Retro: Heckingbottom a penalty hero as Reds win play-off in Cardiff

Barnsley celebrate promotion in the paly off final ar Cardiff in 2006
Barnsley celebrate promotion in the paly off final ar Cardiff in 2006
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Nick Colgan was the hero as Barnsley returned to the Championship on a glorious day at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff in 2006 - but there was also a special contribution from a certain Paul Heckingbottom.

Colgan made the vital save which meant the Reds won the penalty shoot-out 4-3.

The keeper revealed afterwards that he kept a dossier of penalty-takers - who shoots where.

And when Alan Tate stepped up to keep the Welshmen in the contest - Ade Akinfenwa had missed an earlier spot-kick - Colgan was ready for his low shot.

It meant a deserved first career promotion for the 32-year-old but Colgan, whose blunder had given Swansea their second in normal time, was in modest mood afterwards. He said: “It would have been a shame if my season had been remembered for that mistake.

“I am grateful to the lads for pulling it back to 2-2. Goalkeepers have nothing to lose when it comes to penalties, the pressure is all on the strikers who are expected to score. If a goalkeeper makes a save he becomes a hero.”

Another key figure was Heckingbottom, the current caretaker manager who has led the Reds so brilliantly this season. He hammered home the third penalty immediately after Akinfenwa’s miss. Paul Hayes, Chris Shuker and Anthony Kay hit the others.

The first half of normal time was a cracker. Tudur-Jones, Ricketts and Britton threatened as Swansea started brightest.

Daniel Nardiello was off target from 20 yards but Barnsley did take the lead in the 18th minute.

Ex-Red Kevin Austin got a header to a dangerous cross by Martin Devaney but it dropped straight to Hayes who lashed home from 18 yards.

Knight hit the post for the Swans after 25 minutes but three minutes later they were level with a breathtaking goal fromanother ex-Oakwell man Rory Fallon. A long cross from the right was headed on by Tudur-Jones for Fallon to score with a spectacular overhead kick.

And Swansea were to go in 2-1 up at half-time. When Robinson let fly from 20-yards Colgan seemed to block it but the ball spun away and into the net.

Barnsley might have been 3-1 down but for the tackle of the day to stop a Knight run, but they were level soon after when Nardiello scored straight from a free kick, low into the bottom corner.

Reds fans celebrated long and hard but Swans hadsomething to shout about too with the introduction of Lee Trundle. But he was unable to find the net in normal or extra-time and the rest is history.

* Barnsley: Colgan , Hassell, Reid, Kay, Heckingbottom, Hayes, Howard (Tonge 83), McPhail, Devaney, Richards (Wright 71), Nardiello (Shuker 95).

Swansea:Gueret, Ricketts, Austin, O’Leary, Tate, Britton, Monk, Robinson (McCLeod 105), Tudur-Jones, Knight (Trundle 71), Fallon (Ackinfenwa 93).

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

Attendance: 55,419