WATCH: Bizarre late winner from Sam Cosgrove provides Barnsley with big moment in their season v Wycombe

AS for this particular game, forget what happened for all but one of 98 largely forgettable minutes.

The night boiled down to one bizarre moment in the first minute of stoppage time, the sort of episode which will be replayed over and over again in the coming days.

Wycombe keeper Max Stryjek, in attempting to waste a bit of time with his struggling side not far away from a precious point, tried to run down the clock with the ball at his feet after a drop-ball.

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Sam Cosgrove, chasing something which was not even a lost cause, gave himself a run-up and sprinted towards him and challenged the custodian just as he gathered the ball.

Under pressure from the big Barnsley frontman, who knocked him back ever so slightly, Stryjek inexplicably fell and coughed up the ball and Cosgrove obligingly tucked it into the net. In truth, he was not sure whether to celebrate or not.

His team-mates did it for him, with wild scenes not in keeping with an otherwise non-descript night ending in high drama and a touch of farce.

Wycombe midfielder Harry Boyes was dismissed for a second yellow card amid vehement Chairboys protests that it should not have stood. Their travelling contingent cried ‘cheat’ as the officials left the pitch at the end.

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Huge controversy for sure, but also a potentially huge moment in the season for Barnsley - and a slice of luck that they certainly needed as Cosgrove picked an opportune moment to score his first goal for the Reds.

Oakwell, home of Barnsley FC.Oakwell, home of Barnsley FC.
Oakwell, home of Barnsley FC.

After a tough November, which had seen them comprehensively beaten at Derby County and Bradford City, stung late on at Lincoln City and suffer an embarrassing FA Cup elimination due to a huge behind-the-scenes blooper, there was one final chance to salvage something for Barnsley.

They did it in the nick of time.

To be fair they were not alone in their desperation to take something from a forgettable, grim calendar month.

Wycombe, without a win in six in the league and on their worst run of league form for two years - and who came into the game fresh from a defeat to Thames Valley rivals Reading which saw a former player grab the winner - had their own issues to contend with.

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They also came into this particular fixture with ten players out of action.

Creditably, they were not feeling sorry for themselves. No excuses was the pre-mantra of manager Matt Bloomfield, and his side certainly fought and scrapped at Oakwell, where they won handsomely in a 3-0 success last season.

In front of a quiet atmosphere, Barnsley turned in a stodgy, slow and subdued first-half performance in keeping with the general feeling around the place at the minute.

Those in attendance wanted something to feed off, yet they got next to nothing.

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It suited Wycombe, whose organisation without the ball was good. It was undeniably helped by Barnsley being ponderous in possession and movement with some pretty low quality stuff punctuated by some poor decision-making.

Former Reds midfielder and Wanderers captain Josh Scowen was in the thick of it, snapping away and relishing the challenge at his former club.

The sight of Luca Connell, making his first Oakwell start in the league since May, was encouraging from a Reds perspective. He produced one or two nice moments in the opening 45 minutes, but to be honest there was little to enthuse about from his team-mates in red.

Devante Cole and John McAtee struggling to get in the game as did Callum Styles and there was little joy on either flank for Nicky Cadden or Barry Cotter and there was no discernible threat from Collins’s side.

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It was a forgettable half in which Barnsley mustered no efforts on targets, with Wycombe having one half-chance early on when Scowen’s shot was blocked with the follow-up comfortably saved by Ben Killip.

The only positive, not that there really was one, was that Barnsley at least avoided conceding another early goal at Oakwell.

At the interval, Wanderers were entitled to be happy, while being mindful that they could nick something more juicy if things continued in the same vein on the resumption.

The hosts were assigned with showing their character at a difficult moment in their season and digging in.

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A brief moment of animation early in the second period when home supporters got angry with officials, as did Collins, represented a welcome blast of life.

At least it pepped up the hosts.

A late challenge from Killian Philips on Mael de Gevigney, which earned a booking, also increased the decibels.

Collins threw on Cosgrove for the very subdued Styles to add a bit of physicality and ballast to a frontline who posed no discernible threat to a Wanderers defence who had it much easier than they could have envisaged beforehand. It changed.

In fairness, Cosgrove’s bulk at least started to ask questions.

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An intelligent dink across goal from McAtee, not in keeping with hosts performance, just evaded the stretching Cosgrove before McAtee hooked a shot over.

Midway through the second period, Barnsley awoke themselves.

Jordan Williams saw his header kept out at the far post by Stryjek, the Reds’ first effort on target.

De Gevigney went close with a header before Barry Cotter’s deflected shot fizzed just over.

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At the other end, Jamie McCart made an excellent late block to deny Lyle Taylor. It looked like they’d be a tale of frustration, but football can be full of joyous surprises sometimes.

Barnsley: Killip; Williams, De Gevigney, McCart; Cotter (O’Keefe 84), Kane, Connell (A Phillips 74), Cadden, Styles (Cosgrove 61); McAtee, Cole (Jalo 84). Unused substitutes: Flavell, Russell, Lopata.

Wycombe Wanderers: Stryjek; Forino, Low, Tafazolli; Pattenden, Scowen, Breckin, Boyes; D Taylor (Sadlier 68), K Phillips (McCleary 68); Wheeler (L Taylor 58). Unused substitutes: Ravioli, Jacobson, Keogh, de Barr.

Referee: D Drysdale (Lincs).