Barnsley can overturn deficit against Swansea City - here’s the Yorkshire history that tells you how

RESILIENCE and sheer bloody-mindedness are two characteristics often associated with Yorkshire folk.

Job done: Barnsley's Paul Reid celebrates at Huddersfield Town as his team gain a place in the League One play-off final. Pictures: Bruce Rollinson

Traits like those are particularly highly prized at this time of the year on the football field when season’s fates are on the line and the play-offs sort out the wheat from the chaff.

Success in the end-of-season lottery can depend on skill. It can also rely upon holding your nerve and drawing strength in adversity.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

When examining the history of the play-offs, which began in 1986, just two clubs who have lost in the first leg of a semi-final in front of their own fans have gone on to be promoted.

Into the final: Brian Howard celebrates.

Both are from the Broad Acres.

As Barnsley prepare for the second instalment of their tie with Swansea City on Saturday, Reds followers will be quick in pointing out the feats of Andy Ritchie’s class of 2005-06.

It will provide succour in this of all weeks following Barnsley’s 1-0 home reverse to the Swans on Monday.

Back on May 11, 2006, another first leg at Oakwell saw the Reds succumb to a single-goal defeat, this time to White Rose rivals Huddersfield Town, who prevailed thanks to a late strike from Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

Spot on: Barnsley celebrate equalising from the penalty spot through Paul Hayes.

After a game which saw Town hold sway, Barnsley chief Ritchie – who would later manage the Terriers – sagely reminded everyone that it was only ‘half-time’. What happened four days later went down in Reds folklore.

Goals from Paul Hayes (pen), Paul Reid and Danny Nardiello saw Barnsley progress after a 3-1 win – and the scene was set for further drama and glory in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium at the expense of, yes, Swansea, in the 2006 League One finale.

It provides further proof that when it comes to the play-offs, it’s not over until it’s over. The shrieks of joy at the final whistle among some of Swansea’s visiting dignitaries at Oakwell may be recalled should things go awry.

Back in 1996, on the only other play-off occasion when a side who had lost at home in a first leg went on to secure promotion, the inspiration was infamous.

Waiting for the final whistle: Andy Ritchie.

That team was Chris Kamara’s Bradford City, well beaten 2-0 by Sam Allardyce’s Blackpool at Valley Parade in the first leg.

The Bantams needed a bit of a miracle. Seasiders’ staff promptly came to their assistance by decking the windows of their club shop with posters advertising Wembley, while their second-leg programme carried further details of booking travel.

Kamara’s team talk was written. Goals from Des Hamilton, Carl Shutt and Mark Stallard earned a 3-0 win at Bloomfield Road to provide City the impetus to finish off the job in the final against Notts County.

City repeated the feat in 2012-13, rallying from losing a home first leg to Burton to win the tie in another promotion year.

There was also motivation for Leeds in 2006 when a ‘job done’ quote by Preston chief Billy Davies after a 1-1 draw at Elland Road provided fuel for a 2-0 away win in the second leg of their Championship semi-final.

Leeds also overcame a 2-1 first-leg loss to Carlisle to reach the League One showpiece two years later, with an iconic late goal from Jonny Howson securing a 2-0 victory at Brunton Park.

In total, 26 first-leg losers have gone on to reach the play-off showpiece. Twelve have emerged victorious, including Middlesbrough in 1987-88.

They lost to Bradford – who had done the double over them in the regular Division Two season – but won the fourth and last meeting to end City’s season. That is the identical challenge facing Barnsley against Swansea.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.