BARNSLEY snatched a draw at Ipswich with a late equaliser,.
Barnsley started David Flitcroft’s permanent reign as manager on the crest of a wave, having sealed a thrilling 2-0 win against Leeds the week previous.
Extra incentive was provided by the chance to close the gap on relegation rivals Ipswich to four points but injuries to Jimmy McNulty and Jim O’Brien certainly didn’t help in keeping momentum rolling.
As if the pre-match injuries hadn’t been enough for Barnsley, Flitcroft watched as another spanner was chucked into the works.
With just 15 minutes on the clock, influential midfielder Stephen Dawson failed to get up following a challenge, signalling a premature end to his involvement.
Etuhu came on to replace him and the Reds actually seemed to use the adversity as a source of extra motivation.
Using his considerable strength to good effect, Harewood fashioned a chance after nut-megging Cresswell but his shot was deflected behind at the near post.
Having had nothing but bad luck previously, Barnsley enjoyed their first slice of good fortune when an Ipswich free-kick fell to Chambers 10 yards out.
Presented with a great chance to put his side ahead, Chambers produced a true defender’s finish, smashing his effort high over the top.
Steele also enjoyed a lucky escape after giving away an indirect free-kick inside the box following a bungled attempt to clear a back-pass. Thankfully, the resultant shot from Martin was comfortably blocked.
Barnsley came within a whisker of an equaliser but Harewood slammed his shot against the foot of the post after linking up with Mellis.
There was a strong sense of deja vu as another set-piece proved to be Reds’ undoing, Creswell’s delivery from a free-kick causing havoc inside the box.
A couple of Ipswich players tried to have a bite before CHAMBERS hit a low shot into the corner of the net, atoning for his first-half miss. It could have got even worse when McGoldrick fashioned an opening on the edge of the penalty area but he pulled his shot narrowly wide.
That effort was indicative of a change in the hosts’ mentality though, the goal giving them the confidence to chance their arm whenever possible.
Flitcroft identified the change in mood and decided the time was right to make his move, switching from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2 before introducing Done for Golbourne to facilitate a more direct approach.
Mellis and Harewood shot wide as Reds pushed for an equaliser, while Etuhu wasted a good attack with an over-ambitious effort from 30 yards.
An even better chance presented itself when Kennedy whipped an inviting free-kick into the box. Dagnall darted in to meet the ball but his header glanced across the face and out for a goal-kick.
Harewood was similarly unable to find the target from a Perkins cross, glancing a shot wide from close range at the end of a good attacking move.
Rose was introduced for Mellis as Flitcroft made one last throw of the dice with time running out and Barnsley won three corners in quick succession.
The second of those saw Loach tip away Harewood’s header and the third finally provided the moment Reds had been waiting for.
With just two minutes left, substitute ROSE met Kennedy’s corner and planted a superb header into the corner of the net.