Barnsley are in dreamland after clinching a stunning promotion back to the Championship.
BARNSLEY are in dreamland after clinching a stunning promotion back to the Championship.
Paul Heckingbottom’s brave side did him and the Reds’ army of loyal supporters proud at Wembley with a brilliant 3-1 win over Millwall.
Goals from Manchester United star loan striker Ashley Fletcher, wing wizard Adam Hammill and Southampton loanee Lloyd Isgrove did the business as the rampant Reds tasted sweet success on a memorable day in the capital.
Mark Beevers, once a target for Barnsley, pulled a goal back for Millwall after Fletcher and Hammill’s goals, but Isgrove’s second half header killed of the Londoners.
And who would have believed the Reds could have achieved so much success when they were languishing at the bottom of League One at the end of November.
It’s been an incredible turnaround by the South Yorkshire club, especially having already toasted a fantastic victory over Oxford in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final last month.
Two trophies, back in the second tier of English football and significantly richer with this win set to net them £6million.
Fletcher dazzled and bagged his ninth goal of the season, as did Hammill who took his tally to nine as well.
And it was left to Isgrove to put the icing on the cake with his first goal for the Reds with 16 minutes remaining.
Ironically it was Millwall who could have been ahead after just 55 seconds, but Beevers headed wide at the back post from Chris Taylor’s curling corner.
But the breakthrough came at the other end just 36 seconds later as Fletcher cooly slotted home for his ninth goal of the season.
Hammill blazed over from a tight angle and Fletcher had a shot saved well by keeper Jordan Archer at his near post as the Reds heaped on the pressure.
And then Hammill doubled the Reds’ lead with a moment of his brilliance. The former Liverpool winger dinked his way past two Millwall defenders and curled a stunning right-foot shot into the top corner.
Barnsley were in dreamland but they were brought back down to earth when Beevers pulled a goal back out of nothing in the 34th minute.
The defender got a yard on fellow centre back Marc Roberts and rifled a left-foot shot beyond Adam Davies into the left corner for his first goal since October.
The second half saw fewer chacnes but Hammill had a shot saved and the Reds pressed for the winner and soaked up some early pressure from the Lions.
But the game was put to bed when captain fantastic Conor Hourihane whipped in a delightful corner from the right and Isgrove lost his marker to head home and send the Barnsley fans into full voice.
What a performance! What a season! A fairytale end!