Henderson treble sinks Reds
KEITH Hill’s appeal for his players to think big must have fallen upon deaf ears.
Following a 2-1 win at big-spending Leicester, the Barnsley boss had allowed the phrase play-offs to enter the vocabulary at Oakwell but something appeared to be lost in translation.
Instead of taking on the challenge laid down by their manager, the Reds players slipped back into mediocrity, seemingly hopeless as Darius Henderson fired a hat-trick to lead struggling Millwall to a shock 3-1 win.
While Millwall were physical and purposeful, Barnsley were far too meek and mild, unable to exert any control in midfield and leaving their strikers to cut isolated figures.
Even their effort seemed to fall short for long periods and Hill will rightfully demand much more in weeks to come.
Despite plenty of pressure, Millwall were unable to shift the balance entirely in their favour until a dubiouys decision from referee James Adcock provided the tipping point.
Much to the dismay of the Reds faithful, he pointed to the spot when Liam Trotter tumbled dramatically in the box under pressure from Addison and Henderson thumped an emphatic penalty past Steele.
It got even worse less than three minutes later. Nadjim Abdou lofted a delicate ball over the top of the Barnsley defence and Henderson nudged a cool finish past Steele for his fifth goal in five days.
Seeking a response before the break, Reds spurned a glorious opening when Jay McEveley delivered a superb far-post cross and skipper Hassell headed over from four yards out.
That theme continued in the second half. McEveley delivered an inviting free kick but his team-mates somehow failed to put boot to ball during the resultant goalmouth scramble and David Forde dived on the loose ball.
Done’s arrival saw Vaz Te pushed further forward but no matter who Hill used to partner Gray up top, the strikers were left floundering without a consistent supply line from midfield.
McEveley and Addison completely failed to deal with the bustling Kane and the ball ricocheted out of the tackle into the path of Henderson.
Glancing up to see only Steele between himself and a second hat-trick in five days.
If Reds weren’t dead already, that hammer blow pounded the final nail into their coffin.
They did, however, manage a late consolation when Vaz Te slipped the ball into the area for McNulty to fire home.