A great win for the Reds tonight, in a game that could have seen Barnsley put five or six past Palace and Colin W.

Early nerves were clearly on show when a series of Barnsley defenders failed to prevent Palace's early rushes within the Reds half. Venturing regularly, this culminated in a weak / scuffed clearance attempt by Fozzy. Palace accepted the "gift" and the prevailing lead was gained by a grateful Palace frontman, Kuqi.

But tonight there were no bad gusts and distractions. Infact, I only saw a single, stray, empty Crisp packet ..(and that was probably at half time). The Reds showed purpose and determination to get back in to the match immediately.

From a peach of a through ball, JCR brought Barnsley back-to-life and from then the Palace defence began to creak everytime Adam Hammill and JCR took the game to them.

Anderson De Silva twice made runs in to the box at corners during the first half, reaching the ball on both occasions, however in both cases his attempts were headed straight at Crystal Palace's man in the nets, Speroni. Either opportunity could have seen Barnsley 3-1 up by half-time, instead the Ref whistled to end the first half with both sides even at 1-1.

Decisions didn't really go Barnsley's way. Whilst Colin W's squad wasn't overly physical, Barnsley were punished regularly by the referee. SD was clearly venting his frustration at the lack of consistency by the officials who in similar circumstances did not award Barnsley the same.

The next goal was going to be crucial for either side and for a change Barnsley had fortune on their side, when Palace defender Hills turned a square ball from Mifsud into his own goal. Macken was the perceived threat, but on this occasion the Palace defender entirely fluffed it.

Just like in the first half, Barnsley sought to cause constant problems down the wings, with close support from Colace and De Silva they always looked capable of further goals. Therefore when Mifsud was slid through with just the keeper to beat - The Ponty End expected him to deliver, which he did to send Barnsley 3-1 up, with a quarter of an hour left to play.

Squeeky bum time this was not, but Palace did venture forward looking to haul themselves back in, but the Reds' defence remained resolute. 3-1 it remained.

Barnsley are out of the relegation places for now. With Derby and Forest due to be played shortly, we're not out of the woods by any stretch.. but it's the right start to the next phase of our remaining fixtures.

Well done lads !!

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Ian Wilkinson

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