WILLIAMS LEAVES IT LATE TO SHINE
PAUL HECKINGBOTTOM has described Barnsley’s sevengoal thriller with Cardiff as the most dramatic game he has been involved in.
Two late goals from Peter Whittingham and Anthony Pilkington looked to have snatched a dramatic draw for Cardiff. But substitute Ryan Williams’ first goal in over two years won it for Barnsley in the 95th minute.
Heckingbottom’s men took a twogoal lead into half-time after Sam Winnall’s double and Josh Scowen cancelled out Sean Morrison’s early header.
Williams was ex-Barnsley manager Lee Johnson’s record signing in the summer of 2015, but endured an injury-hit season.
Despite it being the Tykes’ fourth win in 15 games, they find themselves just six points from the play-offs.
Barnsley boss Heckingbottom said: “I’ve had some big games in the short time I’ve been doing it. But in terms of the scoreline and nature of the game, it’s probably the most dramatic game I’ve been involved in.
“It would be a good one for the fans to watch back – maybe not for us coaches!
“We don’t set aims, if you set a goal you’re limiting yourself and we just want to win as many games as we can.
“It’s reflected in games like that. We’ve got a group of players who have responded to that over the past year or so. We know we won’t win them all, but we’ll try.”
Cardiff had the perfect start when an unmarked Morrison headed in Whittingham’s corner in the third minute. But the Tykes equalised through top scorer Winnall after Conor Hourihane’s cross found the Barnsley hitman, whose header looped over a helpless Ben Amos.
Hourihane leads the Championship charts with nine assists this season and put on another fine performance in Wales.
Cardiff should have retaken the lead when Junior Hoilett found himself one-on-one with Adam Davies, but the winger skewed his shot wide.
Neil Warnock’s men would rue that chance as Barnsley went in front in the 32nd minute following a clinical counter-attacking move.
A Cardiff corner was cleared and Ryan Kent crossed for Morsy whose lay-off allowed Winnall to coolly slot the ball past Amos for his ninth goal of the season.
And Barnsley extended their lead two minutes from the break after Amos rushed off his line to try and beat Kent to Hourihane’s defencesplitting pass, but the Liverpool loanee won the race and squared the ball to Scowen who had a tap-in.
The home side pulled a goal back with 11 minutes to go through Whittingham after his deflected shot beat Adam Davies.
The dramatic equaliser came in the 89th minute as Pilkington poked the ball home following Morrison’s knock-down from a corner.
But it was the Yorkshire side’s two substitutes who combined well as Marley Watkins’ cross was met by Williams to score with his first touch in injury-time.
Cardiff boss Warnock said: “It was an exciting game for the neutral – on how not to defend! I’m disappointed with every goal. They were elementary errors.
“I’ve persevered for a few weeks but I’ve got to change it. I’ve had enough now, I have to be critical when I look at the goals. I’ll be changing the team before the next game – and January can’t come soon enough.”
SAM I AM: Barnsley's Sam Winnall celebrates scoring the first goal
FOR STARTERS: Sean Morrison’s early header loops into the Barnsley goal
STAR MAN SAM WINNALL Barnsley