A CRUEL stoppage-time leveller from former Barnsley loanee Josh Brownhill denied the Reds a richly-deserved victory in their Championship survival fight as the hosts entered the record books for an unwanted reason, writes Leon Wobschall.
Deservedly leading 2-1 thanks to goals from Kieffer Moore and Brad Potts, Barnsley were on the cusp of their first home win in 12 league matches since November 4 - to avoid the ignominy of a club record run of games without a league win.
But Brownhill’s looping header from Joe Bryan’s cross, which home keeper Adam Davies could not keep out, ensured parity for Lee Johnson’s side, as a stoppage-time leveller ensured that this fixture ended 2-2 for the second successive season.
The result was harsh on Barnsley, who produced a vastly improved performance full of heart, desire and work-rate, which was light years’ away from their last home performance against Millwall.
An eighth-minute header from Moore from George Moncur’s corner earned the Reds an early lead, with the Robins levelling against the run of play with an unstoppable strike from distance from Famara Diedhiou just after the half-hour mark.
Barnsley pushed again on the restart and got their reward 12 minutes from time when Potts - earlier denied by a goalline save from Frank Fielding - struck after a cut-back from the outstanding Moore.
But the twist in the tale was provided at the death by Brownhill.
Leeds United 2 Bolton 1
Caleb Ekuban and Pablo Hernandez both scored as Leeds beat Bolton 2-1 to record just their second victory of 2018.
Ekuban’s first Sky Bet Championship goal gave the hosts a fourth-minute lead which Hernandez doubled early in the second half at Elland Road.
Adam Le Fondre quickly pulled one back for Wanderers but they could not find an equaliser and remain six points clear of the relegation zone.
Brentford 1 Sheffield United 1
Brentford dented Sheffield United’s Sky Bet Championship play-off hopes as they came from behind to grab a share of the spoils from a feisty 1-1 draw at Griffin Park.
The Blades took the lead just after the break when Chris Basham’s angled drive took a wicked deflection off Josh Clarke that left Bees keeper Daniel Bentley flat-footed.
The game exploded into life on 68 minutes when 20-year-old Chris Mepham equalised with his first goal for the Bees, rifling home a low drive through a forest of legs after United failed to clear.
As he celebrated by the corner flag, Brentford midfielder Ryan Woods tried to grapple the ball from keeper Jamal Blackman and both were shown straight reds after lashing out during the tussle.
The dismissals added spice to a game that was dictated by the atrocious conditions caused by the torrential rain that fell across the whole 90 minutes.
Sheffield Wednesday 4 Preston 1
Atdhe Nuhiu scored twice for the second game in a row as Sheffield Wednesday beat Preston 4-1 to further dent North End’s play-off ambitions.
Lucas Joao and fit-again Fernando Forestieri were also on the scoresheet for Wednesday, with Louis Moult netting for the visitors as all five goals were scored in the second half.
The result lifts the Owls further away from the relegation dogfight in the Sky Bet Championship while a second defeat in three games sees Preston slip back to 10th.
Blackpool 1 Doncaster Rovers 2
Tommy Rowe scored two goals as Doncaster Rovers eased their relegation fears with a win at Blackpool.
Rotherham United 1 Peterborough United 1
An equaliser eight minutes into stoppage time saw Peterborough snatch a point on Steve Evans’ return to Rotherham United.
Caolon Lavery had looked to have settled matters with his goal midway through the second half before Marriott stepped up to slide home a leveller.