There was penalty shoot-out heartache for Barnsley as they went down 4-2 to Oldham in their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round clash.
The Reds battled back from two down at the interval to make it 2-2 at full-time, but Sam Winnall and Kane Hemmings fluffed penalty kicks at the death as Roses rivals Oldham progressed to the Northern Section quarter-finals.
As Danny Wilson indicated after the Rochdale victory on Saturday, he didn’t go mad with changes for this second round tie at SportsDirect.com Park.
There were three alterations to the Reds’ starting line-up, with Reece Brown and Joe Dudgeon returning to the back four, while last week’s loan capture from Fulham, Ryan Williams, was handed a start out on the flank.
Devante Cole and the weekend’s match-winner Peter Ramage were dropped to the reduced five-man bench, while club skipper Martin Cranie was rested altogether for the trip across the Pennines.
It turned out to be a dismal first period for the Reds. They went in at the interval 2-0 down, with the first goal a controversial strike, while they also lost lively youngster Williams to injury after barely half-an-hour.
The visitors also struck the woodwork, though Oldham were good value for their lead as they created numerous chances.
Conor Wilkinson, Danny Philliskirk and former Leeds hit-man Dominic Poleon had already gone close to breaking the deadlock before the Reds even registered a meaningful in the 20th minute. That came via Keith Treacy, who latched on to Williams’ smart pass before curling a left-foot effort inches over the top.
Two minutes later the hosts surged into the lead, though there was more than a hint of offside surrounding the scorer Poleon.
As the Oldham front-man stepped up to convert Joseph Mills’ drilled cross from the left, he looked further forward than the Reds’ last man and the travelling faithful expressed the disapproval as the goalscorer wheeled away in celebration.
The hosts continued to press, however, with Poleon and Philliskirk again going close to doubling the advantage.
Six minutes before the break the Reds were thwarted by the woodwork, though it was an unintended cross from striker Sam Winnall that floated over Paul Rachubka’s head and bounced out off the inside of the far post.
Just to re-affirm their superiority, however, Oldham surged into a two-goal lead two minutes before the break courtesy of a classy strike from Philliskirk.
The former Chelsea youngster wriggled past two half-challenges in the Reds’ midfield before crashing home sweetly past Ross Turnbull from the edge of the box.
Facing a two-goal deficit at the break, prospects looked bleak for Wilson’s men.
With neither side making any further changes at the break - after Williams had been replaced by Cole following his injury - the theme continued after the restart.
Just 35 seconds had passed when the dangerous Philliskirk drilled in a shot which Turnbull had to be alert to parry.
However, after a further chance from Poleon had gone begging, the Reds finally struck back in the 53rd minute.
A Conor Hourihane cross was only deflected into the path of Luke Berry, who crashed home his first Barnsley goal convincingly past Rachubka from 18 yards.
Temporarily the goal gave Wilson’s men a much-needed shot of confidence, and they again threatened when Cole charged towards the heart of the Oldham defence, only to see a shot blocked.
Oldham ought to have made it 3-1 in the 65th minute. Poleon latched superbly on to James Dayton’s through-ball, but the first-half goalscorer this time lashed wastefully over the bar from well inside the Reds’ box.
That final chance was punished when Winnall cracked home to make it 2-2 in the 90th minute.
From there it was straight onto penalties.
Philliskirk went first and scored, while Conor Hourihane who missed a penalty at the weekend against Rochdale, levelled.
Kelly scored for Oldham before Winnall went from hero to villian as he missed his spot kick.
Jones made it 3-1 to the home side and it stayed that way as substitute Kane Hemmings missed for Barnsley.
However, Ross Turnbull kept the visitors in it when he saved from Wilkinson and Abbott brought it back to 3-2.
Oldham still only needed one more to win though and Rhys Turner duly fired home to send Lee Johnson’s men through to the next round.
Oldham: Rachubka 7, B Wilson 6, Dieng 7, J Wilson 6, Mills 7, Dayton 7 (Winchester 81, 6), Jones 6, Tidser 7 (Kelly 86, 5), Philliskirk 8, Poleon 7 (Turner 79, 5), Wilkinson 8.
Subs not used: Coleman, Brown.
Yellow cards: Poleon (65).
Red cards: None.
Barnsley: Turnbull 8, Bree 5, Brown 7, Nyatanga 6, Dudgeon 5, Williams 7 (Cole 36, 7), Bailey 5 (Abbott 85, 5), Berry 7, Treacy 5 (Hemmings 54, 6), Hourihane 6, Winnall 7.
Subs not used: Davies, Ramage.
Yellow cards: Bailey (73).
Red cards: None.