Barnsley 2 Stoke City 4: Individual errors cost Reds dear as they lose at home to fellow strugglers
Every defeat is disappointing, but some defeats are more disappointing than others.
Barnsley knew how much was at stake when Stoke – the only side below them in the table - visited Oakwell.
Having not won since the opening day of the season, this was one they simply had to get three points from.
But they didn't. And they didn't even get close as individual errors at the back again haunted them as Stoke ran out 4-2 winners.
Sam Clucas' fine chip and Lee Gregory's penalty put them 2-0 up before Cameron McGeehan responded before the break before quickfire goals from Joe Allen and Clucas again put the game to bed.
Patrick Schmidt scored late on for the Reds, but there was no consolation in such a damaging loss.
They came up against a team lifted by the appointment of new boss Michael O'Neill 24 hours earlier and the result might now push the Reds into naming a new manager of their own, over a month after Daniel Stendel left.
The severity of it may well mean that it won't be caretaker boss Adam Murray, who was dismayed at his side's defending.
“The goals we conceded are individual errors and that’s the story of our season so far,” he said.
“It gets past frustrating and you get a little bit angry with it. The fans do and the players do.
“It’s something I’ve said in the changing room - the players have to start taking responsibility.
“It’s happened too many times for players not to learn and take that ownership. It’s time for them to stand up.”
Barnsley: Collins, Diaby, Halme, Sibbick (Thomas 46), Dougall, Cavare, McGeehan (Wilks 75), Mowatt, Brown, Woodrow, Chaplin (Schmidt 82)
Unused: Radlinger, Andersen, Oduor, Simoes, Wilks
Stoke: Butand, Edwards, Batth, Martins Indi, Ward, Woods, Allen, Clucas (Ndiaye 73), Ince (Diouf 82), Gregory (Vokes 90), McClean
Unused subs: Federici, Vokes, Carter-Vickers, Powell, Campbell, Ndiaye, Diouf
Referee: Jeremy Simpson