Barnsley somehow contrived to throw away a two-goal lead as in-form Notts County punished Danny Wilson’s men with a stunning comeback.
referee: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyneside)
Prospects looked distinctly rosy after just 12 minutes as the Reds had already fired themselves into a commanding two-goal lead, but gradually the Magpies clawed their way back into the game, with tiny front-man Mike Petrasso bagging two crucial second-half strikes.
This may well turn out to be a confidence-sapping defeat for the Reds, and next in town are runaway Sky Bet League One leaders Bristol City on Saturday.
Last night’s Reds team news was quite straight-forward.
James Bailey was suspended for one match after picking up two yellow cards in the weekend defeat at Peterborough, so up stepped youngster Paul Digby and he slotted into the midfield.
Magpies boss Shaun Derry also made one change following Saturday’s 5-3 win against Crawley, with loanee front-man Petrasso getting the nod instead of Shaun Harrad, who dropped to the bench.
On a crisp and clear evening at Oakwell, the Reds got themselves off to a dream start when they surged into the lead after just eight minutes.
Conor Hourihane - so often the orchestrator already this term - played a sumptuous inside pass to Devante Cole, and the Manchester City loan man was left with an easy task of stabbing a shot past Roy Carroll to register his fifth goal of an increasingly impressive campaign.
Incredibly the Reds lead was doubled just four minutes later, and this time the roles were reversed.
Cole broke down the right and played in Hourihane, who had simple task in tapping past Carroll from eight yards.
It didn’t take long for the Magpies to strike back, however.
The game was only in the 20th minute when the third goal went in as Garry Thompson lashed home Haydn Hollis’s through-ball from 20 yards, so at 2-1 it was suddenly ‘game on’ again.
The vistors threatened a further response as Petrasso looked dangerous, but it was the woodwork that came to the visitors’ rescue shortly before the break.
Fulham loanee Ryan Williams struck a shot against the base of a post, and as the ball rebounded out kindly to Cole, his follow-up effort was bravely blocked by Mustapha Dumbuya.
The Reds continued with their attacking intent into the second period, and ought to have made it 3-1 in the 50th minute.
Sam Winnall raced clear as he met Williams’ measured through-ball, only for the ex-Scunthorpe man to fire straight into the legs of the advancing Carroll.
Hourihane tried his luck next, firing in a trademark long-distance effort which fairly fizzed past the post.
However, it was the Magpies who were to strike next as they evened it up with a straightforward strike just past the hour mark.
Thompson flung over a cross from the right, and one of the smallest players on the pitch - Petrasso - headed home comfortably past Ross Turnbull.
Petrasso then repeated his scoring antics when he fired in from close range to condemn dejected Barnsley to another costly home defeat.
Barnsley: Turnbull 6, Bree 6 (Brown 67, 6), Cranie 7, Ramage 5, Nyatanga 5, Digby 5 (Treacy 76, 5), Hourihane 7, Berry 5, Williams 7, Cole 8, Winnall 5. Subs not used: Davies, Dudgeon, Hemmings, Abbott, Lita.
Notts County (4-4-1-1): Carroll 7, Dumbuya 7, Hollis 6, Laing 7, Cranston 5 (Adams 46, 6), Thompson 8, Jones 7, Noble 7, McLaughlin 5, Petrasso 8, Ismail 7. Subs not used: Wroe, Murray, McKenzie, Spiess, Traore, Harrad.
Yellow cards: McLaughlin (88).