Match Report: Barnsley 3 Queens Park Rangers 2

Marley Watkins celebrates wiith Adam Hammill after his early goal.  Picture Tony Johnson
Marley Watkins celebrates wiith Adam Hammill after his early goal. Picture Tony Johnson
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The maximum six points from two home games against Derby and QPR - surely Reds boss Paul Heckingbottom couldn’t have expected that had it been offered last Saturday morning.

Last night they led and then had to come from behind against a hugely talented Rangers side, one who profited from being awarded two penalties in the second period.

Barnsley scored first against QPR. Picture Tony Johnson

Barnsley scored first against QPR. Picture Tony Johnson

Josh Scowen scored a dramatic 89th-minute winner at a buzzing Oakwell, smashing gleefully into the roof of the net after being teed up by sub Stefan Payne.

These are exciting times at Oakwell, and the fans currently have a team to be proud of.

Now the Oakwell army are sure to travel in their numbers to Huddersfield on Saturday, perhaps expectant now.

The Reds - unchanged following Saturday’s great win against Derby - turned in a smart and tidy first-half performance and deservedly led at the interval.

They bagged the only goal of the opening half after just five minutes, with Marley Watkins nodding home clinically after he followed up a well-directed header from Marc Roberts.

There were other chances, most notably from Ryan Kent and the hugely impressive Josh Scowen, while Rangers’ only threat of a dismal first period from them came when Tjaronn Chery curled an exquisite free-kick against the crossbar.

It only took the visitors 90 seconds to level at the start of the second half, however.

Chery did eventually get his goal, from the spot, after Marc Roberts had upended Sebastian Polter.

Polter stepped up to make it 2-1 to the Londoners from the spot after 75 minutes following James Bree’s tripping of Yeni Ngbakoto, but these Reds have got character, and bundles of it.

Skipper Conor Hourihane curled home a peach of a free-kick, then Scowen popped up to snatch victory to send the home fans into Championship dreamland.

The Reds fans’ cries rang out ‘It’s just like watching Brazil’ - and at times in the opening half it was as Heckingbottom’s side ran QPR ragged. The opening half-hour was particularly impressive from the hosts.

Their play was exciting, expansive, and there was even time for the likes of Adam Hammill and Ryan Kent to add a bit of showboating.

Once again, as on Saturday against Derby and for much of the game at Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich, the Reds proved that they belong at Championship level now. They’re pretty much ready.

They have only just come from the third tier, but the squad on show at present is full of talent and creativity.

Maybe still classed as a rookie, Heckingbottom is crafting a side that will ruffle feathers this season, and long may it continue.

The ovation when Aidy White went on an amazing jinking run during that first half was simply adoring. Like Samba legend Zico would have done in his prime back in the 1980s, White must have charged almost 60 yard with the ball before almost releasing Kent with a perfect through-ball. It was a first half performance which will have impressed many - they were well-deserved leaders at the break and showed their battling spirit to respond again.

Barnsley: Davies, Bree, Roberts, Mawson, White, Kent, Scowen, Hourihane, Hammill, Bradshaw (Payne, 63), Watkins (D’Almeida, 81). Not used: Townsend, Yiadom, MacDonald, Moncur, Lee.

QPR: Smithies, Onouha, Caulker, Hall, Bidwell; Henry, Luongo, Cousins (Washington, 89), Chery, Ngbakoto (El Khayati, 84), Polter. Not used: Ingram, Perch, Petrasso, Shodipo, Kakay.

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire).

Att: 11,613