Barnsley are nine points clear in the Championship play-off places after a nervy 1-0 home win over Rotherham United.
Former Rotherham striker Carlton Morris scored a controversial goal in the second minute then the visitors had the better chances during a disappointing display by the Reds, who were indebted to inspired goalkeeper Brad Collins.
But the result means Barnsley are up to fifth and will definitely be in the play-offs if Reading do not win all three of their remaining matches starting at home to Swansea City tomorrow lunchtime.
Valerien Ismael made two changes from the side that won in Huddersfield on Wednesday.
Daryl Dike replaced the injured Dominik Frieser and Aapo Halme played in central midfield with Romal Palmer dropping to the bench.
There was a dramatic start as goalkeeper Viktor Johansson clawed a looping Cauley Woodrow effort out of his top left corner in the first minute. Callum Styles played the resulting corner short to Alex Mowatt and got the ball back then crossed from the right for Michal Helik to head towards goal. Morris challenged Johansson and appeared to head the ball into the net for his seventh goal of the season. Morris seemed to lead with his arm and Rotherham thought a foul should have been given on the goalkeeper who had to go off injured.
Barnsley had started very well but were poor for the remainder of the first half, with their intensity dropping and Rotherham having all the attacks and chances until the break.
Chiedozie Ogbene had Rotherham's first shot but his powerful 20-yard effort was straight at Brad Collins who caught it easily.
Former Barnsley striker Michael Smith then met a Freddie Ladapo cross on the left of the box but saw his close-range shot blocked by Callum Brittain before, minutes later, the ball dropped to Richard Wood in the six-yard box but his deflected effort looped into Collins' hands.
The Millers' first real clear-cut chance came on 43 minutes when Jamie Lindsay put Freddie Ladapo through on goal but Collins made an impressive block with his chest from the 12-yard shot.
Brittain volleyed just over the bar from 25 yards in first half injury-time then the Reds walked off lucky to be ahead. Ismael brought on Jordan Williams for Styles at the break.
Rotherham missed two huge chances in the first half minutes of the second half. First Ogbene sprinted easily past Michael Sollbauer – who was taken off minutes later for Toby Sibbick – in the box before being denied by the impressive Collins one-on-one, then Ladapo inexplicably missed the ball when he looked sure to turn it in six yards out from Shaun MacDonald's low right-wing cross.
The game then became more even and Dike almost made it 2-0 on 77 minutes when he outmuscled Wood to go through but his shot was deflected just wide.
Smith then nearly levelled on 81 minutes but he headed a right-wing cross by substitute Wes Harding wide from eight yards out.
Ogbene looked certain to score in the 88th minute when a cross from the left dropped to him five yards out but Collins sprang to his right to make another excellent save.
Barnsley: Collins; Sollbauer (Sibbick 52mins), Helik, Andersen; Brittain, Mowatt, Halme, Styles (J Williams HT); Woodrow, Dike, Morris (Adeboyejo 90). Unused: Walton, Palmer, Oduor, Thompson, Moon. Yellow cards: Sibbick, Halme.
Goals: Morris 2.
Rotherham: Johansson (Blackman 5mins); Ihiekwe, Wood (Harding 78mins), A MacDonald; Ogbene, Lindsay (Jozefzoon 78), Wing, S MacDonald (Wiles 78), Giles; Smith, Ladapo (Hirst 58). Unused: Mattock, Sadlier, Clarke, Barlaser. Yellow cards: S MacDonald, Wood, A MacDonald.
  • 1:41pm
    Good afternoon and welcome to the Chronicle's live text coverage of Barnsley's home game with Rotherham United from 3pm.
  • 1:42pm
    Team news is expected at 2pm. Dominik Frieser is injured along with Herbie Kane, Liam Kitching and Ben Williams.
  • 2:01pm
    Barnsley: Collins; Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen; Brittain, Mowatt, Halme, Styles; Woodrow, Dike, Morris. Unused: Walton, J Williams, Chaplin, Sibbick, Palmer, Oduor, Thompson, Adeboyejo, Moon.
  • 2:01pm
    Daryl Dike replaces the injured Dominik Frieser and Aapo Halme plays in central midfield with Romal Palmer dropping to the bench.
  • 2:08pm
    Rotherham: Johansson; Ihiekwe, Wood, A MacDonald; Ogbene, Lindsay, Wing, S MacDonald, Giles; Smith, Ladapo. Subs: Blackman, Mattock, Wiles, Hirst, Sadlier, Clarke, Harding, Barlaser, Jozefzoon.
  • 2:11pm
    After Sunday's 2-0 loss at Coventry City and Wednesday's 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town, the Reds are sixth in the Championship, six points clear in the top six ahead of the local derby with third-bottom Rotherham.
  • 2:18pm
    They need four more points from their last three games to guarantee a place in the play-offs but could secure a top six finish if they better the result of seventh-placed Reading who host Swansea City tomorrow.
  • 2:18pm
    Only the top two have collected more points than Barnsley's 70 since Ismael was appointed six months ago today while no side has more than the Reds' 38 in 16 games since January.
  • 2:21pm
    Seventh-placed Reading have won one of their last eight while they face Swansea and leaders Norwich City in their next two matches.
  • 2:23pm
    Ismael told the Chronicle: "We created a new, bigger gap. We will just keep going. It is still in our hands and we are in a better position than before Huddersfield. We are not over the line, we are almost there but we are not there yet. We keep a big big focus. I can't say if one more win is enough, we have to do our job and make sure we get points."
  • 2:28pm
    He added: "Our fans can dream, that is normal. They suffered a lot last season and the pandemic brought another tough period. But my guys have to stay on the ground and focus on the games."
  • 2:34pm
    The Reds now cannot mathematically gain automatic promotion after second-placed Watford beat leaders Norwich City on Tuesday, but they could finish as high as third.
  • 2:35pm
    Meanwhile, Rotherham are 22nd, four points from safety. They cannot be relegated today.
  • 2:41pm
    Due to a series of Covid-related postponements, the Millers had four games in hand on most teams around them going into the last international break.
  • 2:43pm
    They are having to play their last 12 matches of the season in 36 days including last week when they played on Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday then Sunday. Tomorrow's match at Oakwell is their sixth game in 14 days, with the last four all at home.
  • 2:46pm
    They could have gone out of the relegation zone with a win over Coventry last Thursday but lost 1-0, having played 48 hours earlier, then conceded a late goal in another 1-0 defeat to Birmingham City on Sunday.
  • 2:46pm
    They then took the lead against Middlesbrough on Wednesday but had a man sent off after 18 minutes then lost 2-1.
  • 2:48pm
    Rotherham have won five of their last nine away games.
  • 2:49pm
    Ismael said: "The win in Huddersfield will give us big confidence for Saturday. We have to stay focused because it will be a big fight. Rotherham fight to stay in the league and I think Saturday could be their last chance. "It is a derby and a big game."
  • 2:49pm
    Ismael added: "I like their mentality and the attitude of the manager and that they have one way to play which is exactly the same, like Wycombe they never give up and you have to respect that. Every game could be the final game for them and they have to fight. We have to match their fighting spirit."
  • 2:51pm
    Ismael: "My expectation is that it will be a very intense game about duels and second balls like against Millwall and Birmingham. We have to do the basics and be ruthless to get three points.
  • 2:53pm
    Barnsley striker Carlton Morris had two loan spells at Rotherham from previous club Norwich City. He played eight Championship matches in an injury-plagued spell during the second half of the Millers' 2016/17 relegation season. He then scored three goals in 21 League One games in the first half of last season.
  • 2:56pm
    Former Barnsley captain Angus MacDonald has played almost all Rotherham's games this season. He played 54 times for the Reds between 2016 and January 2018 when he moved to Hull City, who the Oakwell club recently were ordered to pay nearly £1million after a tribunal found they failed to disclose MacDonald's iron deficiency.
  • 2:56pm
    Barnsley have won the only three meetings with United in the last 15 years, including a 2-1 success at the New York Stadium on December 29.
  • 2:56pm
    Cauley Woodrow and Alex Mowatt put the Reds 2-0 up in 15 minutes before ex-Red Michael Smith replied.
  • 2:57pm
    Rotherham have not beaten Barnsley in ten meetings since 1982 when they won 1-0 at Millmoor.
  • 2:57pm
    They have not won at Oakwell in 13 attempts since 1970 in the League Cup while their win the previous year was their only league triumph in 16 attempts since 1953.
  • 3:00pm
  • 3:02pm
    2 GOAL: Carlton Morris scores in the second minute!
  • 3:05pm
    Superb start for the Reds. The goalkeeper made a fine save seconds earlier from Woodrow but was beaten to the ball by Morris who headed in after Helik headed on a Styles cross. Keeper still injured and Rotherham thought it was a foul
  • 3:07pm
    Goalkeeper Johansson now off injured and replaced by Jamal Blackman
  • 3:08pm
    An absolutely awful start for the visitors who are behind and have lost their goalkeeper in the first three minutes
  • 3:13pm
    13 Rotherham corner on the right, easily cleared by Woodrow
  • 3:14pm
    Not a great deal has happened since the goal. Barnsley clearly have been given a golden chance to go on and win this now
  • 3:16pm
    Rotherham will complain about Morris' tackle for that goal, and he does lead with his arm so it probably should have been disallowed. But Barnsley have had goals ruled out for far less - and wrongly – in home games against Cardiff, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading
  • 3:20pm
    Rotherham coach Ritchie Barker after Brad Collins claims a cross easily without being challenged: 'You've seen what they will give at the other end so you might as well smack him one'
  • 3:21pm
    21 Rotherham have their first shot of the game. Chiedozie Ogbene lets fly from 20 yards out but it is straight at goalkeeper Collins who gathers easily
  • 3:23pm
    23 Mowatt's left wing free-kick is easily cleared
  • 3:27pm
    1/4 through the match. Very little has happened since the goal. Barnsley started superbly but it seems as though the drama surrounding their opener has slightly knocked them off their rhythm. Will be delighted to be 1-0 ahead though.
  • 3:28pm
    Shaun MacDonald is booked for bringing down Aapo Halme on a counter attack after Dike cleared a corner
  • 3:29pm
    Ismael wants more from his team, shouting 'pick it up' and 'come on' from the sidelines. A very even game, but still 1-0 Barnsley approaching the 30-minute mark
  • 3:33pm
    33 Rotherham, who are the better team at the moment, have a corner on the right is headed away by Dike then cleared by Brittain
  • 3:34pm
    34 Decent chance for the Millers, Ladapo crosses from the right low and it reaches ex-Red Michael Smith on the left of the box but his shot is blocked by Brittain
  • 3:35pm
    35 Another opportunity for the visitors as the ball drops to Richard Wood in the box and he turns and shoots but it is deflected up into the air and Collins catches
  • 3:41pm
    40 Rotherham free-kick from right headed across goal by Michael Ihiekwe but Collins grabs it
  • 3:41pm
    Barnsley had started very well but have been poor for the remainder of the first half, with their intensity dropping and Rotherham having all the attacks and chances without ever really coming close to levelling.
  • 3:42pm
    42 Another Rotherham corner comfortably cleared. The Reds are having to defend almost constantly at the moment
  • 3:44pm
    43 Massive chance for the visitors. Freddie Ladapo is played clear through on goal and brings the ball down about 12 yards out but Collins blocks with his chest. Good save
  • 3:46pm
    45 Callum Brittain – still seeking his first Reds goal – blazes a 25-yard volley over the bar
  • 3:47pm
    Five added minutes in this half after the early goalkeeper injury
  • 3:48pm
    45+3 Mowatt's free-kick is headed away eventually after a series of headers in the box
  • 3:51pm
    HALF-TIME: Barnsley 1, Rotherham 0. The Reds took a second-minute lead through Carlton Morris' controversial goal but have been second best since, with Rotherham creating the better chances.
  • 4:08pm
    Jordan Williams on for Styles
  • 4:13pm
    49 Another big chance for the visitors, Chiedozie Ogbene sprints past Sollbauer and is denied one on one by Collins
  • 4:14pm
    50 Now an extraordinary miss by Ladapo who looks certain to tap in five yards out from a Shaun MacDonald shot but completely misses it
  • 4:16pm
    Sibbick comes on for Sollbauer. Not surprising with the way Ogbene just sprinted past the Austrian in the box
  • 4:17pm
    Angus MacDonald is booked for tripping Dike when on the break
  • 4:21pm
    George Hirst, son of former Barnsley player David, comes on for Rotherham with Ladapo going off
  • 4:24pm
    61 Rotherham free-kick on the left. Lewis Wing whips it but it goes wide of the right post by a metre or so
  • 4:27pm
    It will be interesting to see how much Rotherham tire now in their 6th game in 14 days, having played 70 mins with 10 men on Wednesday. They are fighting for their Championship survival so that might keep them going.
  • 4:28pm
    65 Mowatt's right-wing free-kick is punched clear by Blackman
  • 4:28pm
    Toby Sibbick is the first Barnsley man to get a yellow card after tripping a Rotherham man on the counter-attack
  • 4:30pm
    Barnsley have been slightly better in the last ten minutes, restricting their hosts to very few attacking opportunities and starting to come forward themselves without creating chances
  • 4:31pm
    68 A Mowatt corner on the right is headed wide by Helik but he is penalised for a foul anyway
  • 4:32pm
    Barnsley should have chances on the counter attack now. It may be worth bringing on Chaplin for a bit of extra pace and energy. Two of Rotherham's back three have been booked as well
  • 4:34pm
    70 Lewis Wing's right-wing corner is flicked on but cleared just in font of his near post by Halme. Another corner is headed across goal and Helik clears
  • 4:36pm
    This is a real ugly battle for Barnsley. They have not played well at all but they have a great chance to put themselves nine points clear in the play-off places
  • 4:37pm
    The Millers are no longer opening their hosts up the way they were either side of the break, as the game has settled down into a far more even contest. But, if it stays 1-0, it could be a dramatic finish with the Millers desperate for points in their battle against the drop
  • 4:40pm
    77 Big chance for 2-0. Dike outmuscles Wood and goes through but his deflected shot trickles just wide
  • 4:43pm
    Triple change for the visitors. Wood, Lindsay and Shaun MacDonald for Wiles, Harding and Jozefzoon.
  • 4:45pm
    81 Chance for the visitors. Smith rises to meet Harding's right wing cross and, eight yards out, he heads wide
  • 4:47pm
    83 Wiles' left-wing free-kick is headed out by Dike
  • 4:48pm
    Aapo Halme booked for kicking the ball away
  • 4:51pm
    88 Another massive Collins save. The ball drops to Ogbene five yards out and he looks certain to score but Collins dives to his left to make a superb stop. Man of the match by miles
  • 4:54pm
    Adeboyejo on for Morris
  • 4:54pm
    Five added minutes
  • 4:57pm
    We've had three of the five added minutes. No chances yet in this added period, but it's very tense with Rotherham putting centre-backs up and pumping balls forward
  • 4:58pm
    90+5 George Hirst has a chance in the box but he turns and shoots and Andersen deflects it wide
  • 4:59pm
    90+6 Rotherham corner. Goalkeeper up. Helik clears then Williams makes an excellent tackle. Now a throw
  • 4:59pm
    FULL-TIME: Barnsley 1, Rotherham 0. Carlton Morris' early goal settles the South Yorkshire derby