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Barnsley secure Championship return with Wembley victory

20 games into the season Barnsley were sitting at the bottom of the League One table and preparing themselves for a potential relegation battle….

Six months later the same squad was at Wembley to secure a remarkable promotion to the Championship.

Paul Heckingbottom’s side fully deserved their victory and were able to see of Millwall through goals from Ashaley Fletcher, Adam Hammill and Lloyd Isgrove.

The Tykes started the game with the momentum and took the lead with just two minutes on the clock as Fletcher beat Jordan Archer with a pinpoint finish.

The Manchester United loanee was put through on goal by Sam Winnall and did well to slide the ball into the bottom left hand corner with just the keeper to beat.

Barnsley doubled their advantage ten minutes later in spectacular fashion when Hammill curled the ball over Archer from 30 yards to the delight of the Tykes fans behind the goal.

Neil Harris’ side were not deterred by this disappointing start however and the South Londoners halved Barnsley’s lead shortly before half time.

A corner caused chaos in the Barnsley area and after a short scramble Millwall defender Mark Beevers was able to turn the ball into the net and give the Lions a precious lifeline.

This goal clearly spurred on Millwall who started the second half the brighter.

The Lions best chance to level the scores came with half an hour left on the clock when both Nadjim Abdou and Steve Morrison failed to properly connect with the ball as it bounced perilously across the Barnsley box before landing in the grateful arms of Adam Davies.

After weathering the storm of Millwall pressure Barnsley secured their place in the Championship with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Lloyd Isgrove easily beat Archer to Conor Hourihane’s corner and was able to neatly flick the ball into the net to end any hopes of a Millwall comeback.

The final whistle was met with joyous scenes in the Barnsley end as fans called on Heckingbottom to be rewarded with the managerial job on a full time basis.

This article was brought to you by The Football League Paper. On-sale every Sunday, the newspaper provides extensive coverage for all 72 Football League clubs with news, features and gossip plus comprehensive match reports.
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