Plymouth Argyle 0 Barnsley 3: Reds stroll to another win to hold onto second spot
Portsmouth and Sunderland must be utterly crestfallen every time they come in and see Barnsley's results in this tense and exciting League One automatic promotion race.
Any hopes that big-hitting duo had of the Reds wilting have been firmly misplaced.
Daniel Stendel's side passed their latest test with consummate ease as a stunning opening 30 minutes saw them saunter to a 3-0 win at Plymouth.
Goals from Cauley Woodrow, Jacob Brown and Alex Mowatt gave the travelling Bank Holiday hordes value for their lengthy journey and kept Barnsley in the top two.
With Sunderland dropping points at Peterborough it now looks like being either the Reds or Portsmouth that will join Luton in the top two.
The Reds are two points better off than Pompey, who do have a game in hand. Yet Kenny Jackett's side also have to play Sunderland, so two wins from their remaining two games – against Blackpool and Bristol Rovers might be enough for an instant return to the Championship.
Stendel said: “We can only play our games and win our games and if we do that we have a big chance to get automatic promotion.
“We have two games left and next week’s home game against Blackpool is not an easy one. I hope we can get automatic promotion.
“We had great support and we know a lot of people came today to this game. It is a long way and it is great. All season they have been following us and we are very proud of our supporters.
“We have only two games left and we need six points.
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“We never give up and if we win the last two games we have a big chance. We can only influence our results and we will wait to see what others do.”
If they play like this there might be no stopping them, as a clinical display had a tricky-looking game won by well before half-time.
Woodrow fired Barnsley into a 15th minute lead with a brilliant chest-down and volley finish for his 18th of the season .
Brown cut in from the left to make it 2-0 on 21 minutes and seven minutes later Mowatt curled a superb free-kick into the top corner, both adding to the Good Friday goals they scored.
The perfect day, well almost perfect except for Portsmouth winning, was capped by Kieffer Moore making his hastened return from a serious head injury – a massive boost should the Reds be condemned to the play-offs.
Plymouth: Letheren; Threlkeld, Edwards, Jones, Sawyer; Fox (Ness 80), Songo'o; Carey, Sarcevic, Lameiras (Anderson 80); Taylor (Fletcher 80). Unused: Macey, Canavan, Ainsworth; Smith-Brown
Barnsley: Davies; Williams, Pinnock, Lindsay, Pinillos; McGeehan, Mowatt, Brown, Bahre (Hedges 79), Thiam (Moore 69), Woodrow (Styles 79). Unused subs: Walton, Fryers, Green, Jackson
Referee: Kevin Johnson