Flitcroft’s men responded by attacking hard and Foster grabbed the sensational leveller.
Cardiff fans were furious because they had been expecting five minutes of extra time - and the goal came in the 96th.
Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Turner, Barnett, Bo-Kyung, Gunnarsson, Mutch, Smith, Mason, Bellamy.
Subs: Lewis, Nugent, Whittingham, Conway, Noone, Gestede, Hexosan.
Barnsley: Steele, Hassell, Foster, Wiseman, Kennedy, Dawson, O’Brien, Perkins, Mellis, Harewood, O’Grady.
Subs: Alnwick, Jones, Cywka, Patterson, Scotland, Dagnall, Rose.
*Barnsley’s last fixtures are against top-half clubs, other than a visit to fellow strugglers Huddersfield on May 4.