The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Alex By­wa­ter

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

SAM I AM: Barns­ley's Sam Win­nall cel­e­brates scor­ing the first goal

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

FOR STARTERS: Sean Mor­ri­son’s early header loops into the Barns­ley goal


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