Conor Chaplin’s hat-trick inspired Barnsley to a 5-3 victory in an extraordinary game at home to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon. 

Chaplin netted in the seventh and 18th minutes, either side of an equaliser, then completed his treble early in the second half. The visitors replied but Cauley Woodrow won and scored a penalty before Bambo Diaby sealed the win late on, before a consolation goal with almost the last kick.

An astonishing match saw two spells of three goals in a ten-minute spell early in each half while both teams missed some excellent chances. But the Reds held on to claim their third win of the season and make it seven points from the last nine available at Oakwell.

The gap to safety has been cut from seven points to four while the last-placed Reds are two points adrift of second-bottom Wigan Athletic. 

Gerhard Struber made one change to the side that drew 1-1 at home to Reading three days earlier, with Clarke Oduor making his first career start at left-back in place of the injured Ben Williams. 

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The Reds took the lead in the seventh minute when Jacob Brown embarked on an excellent run on the right wing then advanced into the box before pulling the ball back to Chaplin whose impressive right-footed finish from ten yards out placed the ball in the top right corner. 

The visitors levelled within four minutes as Jordan Hugill got the better of Mads Andersen on the left of the box then had a 15-yard shot which hit the right post and the rebound was tapped into the empty net by Luke Amos. 

The hosts retook the lead in the 18th minute when a corner from the right went over everyone except Chaplin who met it at a tight angle at the back post and found the top left corner with a superb powerful strike.  It was almost 3-1 when another right-wing cross was turned towards his own goal by Grant Hall but goalkeeper Joe Lumley got down to his left to claw it out. 

Mike Bahre was replaced by Luke Thomas on the left of the midfield diamond after 32 minutes, with Struber later saying it was tactical change as Bahre lacked 'freshness'. 

The hosts felt they should have had a penalty when Brown was tackled on the right of the box by Geoff Cameron following a fine pass by Cauley Woodrow, but referee Keith Stroud did not give it.  There was another appeal for a spot-kick in first half injury-time when Chaplin went down in the box but once again the veteran official was unmoved.  The Reds went into the interval knowing they had been the better side against a QPR team that looked weak defensively and only had the tactic in the first half of trying to launch long balls behind the Barnsley defence. 

Just like in the first half, there was a flurry of goals as three went in in eight minutes. Chaplin completed his hat-trick with a cool finish on the turn from 12 yards out after Brown’s shot from the right of the box had been saved. That made it seven goals this season for the striker and six in six under Struber. 

QPR pulled one back three minutes later when Hugill got free on the left of the box and, after Radlinger blocked his effort from a tight angle, Amos again was on hand to net the rebound with a good finish into the top right corner from just inside the area. 

Woodrow made it 4-2 from the penalty shot three minutes later after he was brought down in the box by Cameron. He found the bottom right corner for his ninth goal of the season. 

Those goals were part of an extraordinarily open and frantic start to the second half which then saw a series of huge chances missed by both sides. 

QPR nearly replied again with Bright Osayi-Samuel blazing over from 12 yards out after Bambo Diaby made a mess of a low cross from the right. At the other end, Chaplin should have scored a fourth but dragged wide from the left of the six-yard box after being played in by Thomas.

The visitors then rattled the goal frame twice within a couple of minutes before the halfway point in the second half as Eberachi Eze’s low shot from the right of the box was turned onto the post by Radlinger after a cross by substitute Nakhi Wells who then rattled the bar from the edge of the box. 

The match settled down slightly until Diaby netted the fifth late on. The centre-back was up the pitch for a free-kick which Mowatt played down the right of the penalty area to Brown whose low cross was tapped in on the line by the Spaniard. Chaplin was put clean through in injury-time but saw his effort saved. 

The visitors got their third right at the end of the fourth of four added minutes, as Osayi-Samuel skipped past two players on the left of the box before pulling the ball back for substitute Ilias Chair to net. 

Barnsley (4-4-2 diamond): Radlinger; J Williams, Diaby, Andersen, Oduor; Dougall, Bahre (Thomas 32mins,), Mowatt, Woodrow; Chaplin, Brown. Unused: Collins, Thiam, Mottley-Henry, Marsh, Sibbick. Yellow cards: Thomas, Brown, Mowatt, Dougall. Goals: Chaplin 7, 18, 52. Woodrow 60 (pen), Diaby 82. QPR: (4-2-3-1): Lumley; Kane, Hall, Leistner, Wallace (Wells 56mins); Cameron (Chair 67), Amos; Osayi-Samuel, Eze, Manning; Hugill Unused: Barnes, Smith, Pugh, Ball, Mlakar. Yellow cards: Wells, Chair. Goals: Amos 13, 54; Chair 90+4.

AS IT HAPPENED
  • 13:43pm
     
    Welcome to the Chronicle’s live text coverage of Barnsley’s home game with Queens Park Rangers from 3pm.
  • 13:47pm
     
    The team news is set to be announced at 2pm, with defenders Aapo Halme and Ben Williams injury doubts for the Reds. Gerhard Struber said in yesterday’s press conference that Clarke Oduor would start at left-back instead of Williams.
  • 14:01pm
     
    Barnsley: Radlinger; J Williams, Diaby, Andersen, Oduor; Dougall, Bahre, Mowatt, Woodrow; Chaplin, Brown
  • 14:02pm
     
    Subs: Collins, McGeehan, Thiam, Mottley-Henry, Marsh, Sibbick, Thomas
  • 14:07pm
     
    QPR team: Lumley; Kane, Hall, Leistner, Wallace; Cameron, Amos; Osayi-Samuel, Eze, Manning; Hugill
  • 14:07pm
     
    Subs: Barnes, Smith, Pugh, Ball, Mlakar, Chair, Wells
  • 14:09pm
    The Reds are seven points from safety and four adrift at the bottom of the league. They conceded in injury-time in a 3-2 loss at Cardiff City on Saturday, having been ahead twice, then lost another lead in a 1-1 draw at home to Reading on Wednesday.
  • 14:13pm
     
    Their only wins this season have come on the opening day against Fulham then last month against Hull City, which ended a 17-match winless run.
  • 14:17pm
     
    The Reds are sure to be in the bottom three at Christmas even if they beat both QPR tomorrow and Millwall away a week later.
  • 14:19pm
     
    Struber has collected four points from his five matches in charge since taking over three weeks ago.
  • 14:21pm
    Reading’s equaliser was from a corner and is the latest in a long list of set piece goals which have irritated the Austrian. He told the Chronicle: “We work hard in training on those situations but we need a clear mentality and focus on our tasks and to not lose concentration. I am a little angry about it. It is just a present for the opponent and it makes me angry.”
  • 14:23pm
     
    Struber refused to acknowledge that the seven-point gap to safety might have an impact on the players’ confidence. He said: “It’s not the moment to look at the table, it’s the moment to look at our performance. The table is not so important.”
  • 14:27pm
    In charge of QPR is Mark Warburton, the former banker and youth football coach who became manager of Brentford, Glasgow Rangers then Nottingham Forest with whom he lost at Oakwell in August 2017 in his only previous game against Barnsley.
  • 14:30pm
     
    He was appointed Hoops boss at the start of this season and won seven of his first 12 league games including a four-match run of victories in August and September. They were fifth after 12 matches, just a point off the automatic promotion places but then went on a seven-game winless run which brought four losses and three draws.
  • 14:30pm
     
    This week they ended that sequence with a 2-0 success at home to Preston North End on Saturday then they won 2-0 at Birmingham City on Wednesday. Those were their first clean sheets of the campaign. They are now 12th, three points off the play-offs.
  • 14:33pm
     
    They have more points away than at home and have the division’s sixth best record on the road. Only top two Leeds United and West Brom have more away Championship victories this season.
  • 14:33pm
     
    QPR are the fifth highest-scorers in the league but only Barnsley and Luton Town have conceded more goals.
  • 14:36pm
    Struber said: “Every game is important and every game we show that we create a good performance. It is clear we need points but, on Saturday, we will give all we have and I am very hopeful that the performance will be good. We need a bit of luck as well and we need to stay focused for every situation in the game.”
  • 14:39pm
     
    Struber added: “I hope that the fans come and support us but I think they are also disappointed. They know we need points and I understand that the fans are not feeling good. It’s not easy when you come into a stadium and you see a team fighting and working but, in the end, you get no big benefit. It’s difficult but we have the power, energy and spirit in the team that we can change it. I still believe in this team, very much.”
  • 14:48pm
     
    He added: “It will be a difficult game. They have two very fast wingers and they have an interesting tactical plan in their build-up. We need to go out to our limits against them and, if every player does that, we have a good chance to win.”
  • 14:49pm
    Struber’s assistant coach Matt Rose played 261 times for QPR in a decade with the London club from 1997 to 2007 including three times against Barnsley.
  • 14:51pm
     
    Rose said: “I have great memories from my time at QPR. They were ten good years. I didn’t get the goodbye I would have liked which was very unfortunate but you don’t get on with every manager and it ended quite abruptly. It will be nice to see the fans and say goodbye to them in my own little way. They have got good backing and great facilities and Warburton is a manager who is very clear in what we wants to do. I have been impressed by what they have done.”
  • 14:53pm
     
    Former Barnsley man Josh Scowen is not in the squad today for QPR. He has scored winners for both sides in the last three years
  • 14:56pm
     
    Barnsley have beaten QPR only once in their last ten meetings since 2009, with eight defeats.They have not won at Loftus Road in 25 attempts since 1950, drawing three and losing 22 including the most recent 11.
  • 14:57pm
     
    Their last two home games against the Hoops have brought four points for a 3-2 win in 2016 then a 1-1 draw the following year with Harvey Barnes’ goal being cancelled out in the 87th minute.
  • 14:59pm
     
    The players are now walking onto the pitch. Alex Mowatt, the Reds captain, leads them out alongside QPR who are wearing bright blue jackets on top of their kits
  • 15:02pm
     
    GAME UNDERWAY
  • 15:04pm
     
    Barnsley have had most of the ball in the first minute as they pass it around comfortably in the middle of the pitch
  • 15:04pm
     
    2 Clarke Oduor fouls Jordan Hugill and QPR have a free-kick near the right corner flag
  • 15:05pm
     
    3 Eberechi Eze's free-kick is cleared then a deflected shot is well off target and Radlinger scrambles to punch it away on the line so it is a throw not a corner
  • 15:06pm
     
    QPR make nothing of the throw-in and Barnsley can start again from a goal kick
  • 15:07pm
     
    6 QPR free-kick on the left wing. Headed away by Bambo Diaby who conceded it
  • 15:09pm
     
    Conor Chaplin opens the scoring!
  • 15:10pm
     
    Big moment for the Reds and exactly the start they wanted
  • 15:10pm
     
    Excellent work on the right wing from Jacob Brown who gets into the box and pulls the ball back for his strike partner to apply a good finish from ten yards out into the top right corner
  • 15:10pm
     
    That is Chaplin's fifth goal of the season and his fourth in six games under Struber
  • 15:13pm
     
    11 QPR trying to respond. They take a short corner but the cross is easily claimed by Radlinger
  • 15:15pm
     
    GOAL!
    Luke Amos equalises
  • 15:16pm
     
    Jordan Hugill seemed to get the better of Mads Andersen on the left of the penalty area then shot from 15 yards out which hit the right post and fell perfectly for midfielder to tap in
  • 15:20pm
     
    That's clearly a big blow for the hosts. Just like a week ago they take an early lead through Chaplin but lose it within minutes
  • 15:20pm
     
    GOAL!
    Conor Chaplin gets his second with a fantastic volley!
  • 15:22pm
     
    That's a brilliant goal. A corner from the right goes through everyone and is met by Chaplin at the back post who blasts it into the top left corner from a tight angle
  • 15:22pm
     
    He now has five in six under Struber and six for the season which puts him only two goals behind top-scorer Cauley Woodrow
  • 15:23pm
     
    So that's three goals in the last ten minutes during a frantic start to this game. Barnsley will be happy for it to calm down a bit now, although they will be keen to build on their slender lead
  • 15:24pm
     
    22 So nearly 3-1. A cross from the right is almost turned into his own goal by defender Grant Hall but the goalkeeper Joe Lumley gets down really well to his left to claw it out
  • 15:28pm
     
    QPR are still dangerous with long balls behind the home defence but the Reds are coping with them at the moment
  • 15:31pm
     
    The game has just settled down a bit in the last five minutes and Barnsley will be quiet happy with that.
  • 15:33pm
     
    An early changed for Barnsley. Bahre is injured and replaced by Luke Thomas
  • 15:34pm
     
    So Thomas is now playing on the left of the midfield diamond
  • 15:37pm
     
    35 Barnsley think they should have a penalty after a tackle on Brown by Geoff Cameron, following a good pass by Woodrow, but the referee waves it away
  • 15:41pm
     
    38 Eze curls a 25-yard free-kick over the bar
  • 15:45pm
     
    42 Barnsley have some pressure after a free-kick with shots blocked, then QPR try to break with a long ball but Bright Osayi-Samuel is offside
  • 15:47pm
     
    Two minutes of added time
  • 15:48pm
     
    45+1 Barnsley again think they should have a spot-kick after Conor Chaplin goes down in the box under a challenge but Stroud is again unmoved
  • 15:49pm
     
    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 2, QPR 1. Conor Chaplin's brace has the Reds deservedly ahead at the break
  • 16:05pm
     
    SECOND HALF UNDERWAY
  • 16:07pm
     
    QPR have seen a lot of the ball in the first two minutes of the first half but are yet to do anything with it
  • 16:10pm
     
    50 Jordan Williams wins a corner on the right. Alex Mowatt takes it but it is easily cleared
  • 16:11pm
     
    51 Luke Thomas collects the ball in his half and runs about 50 yards with it before squaring to Woodrow whose shot from just outside the box is slightly over
  • 16:12pm
     
    GOAL!
    Conor Chaplin has a hat-trick !!
  • 16:13pm
     
    The ball breaks nicely for Brown and he takes it into the box on to the right then shoots. It is blocked by Lumley knees but Chaplin puts the rebound in on the turn
  • 16:14pm
     
    Barnsley 3, QPR 2. Amos gets his second
  • 16:16pm
     
    A big blow again for the Reds. Hugill got in on the left of the box and had a shot blocked by Radlinger but again Amos was free to fire in the rebound
  • 16:16pm
     
    Now QPR bring on Nakhi Wells who has 60 Championship goals. For Lee Wallace.
  • 16:17pm
     
    Clarke Oduor makes a vital interception to block Wells after an error by Diaby
  • 16:18pm
     
    Penalty to Barnsley
  • 16:19pm
     
    Cauley Woodrow scores a penalty after he is fouled in the box
  • 16:22pm
     
    61 Another chance for the visitors. Bambo Diaby makes a mess of a low cross from the right but Bright Osayi-Samuel blazes over from 12 yards out
  • 16:24pm
     
    64 Great chance for Chaplin to make it 5-2 with his fourth of the afternoon. He is fed on the left of the six yard box by Thomas but drags a shot across goal and wide
  • 16:26pm
     
    65 There's a chance every couple of minutes here. Another big opportunity for QPR as Wells' low cross reaches Eze on the right of the box but his effort is pushed onto the post by Radlinger and the resulting corner is cleared
  • 16:28pm
     
    67 Once again QPR go extremely close as Wells hits the bar with a powerful effort from the edge of the box. This game is breathless and bonkers
  • 16:34pm
     
    Approaching the last 15 minutes now. It has settled down a little bit after one the craziest 20 minutes I can remember in which three goals were scored then four big chances missed
  • 16:39pm
     
    Barnsley just need to see this match and make sure there is no nervous finale. Struber could bring on Cameron McGeehan to shore things up in midfield
  • 16:41pm
     
    YELLOW CARD
    Jacob Brown and a QPR player both booked after a tussle
  • 16:41pm
     
    McGeehan is about to come on
  • 16:41pm
     
    GOAL!
    Bambo Diaby surely makes sure of the three points
  • 16:43pm
     
    It's a quick free-kick by Mowatt who plays it down the right of the box to Brown who crosses low for the centre-back to tap in almost on the line
  • 16:44pm
     
    McGeehan has come on for Oduor, with Brown going to left-back
  • 16:45pm
     
    YELLOW CARD
    Kenny Dougall and Alex Mowatt both booked after a big incident in the middle of the pitch with several players from each side pushing and shoving., Wells also booked for QPR.
  • 16:49pm
     
    Is there any more drama left in this remarkable football match? We're into the 90th minute now
  • 16:50pm
     
    Four minutes added time
  • 16:54pm
     
    90+3 Chaplin goes through and could score a four but his effort one-on-one is blocked by Lumley
  • 16:55pm
     
    GOAL!
    Ilias Chair pulls one back right at the end
  • 16:55pm
     
    GAME OVER: Barnsley 5, QPR 3.