Barnsley snatch all three points with the last kick of the game to take the win at Oakwell on Boxing Day. An unlikely brace from powerful defender Michal Helik saw the home side come from a goal down to leapfrog their West Yorkshire opponents and move up into tenth.
The game started at a good pace with neither side showing signs of any Christmas overindulgence. It was the home side who started the brightest and they created a few early chances that both fell the way of Cauley Woodrow.
The first came from a corner that was taken by Callum Styles who was back in the starting lineup after serving a one-match ban last time out. The near-post corner was flicked on by Andersen and Woodrow looked to turn the ball home but it was easily saved.
His second chance followed very soon after and again it was a chance that went begging. Styles got down the left and fizzed in a cross which lead to a mix up in the Huddersfield defence as they tried to clear. The ball ended up bouncing to the feet of Woodrow who tried to force the ball home from very close range but he couldn’t get it out from under his feet in time and it was saved easily.
It was then the turn of Huddersfield to push forward and create some openings. They showed how much of a threat they can be from wide areas with two really dangerous crosses in that both just eluded Campbell in the middle. The veteran striker unable to strech enough on either occasion to tap the ball home. Big warnings though for Barnsley which they did not learn from as they fell behind.
Just before the quarter hour mark the away side took the lead. A well worked short corner saw a ball lofted in towards the back post. Young defender Edmonds-Green was on hand to volley the ball home to claim his first goal for Huddersfield. Again its another game in which Barnsley fell behind to an early goal and Ismael will not be happy with the defending here given the height Barnsley have back in defence.
Just a few moments after the opening goal the Terriers almost doubled the lead, Jonathan Hogg picked up the ball deep in his own half before picking out a fantastic pass through the middle that found Campbell through on goal. The striker controlled well but dragged his shot narrowly wide.
The away side were then made to rue that miss as Barnsley grabbed an eqauliser just after the 20 minute mark. It was another goal from a short corner and more poor defending. Styles rolled the ball to Matty James who dinked the ball to the back post, it looked to be going out for a goal kick but Woodrow did superbly well to keep it alive and head it across goal.
Woodrow’s header found Andersen who went for goal and was somehow denied by what looked to be a combination of Sarr and Schofield but the ball broke for Helik who somehow turned the ball narrowly over the line via the bar. The ref checked his watch and comfirmed the goal and the hosts were back on level terms.
Few clear chances followed after the equaliser with the best chances coming from set pieces with both sides looking vulnerable especially from corners. The best chance for the home side before the break fell to Woodrow who fired wide from a tight angle after being set through by Freiser. The away sides best effort came from Bacuna but he fired well over after being picked out on the edge of the box from a corner.
Very even opening half between two sides with pretty much identical form going into this game and that was fairly evident on the pitch too with very little between the two sides. The game a little scrappy in parts, Barnsley dominated the early exchanges but Town looked better after they scored and they arguably had the best chances of the game in what was a half of few clear openings.
Half Time – Barnsley 1-1 Huddersfield Town
It was the away side that started brightly after the restart and almost retook the lead minutes into the second half. A quickly taken free kick found Bacuna free down the right, he stood up a dangerous cross towards the back post but it was just too high for the yellow shirts to reach at the back post. Another chance soon followed but Toffolo was unable to get a shot away and he was denied by good work from Andersen and then Walton who smothered the ball well.
The second half saw even fewer chances than the first with both sides seeming to cancel each other out. Both were going direct with their passing but both sides were unable to make it stick up top. Barnsley looked a threat from set pieces and long throws throughout the game with the away side looking threatening on the counter attack in wide areas. Barnsley as usual were pushing Styles and Brittain high up the pitch which did leave space in behind in those wide areas. Huddersfield did try to attack these but were unable to really create anything of note.
Barnsley came close just after the hour mark but Chaplin was unable to generate enough power on his header to beat Schofield in the Huddersfield goal. His chance came from a ball into the box that the away side failed to clear. It fell to Chaplin but just couldn’t turn it home.
The game then looked to be fizzling out to what would have been Barnsley’s first draw under Ismael. The game became a little scrappy with lots of long ball and some strong challenges from both sides. The ref seemed happy to let most of the strong tackles go but was blowing for some really soft ones. This didn’t help the flow of the game at all and both sides looked destined to share the points.
However, in the third minute of added time Barnsley snatched all three points and it was the big Polish defender Helik who got his and his sides second of the game. A long throw from sub Herbie Kane was flicked on at the front posted by Mads Andersen, his header found Helik unmarked in the box and he stabbed the ball home with basically the last kick of the game to give the home side the win. If only us fans were allowed in the ground, as the scenes when that went in would have been fantastic. Nothing beats a last minute winner.
Full Time Barnsley 2-1 Huddersfield Town
MOTM – Helik
Overall this was a very even game and a draw certainly would have been a fair result. However, this side under Ismael do not do draws and they pick up another win after coming from a goal down. Barnsley are now just three points from the play offs as things stand now which is unbelievable considering where they were at this time last season. Huddersfield slip a few places to 14th after the late defeat.