How Barnsley found a magic winning formula at long last on a special afternoon against Hull City in a relieving 3-1 victory

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THE SIGHT OF the relieved and exhilerated Barnsley players clapping the Pontefract Road end en masse at the final whistle of an eventful, intoxicating afternoon from their perspective was a delicious sight to be hold for all those connected with the Oakwell club.

After a desperate run of results and an 18-match winless sequence in all competitions - the second worst run in the club's history - and being kicked at seemingly every turn, there was finally a delicious moment to savour as the Reds claimed their first win since the opening day of the campaign.

Barnsley head coach Gerhard Struber (centre).

Barnsley head coach Gerhard Struber (centre).

In Gerhard Struber's first home outing in charge of Barnsley, here was an enriching moment but a thoroughly forgettable one for Yorkshire rivals Hull City, with the game ending with fans singing the name of the Austrian head coach.

The Championship's capacity to surprise again came to the fore as goals from Alex Mowatt, Mike Bahre and Conor Chaplin ensured that Christmas came early for Barnsley, with Hull's sole reply coming from a maiden strike for the club from talented teen Keane Lewis-Potter.

Hull may have entered the game as favourites, but if there was a warning, it arrived by virtue of poor and passive recent first-half performances on the road at Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town and never truly recovered.

Given their efforts in the opening 45 minutes, it was not heeded as the game showcased a Barnsley side in a wholly positive light, given their wretched league position.

A team who supposedly cannot defend did that well enough against two of the division's big-hitters in Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki, who are a handful for any back four on their day, let alone the one with the worst goals against record in the Championship.

The mask slipped just once on forty minutes when the hitherto anonymous Bowen found himself in the clear and with just the advancing Sami Radlinger to beat, but his delicate dink floated just wide of the unguarded net.

Other than that, there was plenty to be enthused about from a Barnsley perspective as they built a head of steam in a purposeful first half complete with energy and drive against a strangely passive Hull line-up.

A scrappy opening was denoted solely by a flurry of corners at both ends, but it was the hosts who grasped the nettle.

Their intensity levels outstripped those of Hull and those in red started to gradually win their individual battles.

It was the precursor to a quality strike from Mowatt, who curled home a beauty to put the Reds in front for the first time under Struber.

It represented a booster for a confidence-sapped side and there were soon howls for penalty for handball as Barnsley pressed again after a lapse from Reece Burke, but John Brooks was not to be moved.

Bowen's opportunity could and perhaps should have baled out Hull, but it was not to be with the away players likely to have been the recipients of a rollicking from Grant McCann at the break, with the half ending with George Long beating away a well-struck Mowatt free-kick in textbook fashion.

Grant McCann showed what he made of his side's meek first-half offering by making two changes with Tom Eaves and Leo Lopes coming on for Daniel Batty and George Honeyman.
Hull upped the intensity on the resumption and produced a spell of pressure.

At the other end, the offside flag curtailed Conor Chaplin in his celebrations when netting a diving header after slick work by Woodrow and Mowatt.

Barnsley then survived a big scare on 63 minutes when slick work by Kamil Grosicki and Eaves set up Jackson Irvine for a big opportunity, but he steered the ball wide after arriv ing right on cue in the box after the hosts were opened up.

It was turning into one of those days for Hull, with Bowen soon wasting a good free-kick opportunity when firing over.

Brown steered a half-chance wide from Chaplin's cross and Aapo Halme blazed a shot high into the Pontefract Road end as Barnsley again started to make inroads in their quest to add a crucial-looking second.

It duly arrived in picture-book fashion 15 minutes from time with a break ending in Mowatt sending in an inch-perfect pass to Bahre, who produced a cool low finish to tuck the ball past Long.

Unfortunately, for Barnsley's sake, their yearning to see out the game in comfort was soon extinguished when Hull reduced the arrears.

Grosicki found space on the left and his inviting cross found Eaves, whose looping header was helped over the line by Lewis-Potter.

It set up a tense finale, but the nerves were soothed by a blistering strike deep in stoppage time on the break from Chaplin to seal a handsome day for the Reds at long last.

Barnsley: Radlinger; J Williams, Diaby, Andersen, B Williams; Halme; Bahre (Thomas 82), Mowatt, Woodrow (Schmidt 89); Chaplin, Brown. Substitutes unused: Collins, Dougall, Sibbick, Oduor, Thiam.

Hull City: Long; Lichaj, Burke, De Wijs, Elder (Lewis-Potter 76); Honeyman, Batty (Eaves 45), Irvine; Bowler, Honeyman (Lopes 45), Grosicki; Bowen. Substitutes unused: Ingram, Tafazolli, Kingsley, Pennington.

Referee: J Brooks (Leicestershire).
Attendance: 13,598 (1,941 Hull City supporters).