DANNY WILSON enjoyed a dream first return to former club Sheffield United as a strike by Sam Winnall earned Barnsley a derby victory.
The Reds striker netted just before the hour mark to end United’s four-game winning run.
For Barnsley, it was a third win on the road and, for Wilson, a personal triumph against a club who sacked him in the spring of 2013.
As is perhaps expected in a derby, the pace in the early stages was so fast and frantic that mistakes were plentiful.
Amid the errors, however, were some decent passages of play with both sides having an excellent opportunity inside the first 15 minutes.
Sheffield United wasted the first, Craig Alcock’s header at the back post lacking sufficient power and Ross Turnbull was able to block before clawing the ball to safety.
At the other end, Barnsley also missed an excellent opening when Sam Winnall fired narrowly over after being picked out by Joe Dudgeon.
After that early exchange of chances, the rest of the first half became bogged down. Despite that, United should reallly have taken advantage of a swift Jamal Campbell-Ryce break that set Jose Baxter free and his cross was cut out by the Reds defence.
Barnsley were the first to threaten in the second half when a swift break ended with Devante Cole curling a shot that Mark Howard helped round the post.
The opening goal then came from the resulting corner, as James Bailey’s flighted delivery was met firmly by Winnall to give Howard no chance in the home goal.
Marc McNulty really should have brought the Blades level 18 minutes from time when picked out unmarked by Baxter but the substitute headed wastefully over.
Stefan Scougall then missed an excellent opening following good work by Bob Harris down the left flank.
Barnsley manager Danny Wilson said: “You’ve seen a typical derby with two very committed sides.
“We know this league and we know how tight it is and nobody can take anything for granted. Today proves that.
“They had a lot of balls into our box and defensively I thought we were fantastic.
“I don’t make any excuses for needing a bit of luck today because I think we have earned that.”
Blades boss Clough said: “Generally it was a good performance again. We had lots of situations and chances and half-chances.
“We switch off from one corner and concede the goal. Fine margins in any level of football, especially the higher you go, can be the difference.
“There won’t be any hysteria from us. We don’t like losing, especially at home, but we know what the problems are.”