BARNSLEY’S superb nine-match unbeaten run came to an end in a eight-goal thriller - as ex-Oakwell managerial target Sean O’Driscoll’s Bristol City moved off the bottom of the Championship.
Stead had a penalty appeal turned down having gone down in the area after a robust challenge from Foster and, soon after, forced keeper Steele to save well at his near post from his right-foot drive.
A brilliant run from Harewood saw the striker tee up wing-back Delap, whose thunderbolt shot was superbly tipped over by Heaton.
But the opening goal went to the hosts in the 16th minute - and it was courtesy of the busy STEAD.
Foster looked to have been fouled by Elliott and Cranie got a whack in the face as Stead headed home from close range. The Reds were incensed with the decision not to award a foul, but the goal stood.
The Reds were denied an equaliser five minutes later when Heaton pulled off a wonderful save to tip Cranie’s bullet header over the bar from O’Brien’s corner.
Dagnall let rip with a 30-yard rocket just before the hour mark, but his effort flew agonisingly wide of the right upright.
Disaster struck for the Reds as FONTAINE fired home at the back post after some poor defending from the visitors. It was his first goal for nearly three years.
Maloney’s ball wasn’t dealt with and Fontaine happily fired home under no pressure.
Foster was booked for a clumsy challenge as the Robins countered with Flitcroft’s men in disarray.
And a few minutes later the defender was taken off in his first goal for nearly three years 500th appearance, with Chris O’Grady brought on to play on the left wing. It was a bold move from Flitcroft just before the break.
A poor startto the second half saw the Reds go further behind when STEAD pounced for his second goal.
The striker gratefully netted following a goalmouth scramble after the Reds failed to deal with Davies’ cross.
There was a fourth for the Robins as NYATANGA headed home from close-range to leave the Reds with a mountain to climb.
However, almost immediately the Reds reduced their arrears when sub O’GRADY’S shot crept over the line, although Tunnicliffe finished it off and ran away claiming the effort.
Any thoughts of a comeback seemed over in the 67th minute when Davies found the bottom left corner.
The striker had been denied by an excellent save by Steele moments earlier, but he didn’t waste his second opportunity, ghosting in to head in a fifth goal of the afternoon
Davies had a second goal ruled out for a foul on Perkins. It was a harsh decision and a brilliant finish from the striker.
Substitute Cywka pulled another goal back with a fine strike with eight minutes remaining and O’Grady headed wide from a Kennedy cross, but it was asking too much for the Reds to snatch anything from the contest. O’Grady forced a good block from Heaton as the chances kept coming in what was a great attacking spectacle for the footballing neutral.
There was still time for another goal when SCOTLAND scored his fourth goal in five games from the bench with a clinical 91st minute strike.